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Tadao Yanase Again Lies in Diet Testimony

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

Top Headline

—In his unsworn Diet testimony, former Abe aide Tadao Yanase admits the absolute minimum. He now acknowledges that he met with the Imabari city officials, but denies he said what the city officials reported, that Kake Gakuen was “the prime minister’s matter.” However, Ehime Governor Tokihiro Nakamura was quite unhappy with Tadao Yanase’s testimony before the Diet, especially the part where he cast doubt on the accounts given by the prefectural officials about what was said in the meeting. The governor essentially called Yanase a liar, and released documentary evidence to prove it.

Politics

—Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Yoshitada Konoike announces that he won’t be running for reelection in next July’s House of Councillors election. He says he’s too old and his health is not good.

—Liberal Democratic Party dinosaur Bunmei Ibuki declares that Finance Minister Taro Aso is “absolutely correct” in his assertion that sexual harassment is not a crime. These clueless old boys seem entirely determined to dig a deeper hole for themselves.

—Centrist Democratic Party for the People appears set to join the ruling camp on the gambling addiction legislation, already breaking with the progressive Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan on a major policy issue.

—Foreign Minister Taro Kono says that he intends to run again for the post of president of the Liberal Democratic Party at some point in the future, though he doesn’t know when.

—Renho has been promoted to the position of Deputy Leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan as well as its Secretary-General for the House of Councillors.

Kyodo News poll finds that 75.5% of the public found Tadao Yanase’s testimony about Kake Gakuen to be unpersuasive. And yet, public approval for the Abe Cabinet rises almost two points to 38.9%. Shinzo Abe’s regime is stabilizing in spite of its widely understood corruption.

International

—The Trump-Kim meeting set for June 12 in Singapore. This will also be Kim Jong-Un’s first foreign trip as North Korean leader to a country other than China.

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants another face-to-face meeting with Donald Trump before the US president’s June 12 meeting with Kim Jong-Un. Abe to push his hardline agenda once again now that Trump is speaking enthusiastically about peace moves.

—North Korea: “The reactionaries of Japan are hyping the ‘issue of abduction’ which had already been settled. This is just mean and foolish behavior to stem the trend of peace on the Korean Peninsula at any cost.”

Economy

—Confirmed that Hideyo Hanazumi will run as the ruling party-backed candidate for Governor of Niigata Prefecture. He is the candidate expected to quickly agree to all TEPCO to reenter the nuclear business and restart its reactors.

—Niigata gubernatorial shaping up to be a straight fight between the ruling camp and opposition camp, or pro-nuclear Hideyo Hanazumi vs. anti-nuclear Chikako Ikeda. Rengo looks set to back the anti-nuclear candidate this time, which may indicate she is NOT very anti-nuclear.

—Auditors confirm that the Monju fast-breeder reactor cost taxpayers more than US$10 billion and produced precisely bumpkis.

—Japan Communist Party proposes that 45 hours of overtime work per month should be the legal limit. The Abe government is pushing for 100 hours of overtime work, which studies show is sufficient to cause some people to be worked to death.

Society

—Tokyo Nakano Ward to follow Shibuya and Setagaya and begin to recognize same-sex partnerships with a certificate. This new policy set to begin in August.

—Kasumigaseki Country Club finally grants full membership to women after months of criticism from the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.

—Measles infection has been spreading in Japan, with 134 cases confirmed so far this year.

—Ishinomaki city moves forward and will appeal to the Supreme Court the adverse judgment over their responsibility for the deaths of dozens of schoolchildren at the Okawa Elementary School during the March 11, 2011, tsunami.

Note: There were no separate “Today in Japan” reports issued from May 10 and May 12.

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