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Abe Tired of Political Fairness in News Media

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

The Top Headline

—Abe government now turning attention back to the news media. They want to abolish the “political fairness” regulation to allow more “competition.” In other words, they want their private sector allies to be able to create a Japanese Fox News to spread even more rightwing views. While there are already quite rightwing newspapers like the Sankei Shinbun, the Abe government is now pushing for this kind of unabashedly rightwing content on television as well. Currently, television stations are theoretically constrained not to take partisan positions. It’s probably not a coincidence that this initiative comes in the wake of the Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization’s ruling against the “News Girl” program. No doubt Abe & company would love to unleash DHC Television-type content on the whole nation.

Politics

—Documentary evidence says Akie Abe made a statement in favor of the Moritomo Gakuen elementary school (of which she was Honorary Principal). Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he privately talked to his wife two years later and that she didn’t say it. Oh yeah… case closed, right?

—If it seems like Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Edano has been a little quiet during this dramatic week, we now learn why. He has been down with the flu since the weekend.

—It appears that the government is much more afraid to have First Lady Akie Abe testify as a sworn witness than former National Tax Agency chief Nobuhisa Sagawa. The indications so far are that, somehow, the government is still managing to build a wall around Akie that is holding.

—Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi criticizes Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Finance Minister Taro Aso for their repeated insistence, for months, that Nobuhisa Sagawa was “the right man in the right job” as National Tax Agency chief.

—Opposition parties have agreed to end their boycott of Diet debates tomorrow. While not spelled out precisely, it seems they were willing to settle for Nobuhisa Sagawa being brought in as a sworn witness next week. That still hasn’t been entirely confirmed, however.

—Cabinet Office denies allegation that it ordered the rewriting of documents associated with the Kake Gakuen Scandal.

International

—It is now confirmed that Finance Minister Taro Aso will not be attending the G20 meeting in Argentina next week. He’ll need to be facing questions in the Diet.

Economy

—Right now: US$1.00 = 105.95 Yen.

—Bank of Japan nominees will apparently be confirmed by the House of Representatives tomorrow.

—Fair Trade Commission raids Amazon Japan, though details of the case have yet to be revealed. It is regarding some kind of suspected anti-trust violation.

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