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Today in Japan (12.16.17)

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


—The Democratic Party and the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan create a unified caucus within the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly.

—Democratic Party holds full meeting with prefectural chapters. The majority wants the party to carry on in its current form. They also support idea of asking Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and Party of Hope to form a united caucus in the Diet. The Party of Hope may welcome that, but Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan probably won’t.


—US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s brief flirtation with a sane policy toward North Korea was short and sweet. President Trump and other conservatives sufficient intimidated him that he now effectively shuts the door on the negotiations he had just proposed.

—Rex Tillerson: “North Korea must earn its way back to the table. The pressure campaign must and will continue until denuclearization is achieved.” Sure, Rex, good luck with that.

—US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the North Korean missiles are “not yet shown to be a capable threat against us right now.” He is likely referring to doubts that Pyongyang has the technology for re-entry that could actually deliver a nuclear weapon to the mainland United States.

—Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the government will ask US Marines to stop flying over the Futenma No. 2 Elementary School as a safety measure. Apparently, the US Marines had already previously agreed not to use that flight route, but routinely ignore their promises.

In Beijing, Former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda says that this period represents “a golden chance” to improve Japan-China relations. Both nations have stable administrations and the time is ripe for making advances.

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