Victor Cha Not Crazy Enough for Trump Administration
SNA (Tokyo) — The following stories were reported today by the Shingetsu News Agency.
The Top Headline
—Victor Cha dropped as Trump nominee for US Ambassador to South Korea. He proved to be insufficiently insane by making clear that he opposed the whacko scheme to launch “limited military strikes” against North Korea. As crisis continues, still no US ambassador after a year.
—Opposition parties again demand that Akie Abe testify before the Diet on the Moritomo Gakuen Scandal issue. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says that even if the school was originally named after him and his wife was the Honorary Principal, that Abes had nothing at all to do with it.
—Liberal Democratic Party gives up the notion of proposing a revision of the Constitution that would give special powers to the government in the event that an official emergency were declared. Presumably, they understood this was a nonstarter with other parties and the public.
—Nukaga Faction lawmakers agree to have repeated meetings for next couple weeks in order to avoid a split in the faction. Many younger lawmakers demand that Fukushiro Nukaga step down, as they see him as an ineffective leader and implausible candidate for prime ministership.
—Ruling coalition executives jointly agree that Economic Revitalization Minister Toshimitsu Motegi needs to publicly explain his actions regarding small gifts to his constituents which may have constituted violations of the elections laws.
—Taizo Mikazuki will reportedly run for reelection as Governor of Shiga. He is one of the nation’s youngest (46) and most progressive governors.
—Party of Hope stalemate continues as the rightwing founding members say that the late-joining former Democratic Party members (including the current party executives) should leave the party. Appears likely that Party of Hope will soon split into either two or three groups.
—Mainichi Shinbun editorial: “[Nobuhisa] Sagawa must be summoned to the Diet, but not only has the ruling coalition refused to allow that to happen, Sagawa has not given any press conferences since he was promoted to the head of the National Tax Agency.”
—Mainichi Shinbun does some real journalism and busts about a dozen Okayama Prefectural Assembly members who went on a taxpayer-funded trip to the United States (spending a combined US$130,000) and then submitted reports which Mainichi discovered were plagiarized from Wikipedia. Ouch!
—In latest episode of nationalist nonsense, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga takes China to task for banning maps distributed by a Japanese company in Chongqing that didn’t recognize China’s stance on Senkaku-Diaoyu islands. Suga takes line there is “no territorial dispute.”
—In the Sankei Shinbun, rightwing journalist Yoshihisa Komori attacks conservative ruling party Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai for being too friendly with the Chinese government. He suggest that Nikai’s conciliatory approach is nearly treasonous.
—In Diet comments, Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Takashi Uto appeals to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to cancel his plan to attend the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. He wants to snub South Korea on the Comfort Women issue. He says influenza can be used as an excuse not to attend.
—Line Corporation announces that it will be entering the cryptocurrency business. Grab your hot wallet!
—In Diet debate, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expresses his intention to adopt policies that will increasingly militarize Japanese industrial power. He wants more companies involved in weapons development and production.
—In the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, opposition lawmakers pursue questions about the Pezy Computing subsidies fraud case. It is pointed out that a no interest loan provided (about US$55 million) exceeded what was supposed to be the maximum limit. The question is whether favoritism was involved.
—Shinzo Abe: “I will call upon President Trump to ensure that the United States leads free and open TPP rules, together with Japan, in a steady manner.” (Shouldn’t be so difficult in light of the fact that Trump is a self-proclaimed stable genius.)
—It was a year ago today that US citizens gathered near the US Embassy in Japan to protest the Trump Muslim Ban, which had created mass confusion in the nation’s airports and inconvenienced many people.
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