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Ehime Governor Takes Tough Kake Gakuen Stance

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

Top Headline

—Ehime Governor Tokihiro Nakamura turning out to be no pushover. He suggests that if Kake Gakuen really lied to the prefecture about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s involvement as they now claim, he might pull the prefectural subsidies that the school has received. Ehime Governor Tokihiro Nakamura also says he needs to be hearing explanations directly from Kotaro Kake, not from his flunkeys.

Politics

—Ministry of Finance preparing to admit that Nobuhisa Sagawa ordered official documents related to Moritomo Gakuen to be forged before they were provided to Diet lawmakers. It’s an easy move to make now that Osaka prosecutors are refusing to indict anyone.

—Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan executive Kiyomi Tsujimoto points out that prosecutors’ decision that supplying false documents to the Diet is not an indictable offense is essentially an open invitation for bureaucrats to lie and forge more documents in the future.

—Finance Minister Taro Aso argues that rewriting of official documents was not “systematic.” It was just the work of a few bad apples (who the prosecutors refuse to indict). Therefore, there’s no reason why he, Aso, should continue on as Finance Minister.

—All the top leaders of the opposition parties have been going to Niigata to campaign beside gubernatorial candidate Chikako Ikeda. The opposition really wants to win this one and keep an ally at the head of this crucial prefecture for eliminating nuclear energy.

—Liberal Democratic Party faction leader Wataru Takeshita points out the obvious but important point that it is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who holds ultimate responsibility for the ethics of government administration. It’s not like it has nothing to do with him.

—Akihisa Nagashima, a rightwing darling of the US-Japan alliance manager community, sets up his own regional political party in Tachikawa city, Tokyo, called “Future Japan.” He intends to run candidates in next year’s unified local elections.

International

—US President Donald Trump is apparently preparing to propose that South Korea, China, and Japan send financial aid to North Korea as part of any peace deal. The United States intends to pay little or nothing, as Trump sees it.

—Abe government’s “peace plan” for North Korea continues to be as follows: Give us everything we demand in advance and disarm yourself, and then maybe we’ll discuss your concerns. Needless to say, the Abe plan isn’t really aimed at achieving peace with North Korea at all.

—Japan Communist Party chief Kazuo Shii says that he believes that Takeshi Onaga will be running for reelection as Governor of Okinawa in spite of his battle with cancer.

Economy

—Toshiba will withdraw from a project to construct two advanced boiling water nuclear reactors in Texas, the so-called South Texas Project, due to a failure to find investors, making it no longer financially viable.

—Abe government still trying to secure Japan-only tariff exemptions within Donald Trump’s burgeoning global trade war.

—Finance Minister Taro Aso indicates that, should the Trump administration refuse to create Japan-only exceptions to its new tariffs policy, then Tokyo is “considering” filing a complaint at the World Trade Organization.

Finance Minister Taro Aso on Trump administration trade policy: “It would be natural to consider it to be rather strange.”

Society

—Fourteen prefectural governors join “We Love Babies Project” with the stated objective of “creating a society where babies can cry whenever and wherever they want.” The basic point is to make Japanese young people less averse to having children, and thus slowing depopulation.

—Abe government mulls the growing problem of massive amounts of land around the nation with unclear ownership. In many cases, people in the countryside have passed away and nobody knows who are their proper heirs. Other times, heirs don’t even want the land or houses.

—Health Ministry reports that natural decrease in Japanese population last year was close to 400,000 people. Japan’s demographic decline is gathering pace.

—More than 1,350,000 Japanese citizens are now living outside of Japan, more than 31% of them in the United States.

—Both the Fukuoka and Sapporo city governments now issue official cards to couples in LGBT partnerships. This is to allow them to prove their status, which may have some relevance within the local government procedures but is not yet backed by national law.

Note: There were no separate “Today in Japan” reports issued on June 1 and June 2.

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