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North-South Leaders’ Summit Set for April 27

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

The Top Headline

—Closely-watched leaders’ summit between Moon Jae-In and Kim Jong-Un scheduled for April 27 at the truce village of Panmunjom on the South-North border. Meanwhile, the much less closely-watched or consequential Shinzo Abe-Donald Trump leaders’ summit likely to take place about a week or so earlier in the war village of Washington DC.

Politics

—Rightwing Sankei Shinbun goes hysterical in defense of Shinzo Abe: “the state of affairs in today’s Japan is essentially no different from the witch trials of the Dark Ages—acts of outrageousness and absurdity, embedded with malicious intentions, have been triumphantly rampant.”

—Democratic Party leader Kohei Otsuka to make open call for the creation of a new political party composed of a merger of most of the current Democratic Party and the Party of Hope.

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologizes for his wife Akie’s “Like” on Facebook of a post that stated that opposition parties ask only stupid questions in Diet debate. The prime minister says her actions “lacked prudence.”

—First Lady Akie Abe is apparently resigning from dozens of “honorary” positions that she has held. The government appears to be stung by the opposition argument that she is acting as a government representative while claiming to be entirely a “private individual.”

—Executives of the six main opposition parties (all of the opposition except the rightwing Osaka-based Japan Innovation Party) gather together and jointly demand that First Lady Akie Abe be called as a sworn witness before the National Diet regarding the Moritomo Gakuen scandal.

— Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan executive Kiyomi Tsujimoto slams Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga for his suggestion that press conferences should be reduced: “First you falsify documents, and then want to close the window of public information? Will the people really find that to be persuasive?”

—From April 16, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan will launch its “CDPJ Partners” program, which will gather ordinary citizens as party supporters across the nation. The membership fee is set at 500 yen per year, suggesting that they hope for mass appeal.

—Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso expresses anger at the news media for doing more coverage about the Moritomo Gakuen Scandal than about Cabinet approval of TPP 11, which he feels is a much more important story.

—Japan Communist Party head Kazuo Shii denounces Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso. Shii points out that Aso’s criticism of the media for covering the Moritomo Gakuen scandal clearly demonstrates Aso’s total lack of a sense of any responsibility for the forgery of documents.

—Komeito again refuses direct talks with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party over revision of Article Nine of the Constitution. They are not interested in forming a coordinated stance on the matter.

International

—Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga claims that the 2015 Abe War Law strengthened the US-Japan Alliance and boosted the nation’s deterrent power. This is the two-year anniversary of the unconstitutional legislation’s effectuation.

Economy

—The 35-storey “Tokyo Midtown Hibiya” building opened for business today.

—Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso declares that Trump’s tariffs will not pressure Japan to change its stance on bilateral trade: “What’s most important is that we don’t allow the United States to use the tariffs to draw Japan into bilateral talks on a free trade agreement.”

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