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Trump Blasts Japan’s “More Deadly Form of Tariff”

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

The Top Headline

—US President Donald Trump: “How many Fords are in the middle of Tokyo? Not too many. In fact, Ford, sort of, closed up their operation in Japan because they couldn’t get cars in there. I spoke to Prime Minister Abe, another great friend of mine. He’s a great person, but I said, listen, you’re sending us millions of cars, and if we send you one and if we make it so perfect. They actually told me a case where they made this car so good. This was, they spent a fortune. They had the best environmental, the best this, the best skins, the best everything you can have in a car. The best safety. They brought it in, and after inspections that lasted forever, it was rejected. You see, that’s a form of tariff, too. Maybe that’s a more deadly form of tariff. That, to me, is just as deadly as 50%, and 25%, and 100%.”

Politics

—Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan gets encouraging results in Machida City Council race. Both of its candidates gain seats, with one of them coming in second place overall, ahead of any Liberal Democratic Party candidate.

—Last year Prime Minister Shinzo Abe effectively ignored Article 53 of the Constitution when more than 1/4 of the Diet’s lawmakers demanded that the parliament be called into session. Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Takashi Takai has just filed a lawsuit against the government over this matter. Takai: “As the government, being in a position of power, is supposed to follow the Constitution, the prime minister’s failure to observe it goes against constitutionalism.”

—Minister for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs Tetsuma Esaki is back in the hospital, his recovery apparently not going as well as hoped. It seems he will spend at least another week in the hospital. Therefore, Esaki is to step down. His replacement is House of Representatives lawmaker Teru Fukui.

—Yukio Edano: “1+1+1 = 0.8.” Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader explains that merging opposition parties with different philosophies does not build a stronger opposition force. Instead, it only loses the support of the voters.

—Yasunori Kagoike’s unofficial status as a Political Prisoner of the Abe regime being increasingly recognized by the Japanese left, in spite of their ideological differences with the former Moritomo Gakuen operator.

International

—Communist Party of China appears close to granting the possibility for Xi Jinping’s term limits to be scrapped. The Liberal Democratic Party did the same thing for Shinzo Abe last year. There almost couldn’t be a clearer sign of escalating authoritarianism in East Asia.

—Abe government “diplomats” upset again after South Korean Foreign Minister dares to mention Comfort Women in her United Nations speech: “Japan is of the view that Minister Kang Kyung-Wha’s bringing up the issue in her statement this morning is totally unacceptable.”

—Abe government reportedly mulling setting up anti-ship missiles in Okinawa, another measure meant to antagonize China, not to mention the Okinawans.

—Joseph Yun, the US State Department official in charge of North Korea policy, unexpectedly quits for “personal reasons.”

Economy

—Inpex Corporation wins 40-year development rights for a 10% stake in the Lower Zakum offshore oil field in Abu Dhabi.

—Staunchly pro-nuclear METI Minister Hiroshige Seko denounces the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan’s Zero Nuclear Basic Bill as being an “irresponsible” energy policy.

Technology

—The Abe government reveals that it is not, definitely NOT, conducting any special studies related to UFOs.

Society

—National Police Agency highlights growing threat of elderly drivers on the roads, tens of thousands of whom are suffering from dementia.

Note: There was no separate “Today in Japan” report issued on February 26.

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