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Japanese Turn to Online News

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

The Top Headline

—Japan Press Research Institute: More Japanese now read their news online (71.4%) than in morning print newspapers (68.5%) for the first time. As expected, the digitalization of the news is arriving in Japan, albeit at a slower pace than most of the rest of world. However, more Japanese people find the print newspapers credible (68.7%) than they believe that online news services are credible (51.4%).


—Naha Branch of the Fukuoka High Court rules that October 2017 House of Representatives election was constitutional because, the ruling says, “the maximum disparity dropped to a reasonable level below 2.0 times.”

—Renho is appointed Diet affairs chief for the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan’s new six-lawmaker parliamentary caucus in the House of Councillors. She is given this position because it is felt she will bring forcefulness to progressive attacks on government policies.

—Party of Hope may split into two parties as early as this month. The main point is that they have unreconcilable differences over Constitution revision and security policies, especially the 2015 Abe War Law. Also, with public support near zero, there’s not much holding it together.

—At end of this month “Japan Communist Party Supporter” system expected to be launched, which is a major element of the modernization of the party. This system involves digital outreach to people who are not paying Japan Communist Party members, but want to participate in activities.

—Fumio Kishida says that he’ll make a decision on whether or not to run for the Liberal Democratic Party presidency after the national budget is enacted, which would usually occur around the end of March.

—Plaintiffs win partial Supreme Court victory over Cabinet Office secret funds. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has spent more than US$10 million making payoffs to unknown people or entities. Supreme Court says some of the relevant documents should be shown to the public.


—US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris continues advocating his own foreign policy of hatred toward China: “I believe the reality is that China is a disruptive transitional force in the Indo-Pacific.” Why do we just know he is headed for a Republican Party political career?

—Abductee families to travel to The Hague and call for the International Criminal Court to launch a prosecution against Kim Jong-Un for failing to provide information on the abductee issue since he came to power.

—Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera protests US Marine helicopter overflights of Futenma No. 2 Elementary School. In response to US Marine denials that the overflights occurred yesterday, the Defense Ministry releases videos showing that they did. Meanwhile, Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga also disputes US Marines’ contention that radar evidence demonstrates that their helicopters did not fly over the school. Onaga says that if the Marines are telling the truth, they should publicly release the radar evidence.

—Okinawa Prefectural Assembly passes, unanimously, a resolution condemning the serial accidents of the US Marines and demanding a suspension of flights from the US Marine airbase at Futenma.


—Suicides in Japan fell to 21,140 last year, which is almost 40% lower than the peak reached in 2003. The aging of society is probably the biggest structural reason suicide rates are falling, but there have also been some prevention efforts by local governments and private groups.

—After Supreme Court dismisses a final appeal, all court cases related to the March 1995 sarin gas attacks carried out by Aum Shinrikyo have finally come to an end. Thirteen Aum people are now on death row, including the group’s guru Shoko Asahara.

Note: There was no “Today in Japan” report issued on January 19.

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