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China Overtakes Japan as UN Contributor

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

Top Headline

—China set to become the Number Two financial contributor to the United Nations, pushing Japan to the Number Three position. China will soon be contributing 12% of the UN budget to Japan’s 8.6%. The United States still contributes 22% of the UN budget.

Politics

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to rewrite pacifist Article Nine of the Constitution likely to be submitted to the Diet this autumn, presuming that he beats Shigeru Ishiba in the September party presidential elections.

—Abe government planning to use MyNumber system to discover how much money individual citizens have in their bank accounts, but they are having difficulty implementing the policy because of its unpopularity with the public. The push is delayed until after the 2019 elections.

—About 50 conservative and rightwing lawmakers visit Yasukuni Shrine, where several Class A War Criminals are enshrined together with the other Japanese war dead. Future prime ministerial prospect Shinjiro Koizumi is among them.

International

—Okinawa gubernatorial election set for September 30. The pro-Abe candidate will be former Ginowan Mayor Atsushi Sakima; the “All-Okinawa” anti-base candidate has yet to be decided.

—An estimated 4,500 people attend the Naha funeral of the late Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga.

—It’s been a horrible year so far for Okinawa progressives, with only Chobin Zukeran’s election as Nanjo mayor a bright spot. Big elections are now coming up: 09.30 — Okinawa Governor and Ginowan Mayor Elections; 10.21 — Naha Mayor Elections.

—Abe government likely to delay Henoko base landfill work until after the Okinawa gubernatorial elections on September 30. This is only so that it doesn’t hurt the electoral prospects of the pro-Abe candidate, Atsushi Sakima.

—Double Discomfort: Both Taiwan and South Korea unveiled memorial statues to wartime Comfort Women yesterday. In South Korea’s case, the first Comfort Women official memorial day was also observed. Shinzo Abe’s war against historical memory suddenly not doing so well.

—US military Osprey aircraft continue to fall out of the skies and make emergency landings. There were two separate incidents yesterday alone, one in Kagoshima Prefecture and one in Okinawa Prefecture. No injuries reported.

Economy

—Furniture retailer Otsuka Kagu is flirting with bankruptcy as financial losses mount. Their preferred option is to tie up with another firm. Otsuka Kagu is known for selling more expensive furniture to affluent customers.

Technology

—Tokyo Metropolitan Government finds that sprinkling water over roads and sidewalks reduces temperatures, though we can’t imagine it does much to reduce humidity.

Society

—The Saitama prefectural government is actively encouraging men to purchase and use ultraviolet ray parasols as a measure to preserve good health under conditions of accelerating global warming.

—Parents are increasingly sending their children to indoor playgrounds as they worry about the impact of the record high temperatures this summer. Global warming is focusing minds on how to live more of our lives in air-conditioned surroundings.

Note: There were no separate “Today in Japan” reports issued on August 13 and August 14.

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