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Today in Japan (11.24.17)

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

Politics

—Abe government line on finding by Board of Audit that public land was sold to Moritomo Gakuen at unjustifiably low price is that “more prudence” is needed in overseeing such sales. They still claim nothing was crooked about the sale.

—Liberal Democratic Party’s Shigeru Ishiba says that Nobuhisa Sagawa (corruptly appointed new head of the National Tax Agency), needs to make public explanation after Board of Audit finds Finance Ministry sold Moritomo Gakuen land at indefensibly low price.

—Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan’s Kiyomi Tsujimoto makes clear her party will call for First Lady Akie Abe to appear as a witness regarding Moritomo Gakuen scandal now that Board of Audit confirms land sale price was unjustifiable.

—Democratic Party leadership still trying to reconcile the irreconcilable differences between rightwing Party of Hope and the progressive Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan. Like Rengo, they want to avoid making any choices about what they actually stand for, and fear being ripped in two.

—Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui expected to be re-endorsed as leader of the Japan Innovation Party at tomorrow’s general meeting.

International

—South Korean President Moon Jae-In tells visiting Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi that he wants to visit Japan “as soon as possible.”

—Abe government outraged again as South Korea National Assembly votes overwhelmingly to make August 14 a national memorial day for wartime Comfort Women. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the move could damage bilateral ties.

—San Francisco municipal leaders indicate they have no intention of negotiating with the Osaka city government or giving in to its threats regarding the establishment of a memorial to Comfort Women.

—US Navy gives up search for three missing sailors after the C-2A Greyhound transport aircraft crash in seas southeast of Okinawa.

—At Liberal Democratic Party meeting regarding North Korea abductees, lawmaker Hiroshi Yamada declares that Japan must begin studying possibility of building nuclear weapons and attacking enemy bases.

Economy

—Japan Atomic Power applies to have Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant operate beyond usual forty year limit. If granted by regulators, this would be first such approval for a plant whose reactors are same design as in Fukushima Daiichi disaster.

Society

—Old men’s heads explode when Kumamoto City Councilwoman Yuka Ogata brings her 7-month-old son to a council meeting. They demand that she get the kid out. Eventually, she complied and apologized, but the national media picks up the story.

—Prosecutors demand life sentence for Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, the US base worker who raped and killed an Okinawan woman last April.

—Ruling Liberal Democratic Party divided on issue of whether bigotry toward LGBT individuals should be endorsed or rejected. Wataru Takeshita is in favor of bigotry; Seiko Noda says she favors freedom and diversity.

—Liberal Democratic Party’s Wataru Takeshita offers a non-apology apology for publicly endorsing bigotry towards LGBT VIP visitors from overseas. He declares, “It would have been better not to say it.”

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