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Koizumi Opposes Third Term for Abe

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

Top Headline

—Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi makes clear that he doesn’t think that Shinzo Abe should remain prime minister past September. He opposes a third party presidential term for Abe. He gives Abe a little push down the stairwell as the Abe regime stumbles toward its inglorious, scandal-ridden end. This is the same Koizumi who once agreed to make Abe a protege and handed over the prime ministership to him while still riding high in 2006.


—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expresses opposition to the Osaka unification project of the Osaka Restoration Association. This reflects Abe’s declining clout over his own party as he wishes to be reelected again as party president. Previously he had dismissed the Liberal Democratic Party Osaka Chapter.

—Organizers are claiming and the Japanese media is reporting that about 30,000 people joined the anti-Abe protest in Tokyo today. There was some drama when protesters got frustrated with the heavy-handed police crowd control measures (which have gotten progressively worse in the Abe era) and overran a barricade.

—Just over 13% of the Japanese public finds Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s denials of any wrongdoing in the Kake Gakuen affair to be credible. That means that even most Japanese conservatives now think there was some hanky-panky involved.

—Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi says in a speech that it is unavoidable that the government agree to produce Tadao Yanase as a sworn witness before the Diet over the Kake Gakuen scandal.

—Latest Kyodo News poll has Abe Cabinet approval falling to 37.0% and disapproval rising to 52.6%. The same poll finds that Shigeru Ishiba now seen as “the most appropriate” person to be prime minister will 26.6%, more than anyone else at present.


—Defense Ministry likely to release the Iraq War daily logs next week, which are expected to prove more conclusively that the Koizumi government violated the law (and the Constitution) in its deployment of the Self-Defense Forces to what was known to be combat zones in Iraq.

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: “We support the United States, United Kingdom, and France’s resolve not to allow the use of chemical weapons.” As expected, Abe supports the “resolve” but doesn’t explicitly support the military action against Syria. Careful wording after some hours.

—South Korean civic groups planning to erect a statue on May 1 for wartime victims of forced labor in front of Japan’s consulate in Busan. The Busan city government is trying to head them off with legal arguments and suggests a different location. Confrontation is brewing.


—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will apparently propose some kind of new policy on trade in his meeting with US President Donald Trump. It’s not clear yet whether or not this is a significant initiative.

—One unforeseen effect of the Tokyo Olympics is that it appears to be making it considerably more difficult or expensive to rebuild in those regions of Japan recovering from natural disasters. It is apparently slowing the process of earthquake recovery in Kumamoto, for example.

Note: There was no separate “Today in Japan” report issued on April 14.

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