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Yoshida Withdraws from SDP Leadership Race

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

The Top Headline

—In a considerable surprise, Tadatomo Yoshida announces that he won’t be seeking a new term as Social Democratic Party leader. His comments suggest that the party leader needs to be an incumbent lawmaker. They only have four of those, so the pool of candidates is quite shallow. It should be noted that the current deadline for filing candidacies for the Social Democratic Party leadership post is tomorrow. At present, zero candidates have declared their intention to run. Expect some kind of significant development within 24 hours.


—Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga indicates that the Japanese government will be discussing the issue of the two Reuters reporters held in Myanmar whenever they have talks with that government.

—Uruma City Council passes protest resolution against US Marine helicopter crash landing at Ikeijima. They blast US military’s “weak consciousness of safety” and declare, “The uncertainty and fear of our citizens has reached its limits.”

—US Vice-President Mike Pence will visit Tokyo in early February as part of his travels to attend the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony on February 9. In Tokyo, discussions with the Abe government are expected to focus on putting additional pressure on North Korea.

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe threatening to refuse invitation to attend Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in his latest rightwing tantrum regarding the Comfort Women issue.


—A plan to give the Fair Trade Commission a stronger hand to combat business monopolies is scuppered by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which claims it wants to “protect the rights” of big business. It sounds like Keidanren got its political friends to step on the Fair Trade Commission.

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