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Abe Aims for Pro-Government News Stations

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

The Top Headline

—The Yomiuri Shinbun (!) lays it out clearly that Abe wants to change the broadcasting law because “it seems that the prime minister is unhappy with media criticism.” His intention, as the Yomiuri reports, is to allow for rise of unabashedly partisan pro-government television stations.

Politics

—Komeito Secretary-General Yoshihisa Inoue criticizes the Education Ministry for its persecution of Kake Gakuen whistleblower Kihei Maekawa: “The government shouldn’t meddle in what is taught in individual classes.”

—Abe government decides that all women, including Imperial Family members, will not be allowed to attend part of Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony. The Abe government loves its “traditions,” especially those sexist, authoritarian “traditions” thought up in the late 19th century.

—Akie Abe spoke at a public event on welfare policy today, but was protected from any questions about Moritomo Gakuen. She continues to tour as First Lady like a public figure assisting the government, while the government insists she has no public accountability whatsoever. They truly want it both ways.

International

—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Japan’s purchase of the Aegis Ashore system and its tightening of military relations with the United States is becoming an obstacle to Japan-Russia relations, including negotiations over the Southern Kuriles-Northern Territories.

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asks South Korean President Moon Jae-In to raise the issue of Japanese abductees with North Korea when he holds his summit with Kim Jong-Un.

—US military apparently refusing to pay compensation to family of an Okinawan woman who was raped and murdered in 2016 by an American base worker. Their excuse is that Kenneth Franklin Shinzato was no longer a US soldier at the time of the crime, and so it’s not their problem.

Korean Central News Agency (North Korea): “The Japanese reactionaries are desperately inciting the atmosphere for sanctions and pressure on the DPRK, much upset by the ever-changing trend of the situation. This is just the last-ditch struggling aimed to reverse the trend of the times made by the islanders who have fished in troubled waters by aggravating the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

Economy

—Japan Business Council in Europe warns the United Kingdom that Brexit must be as small a break from Europe as possible or else it will have serious impact on investment. In transition period, the UK must continue “participation in the Single Market and the EU Customs Union.”

Society

—Supreme Court backs the power of the Foreign Ministry to take away the passports of Japanese journalists who want to travel to countries it deems too dangerous.

—Okay, now for the REAL news that everyone has been waiting for… It has been confirmed that cherry blossoms are beginning to appear in Tokyo.

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