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Today in Japan (12.08.17)

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


—Regional Revitalization Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama can offer no explanation at all why the Kake Gakuen veterinary school was approved. The government’s current position is that nothing was done wrong, but they can’t explain any grounds for the actions they took.

—Prominent liberal House of Councillors lawmaker Yoshifu Arita has reportedly decided to resign from the centrist Democratic Party and join the progressive Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan. That would give the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan three lawmakers in the Upper House.

—Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan’s Kiyomi Tsujimoto signals that Abe government must be pursued over the Pezy Computing public subsidies fraud case. She likens it to the Moritomo and Kake Gakuen cases as a third demonstration of Abe corruption.

—Japan Communist Party puts up its own local official Toshihiko Haraguchi as its candidate to challenge incumbent Hodo Nakamura in the February 4th Nagasaki gubernatorial race.


—Foreign Minister Taro Kono: Japan “appreciates President Trump’s strong commitment to promoting a permanent peace agreement and his support for a two-state solution.” We really expected better from this guy.

—Foreign Minister Taro Kono now preparing to make a visit to Israel at the end of December in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

—Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Edano: “From the point of view of preserving international stability, even countries close to the United States have stated doubts about [Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital]. I, too, share these doubts.”

—Party of Hope leader Yuichiro Tamaki: “I think we have to severely question this view that it is okay for Japan’s diplomacy to simply follow Donald Trump 100%.”

—Htin Kyaw, President of Myanmar, to visit Japan from December 13th to 17th. Discussion of the Rohingya issue will clearly be a public focus.

—Ginowan Mayor Atsushi Sakima protests to Defense Ministry over object that fell from US military helicopter onto a local nursery school in his Okinawan city. Sakima describes the accident as “outrageous.”

—Liberal Democratic Party working team considers national program to build bomb shelters, an initiative aimed at additional North Korea fear-mongering, wasting taxpayer money, and pretending to protect the people.


—Abe government decides that it will begin imposing the 1,000 yen (US$9.00) departure tax on all people leaving Japan from January 1, 2019. Previously they had decided to impose it from April 1, 2019.


—Female chief priest of Tomioka Hachiman Shrine in Tokyo has been murdered by her brother and girlfriend in a bizarre crime that included the girlfriend wielding a samural sword and chasing the priest’s driver through the streets. Final toll: One Murder, One Injury, Two Suicides.

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