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Today in Japan (12.07.17)

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

Politics

—Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan makes clear it opposes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s idea of revising the Constitution to authorize the existence of the Self-Defense Forces. The conservative Party of Hope expresses doubts about the proposal.

—Civil Alliance for Peace and Constitutionalism (Shimin Rengo) excludes the Party of Hope from its activities due to the conservative opposition party’s support of the unconstitutional Abe War Law.

—Democratic Party leaders make clear they intend to revive the centrist opposition party rather than disband, as had been former leader Seiji Maehara’s plan. They have decided to hold a full party convention on February 4, 2018.

—House of Councillors lawmaker Toshio Ogawa says that it is possible that the centrist Democratic Party will change its party name in a (weak) bid to recover some public support.

—Social Democratic Party to hold leadership election on January 29. Unclear if current leader Tadatomo Yoshida will seek another term.

—Independent House of Councillors lawmaker Ryuhei Kawada to join the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan. This will allow the new progressive party to establish its own caucus in the Upper House.

International

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sends his diplomatic advisor, Katsuyuki Kawai, to hold a meeting with Steve Bannon in Washington DC to talk about the US-Japan Alliance, as if the Breitbart chairman is somehow a representative of the US government.

—An object apparently falls from a US military plane near Futenma and lands on a nursery school. No one hurt, but Okinawans given fresh reminder of past tragedies, especially the 1959 F-100 crash.

—Abe government predictably refuses the criticize Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, even though it counters decades of Japanese diplomatic policy. “No comment” is the word from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

Economy

—Abe ally and Keidanren Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara declares that Japan needs to build new nuclear power plants.

Society

—Dr. Katsuya Takasu, Holocaust and Nanjing Massacre denier, pays US$275,000 to buy at action in New York a memoir written by Emperor Hirohito in immediate postwar period. The cosmetic surgeon Takasu is invited as a frequent commentator on Japanese TV programs.

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