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Cancer Patients Need to “Get Over” Their Anti-Tobacco Views

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

Top Headline

—House of Representatives passes the anti-smoking bill, which has been massively watered down by the ruling party compared to the initial draft presented by the Health Ministry. Meanwhile, an estimated 40 non-smokers die in Japan every day. Also. ruling party lawmaker Yoichi Anami, who is also the son of the founder of the Joyful restaurant chain, revealed to have heckled a lung cancer group representative as he testified in the Diet against public smoking practices. “Get over it!” Anami shouted at the lung cancer representative.

Politics

—Ruling party extends the Ordinary Diet Session to July 22 in order to pass the IR Implementation Bill and other government legislation.

—Board of Audit reopens investigation of Moritomo Gakuen land sale after being fooled, or pretending to be fooled, by the Finance Ministry’s forged documents during their first investigation.

—Masao Uchibori indicates that he will be running for reelection as Governor of Fukushima Prefecture when his current term ends in October.

—Liberal Democratic Party likely to hold its leadership election on September 20. Shinzo Abe currently looks like the strong favorite to win an unprecedented third consecutive term, but he is likely to face a challenge from Shigeru Ishiba and perhaps others.

International

—South Korean government tells the Abe government that they can just chill out. Seoul’s new “Action with Women and Peace” initiative is not intended to be related to the Comfort Women issue, but is merely a progressive attempt to combat sexual violence globally.

—Since his election as Mayor of Nago city in February, Taketoyo Toguchi has kept his mouth shut about Henoko base construction. Recently, however, he indicated his stance that the Nago government basically has no authority over the matter, and so he will keep out of it.

—Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan launches committee examining policies on Henoko base construction. They are listening to the right people too, inviting the folks from the New Diplomacy Initiative to come and talk to them.

—Komatsu is accused by Swedwatch of contributing to abuses in Myanmar by selling machinery used by domestic mining companies implicated in the killing via landslides and flooding hundreds of people each year.

—Adm. Philip Davidson, the new head of the new US Indo-Pacific Command, meets with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and apparently found it necessary to reassure the Japanese leader that cancelling military exercises in South Korea isn’t the end of the US-Japan Alliance.

Abe government is telling local governments to stop carrying out anti-missile drills if they have any scheduled. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says, “Unlike last year, we are no longer in a situation in which we are threatened by imminent missile launches.”

Economy

—Japanese retailers are utilizing interest in the World Cup to promote sales of items such as large-screen televisions and beer. Bic Camera, for example, is offering discounts on some high quality televisions.

—Delegation of Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers led by Hiroyuki Hosoda goes to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to demand that the restarts of nuclear reactors be sped up across the country.

—The founder of motor-maker Nidec Corporation, Shigenobu Nagamori, 73, begins power transfer that will last “at least ten years.” Nagamori, who has tightly controlled his company, giving title of President to Hiroyuki Yoshimoto, 50. Nagamori remains Chairman and CEO of Nidec.

—Hitachi says it will put profitability first in the Horizon Nuclear Power plant construction project in Britain, keeping in mind the concerns of its shareholders, while moving forward with the project expected to cost about 3 trillion yen (about US$27 billion).

—Subaru says that it will launch a new Forester sport-utility vehicle, the first full model change in five and a half years, hoping to recover from a string of scandals, including those regarding vehicle inspections carried out by unqualified workers.

—US Commerce Department will apparently grant a partial tariff exemption for some steel products imported from Japan, though the scope and details remain unclear.

Technology

—Financial Services Agency likely to hit major cryptocurrency exchange operators with business improvement orders. bitFlyer, the largest of them, is also said to be a target. The agency is concerned that these operators lack sufficient internal controls.

—2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee plans to use 100% renewable energy at all Olympic events. Meanwhile, the Abe government as a whole is dragging its feet on the shift to renewable energy, moving slower than many other advanced nations.

Society

—Osaka Prefecture: “False information, such as news about an accident that never happened, is posted and widely shared on social media. Be aware of sources and confirm whether the information is reliable.”

—Osaka Prefectural Police Department has launched an investigation of the concrete wall that crushed 9-year-old Rina Miyake during the Osaka Earthquake. It’s already been determined that this concrete wall did not meet legal construction standards.

—Osaka Prefecture announces that about 1,700 people have evacuated from their homes as a result of the Osaka Earthquake.

—Osaka Earthquake: Number of deaths revised up to 5 as another elderly person found dead in their home. It’s not clear whether or not this figure includes the disputed case of a woman who may have died from illness.

—Rains in Kyushu are so heavy that they temporarily shut down the Shinkansen bullet train.

—One of the turrets of Kumamoto Castle collapsed. It appears to have been caused by the 2016 earthquakes combined with the pouring rains.

Note: There were no separate “Today in Japan” reports issued on June 20 and June 21.

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