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Finance Ministry May Have Forged Moritomo Gakuen Documents

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

The Top Headline

—Explosive news out this morning that the Finance Ministry may have forged documents after the outbreak of the Moritomo Gakuen Scandal. The contention is that the bureaucrats rewrote embarrassing documents to make the land sale negotiations seem innocuous. Finance Minister Taro Aso refuses to comment. He claims he can’t comment on the ongoing investigation… by the Finance Ministry… of its own wrongdoing.

Politics

—Yoshinobu Nisaka confirms that he will be running for a 4th term as Governor of Wakayama in elections this December. He will face at least one challenger.

—National Tax Agency chief Nobuhisa Sagawa is hiding out in hotels to avoid Moritomo Gakuen questions from pursuing news media. Questions have been raised whether or not taxpayers should fund his use of public vehicles for the purpose of running from journalists.

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he has never met former Moritomo Gakuen principal Yasunori Kagoike. First Lady Akie Abe said in a recent speech that her husband and Kagoike did meet. What does Kagoike say? Oh, he’s been locked up in prison and cut off from the outside world.

International

—South Korean President Moon Jae-In informs the Trump administration that he will be sending a high-level envoy to Pyongyang in the near future.

—US National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster reportedly close to being pushed out of the Trump administration. This could be significant because McMaster seems to be the only credible administration figure who has been arguing in favor of a military attack on North Korea.

—Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera says he is concerned about China’s development of aircraft carriers.

—Faculty and students of Hongik University in Seoul block the establishment of a Comfort Women statue in front of their campus. They argue that they weren’t consulted, and that the statue might make Japanese feel unwelcome at their globalized education institution.

Economy

—Trump says he will slap 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% tariff on aluminum. The stock market panicked and foreign leaders vow they will retaliate, but no one is sure of this is the start of the trade war or just a bad day in Trumpland, with him forgetting what he said.

—The official unemployment rate has fallen to 2.4%, the lowest level since 1993.

—Prosecutors arrest two construction industry executives over the Central Japan Railway maglev bid-rigging scheme. This appears to be a rare case of actual consequences for white collar crime in Japan.

—Right now: US$1.00 = 105.5 Yen.

Society

—Tokyo Setagaya Ward, led by its very progressive Mayor Nobuto Hosaka, to create nation’s strongest ordinance against discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. The ordinance will establish a system for making complaints against instances of discrimination.

—Extremely heavy snowstorm hitting northern Japan, especially Hokkaido. One man has already been reported dead. The man who died was a roadside assistance worker deployed to help a stranded NHK reporter. He died in the course of carrying out his work duties to help someone else.

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