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Ignorance = LDP Support

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

Top Headline

—Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso discovers the political virtue of keeping the Japanese people ignorant of public affairs.

—Akira Koike of the Japan Communist Party gives the day’s best response to Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso’s latest gaffe.

Politics

—Yoichi Anami explains heckling of cancer patient: “I just expressed my feelings that smokers should not be discriminated against more than is necessary.” Requiring the smokers stop killing 15,000 non-smokers each year is apparently a rightwing definition of “discrimination.”

—Taizo Mikazuki reelected as Governor of Shiga Prefecture, defeating a single Communist Party-backed challenger. Originally, Mikazuki was an opposition supported candidate. Now he gets support from both the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and centrist opposition parties.

—Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan preparing to file a criminal complaint of perjury against former Finance Ministry official Nobuhisa Sagawa in light of the fact that Osaka prosecutors are refusing to act, claiming that the perjury wasn’t important enough.

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not so keen on idea of having his old friend Kotaro Kake testify as a sworn witness in the Diet.

—Masashi Nakano, head of the extreme rightwing Kokoro Party, wants to run in next House of Councillors election as a Liberal Democratic Party proportional representation candidate. Nakano is currently the Kokoro Party’s only national lawmaker.

Kyodo News survey suggests that Shinzo Abe has already locked up the votes of the majority of national lawmakers in the September Liberal Democratic Party presidential race.

International

—Parallels between Trump immigration policies and wartime Japanese internment sharpen as government mulls opening new black site for immigrant children at an Arkansas location very close to where a Japanese internment camp had been, the one where George Takei had been moved.

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends to memorial ceremony for the 73rd anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa, in which something like 200,000 people were killed.

—Okinawa gubernatorial election set for November 18. It remains unclear whether or not the ailing Takeshi Onaga will run for reelection and who the Liberal Democratic Party will support as their candidate to suppress the anti-base movement.

—Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga: “I vehemently disagree with the government’s insistence that relocating the Futenma base to a new site off the Henoko district is the only solution.”

—Sad News! Kirstjen Nielsen, US Secretary of Homeland Security, willing to go along with Trump’s policy of taking babies and children away from their mothers and putting them in concentration camps, spent a year in the early 1990s studying at Nanzan University in Nagoya.

—China, Japan, and South Korea have agreed on the importance of taking measures to remove garbage from the oceans and seas, especially the increasingly problematic plastics and microplastics.

—Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga denies report that Trump promised that Japan would pay US$50 billion as part of a North Korea denuclearization settlement.

Economy

—Osaka Earthquake: SMBC Nikko Securities estimates that the total damage caused by the quake to Japan’s GDP will come in at around 183.5 billion yen (about US$1.7 billion).

—The latest round of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) talks beginning in Tokyo, with representatives from sixteen nations.

Society

—Osaka Earthquake: Disaster prevention adviser Ryoichi Yoshida warned the school in Takatsuki in 2015 that the concrete wall that killed 9-year-old Rina Miyake was unsafe. They had a couple non-experts look at the wall, who found no obvious cracks, and concluded it was fine.

—Final stats on the Osaka Earthquake: 5 people dead; about 400 people injured; and about 6,800 buildings damaged across seven prefectures.

—Invasion from China! Environment Minister Masaharu Nakagawa asks the Chinese government to do something about the fire ants which keep landing in Japanese ports in transport ships that came from China. Japan struggles to stop fire ant invasion before they get a foothold.

—Rainy season has ended in Okinawa Prefecture.

Note: There were no separate “Today in Japan” reports issued on June 23 and June 24.

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