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Matsuzawa Aims to Split Party of Hope

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

The Top Headline

—Shigefumi Matsuzawa has formally applied to split Party of Hope into two parties. He and a more conservative group of five or more lawmakers want to go their own way. The party executives’ response yet to come, but there’s a good chance they will agree to the split. Shigefumi Matsuzawa also wants his smaller group to take over the name “Party of Hope” when the current, larger Party of Hope splits into two organizations.

Politics

—Opposition parties appear to be heading for a call for official parliamentary sanctions against rogue Japan Innovation Party lawmaker Yasushi Adachi, who continues to make wild rightwing statements and accusations, even in the Diet.

—Nagoya High Court finds the vote disparity in last October’s general election sufficient to rule it “in a state of unconstitutionality.” This follows ten straight rulings in other districts that found the disparity within the bounds of the Constitution’s democratic provisions.

—Reports emerging that Fukushiro Nukaga has finally agreed to step down as leader and will be replaced by Wataru Takeshita. The Liberal Democratic Party’s “Nukaga Faction” about to become the “Takeshita Faction,” as it had been when founded by his older brother Noboru.

—Cross-examined in the Diet by opposition lawmakers about the Moritomo Gakuen Scandal, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instead launches attacks on the Asahi Shinbun, accusing it of misreporting that name of the school was to be “Shinzo Abe Memorial Elementary School.”

International

—Foreign Ministry protests after Russia conducts anti-terrorist military exercises on Kunashir-Kunashiri Island, one of the disputed Southern Kurile-Northern Territories.

—US Vice-President Mike Pence visits the Defense Ministry in Ichigaya and inspects PAC-3 missile interceptors. This is evidently meant to demonstrate solidarity versus the North Korean missile threat.

—Kim Yo-Jong, the younger sister of Kim Jong-Un, to be sent to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as part of the North Korean delegation. She is part of an unprecedentedly high-level delegation from North Korea that will be visiting the south this month.

—For eight years Susumu Inamine led the anti-base movement in Nago. Today his supporters turned out to cheer him as he departed his resignation ceremony at Nago City Hall. Blue sign in the background declares, “We’ll Never Give Up!” Photo from lawmaker Keiko Itokazu.

Society

—Imperial Household Agency would have us believe that more than a year is insufficient time to “prepare” for Princess Mako’s wedding, and instead it takes three years of preparation (until 2020) for a princess to wed. Not difficult to perceive that something has gone wrong.

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