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“Write It and Make It Disappear!”

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

The Top Headline

—”Write It and Make It Disappear!” In an unbelievably inept move, the Liberal Democratic Party creates a Shinzo Abe magnet sheet in which a message can be written and then erased and rewritten. Hey! It’s just like Moritomo Gakuen! Believe it or not, this is for real!

Politics

All-Nippon News Network poll confirms earlier results: Abe Cabinet approval has fallen to 32.6%. The disapproval rate is now a clear majority, 54.9%.

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe repeats his denials that he or First Lady Akie Abe had anything to do with the Moritomo Gakuen land sale. He continues to maintain that Yasunori Kagoike has lied under oath, but, no, Akie Abe has no need to testify under oath herself about her own role. Abe is now repeating that his wife need not testify because “responsibility” lies with him. And what does he intend to do about his “responsibility”? Deny any real wrongdoing and try to hold on to power. So what is the consequence of taking “responsibility”?

—Finance Ministry starting to throw Nobuhisa Sagawa under the bus ahead of his Diet testimony. They confirm that he was “one of the officials” who ordered the forgery of Moritomo Gakuen documents provided to the Diet.

—During his recent meeting with opposition lawmakers, Yasunori Kagoike continued to maintain his story, also made under oath in the Diet, that First Lady Akie Abe privately handed him a million yen in cash (about US$9,500) and declared that it was a donation from her husband.

—Current Abe Cabinet party line is that the Finance Ministry forged its own documents and this reflects some internal problem with the Finance Ministry. The forgeries were done, they contend, without any direction or knowledge of politicians. Coverup has nothing to do with Abe.

International

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says that he now has direct channels to communicate with Pyongyang. These communications might be utilized to arrange a leaders’ summit.

Society

—Tokyo Adachi Ward Mayor Yayoi Kondo leads several hundred residents in a protest calling for the disbandment of Aleph, the successor organization to Aum Shinrikyo.

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