Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga have repeatedly been warning this particularly gaffe-prone set of Cabinet ministers to exercise caution and to be very careful about what they say in public. Reconstruction Minister Masahiro Imamura, however, didn’t seem to get the memo, and after a fresh gaffe he is swiftly out.
House of Representatives debate on the Conspiracy Bill begins. The controversial legislation expected to become “the main event” of this Ordinary Diet Session as the government and the opposition parties draw battle lines.
The Abe Cabinet itself is now openly endorsing and defending the Imperial Rescript on Education, in spite of the fact that both houses of the Diet denounced the document in June 1948 as a handmaiden to wartime Japanese militarism.
The first round of the unified local elections on April 12 showed once again that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party are in firm control of the nation. More than two years after the December 2012 general elections, there remains no sign whatsoever that the opposition parties are on the rebound or can even put up a decent fight against the ruling coalition.
The group sometimes called the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) murdered freelance journalist Kenji Goto and his friend Haruna Yukawa. The various messages that ISIL sent through Goto’s voice to the world demonstrate clearly that they are listening to the debates in the world’s media, and we therefore can understand that ISIL murdered Mr. Goto in full knowledge of the humanitarian nature of his work and the fact that he personally bore no enmity toward Muslims or their causes.
Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima’s decision to approve construction of the planned US Marine air base at Henoko has won its fair share of admirers. Much of the international media has portrayed it as a “breakthrough” that resolves a long political “stalemate” that had plagued US-Japan relations for many years.