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Today in Japan (11.10.17)

SNA (Tokyo) — The following stories were reported today by the Shingetsu News Agency.

Politics

—Yuichiro Tamaki elected Party of Hope co-leader with a decisive 39-14 vote over Hiroshi Ogushi. He was the more conservative choice, closer to the Abe government in his views than to the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

—Democratic Party leader Kohei Otsuka welcomes the election of Yuichi Tamaki as co-leader of Party of Hope. Anticipates the two parties will be able to work together. Other opposition parties take more cautious view.

—Despite his similar conservative policy positions on military issues, new Party of Hope co-leader Yuichiro Tamaki insists he will strongly confront the Abe government.

—Education Ministry approves plan to let Kake Gakuen build its veterinary school in Imabari, Ehime. Even the major scandal didn’t derail the plans of Abe’s close friend Kotaro Kake.

—Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says government doesn’t need to respond to former Education Ministry top bureaucrat Kihei Maekawa’s view of Kake Gakuen issue because he is merely “a retired person.”

—Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan has run its first candidate in a local election. The campaign period begins today for a Nagoya city council by-election.

International

—US Ambassador William Hagerty scheduled to travel to Okinawa and hold his first meeting with Governor Takeshi Onaga on Monday. Obviously, US military bases expected to be main topic.

Economy

—Despite reports that emerged overnight, the Canadian trade minister confirms that no deal has yet been reached at TPP 11 talks.

—Japanese senior officials including Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Foreign Minister Taro Kono speaking as if TPP 11 is a done deal, in spite of the fact that Canada, apparently, doesn’t agree with that assessment.

—Japanese government and media now admitting that they don’t have a TPP 11 agreement in hand after all. Canada is not yet on board with the current proposals.

—Evidence mounting that behind the scenes the Abe-Trump summit in Tokyo wasn’t all of that chummy. Aside from Abe rolling around on the golf course, Trump kept insisting on immediate trade concessions that Abe rightly rejected.

—Finance Ministry bureaucrats reportedly attempting to maneuver the Abe government so that the consumption tax hike to 10% will proceed as planned. They remain deeply worried about the massive public debt.

—Minister Keiichi Ishii confirms that Japan will once again achieve a record number of tourists this year, breaking last year’s 24 million mark.

Society

—Kawasaki city, Kanagawa Prefecture, taking the national lead on defining “hate speech” and developing local ordinances to combat hate speech demonstrations.

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