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Old 2018-04-18, 11:32   Link #541
AS Oji-kun
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Forests of Hokkaido
Age: 68
Trump and Abe are playing golf today as it turns out, but off the golf course Abe looks to be foundering.

Japan Fears Being Sidelined by Trump on Trade and North Korea

When Mr. Trump and Mr. Abe appeared before reporters in Palm Beach on Tuesday, the American president declared that “Japan and ourselves are locked, and we are very unified on the subject of North Korea” and that Japan and the United States “have never been closer than they are right now.”

But as the two leaders were meeting, news emerged that Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, had been to North Korea this month for secret meetings with its leader, Kim Jong-un. There, Mr. Pompeo was laying the groundwork for a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim to discuss the North’s nuclear program.

It was yet another sign that the United States was acting independently of Japan, its strongest ally in Asia. Mr. Abe originally planned his trip to meet Mr. Trump after news last month that Mr. Trump had accepted an invitation to meet Mr. Kim for negotiations.

Mr. Abe hoped to secure Mr. Trump’s commitment on two issues: curtailing the North’s nuclear and ballistic weapons programs, and facilitating the return of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and ’80s.

On Wednesday in Tokyo, critics were skeptical that Mr. Trump would give Japan much consideration once he got into a room with Mr. Kim.

“The possibility of the U.S. thinking about Japan is zero,” said Terry Ito, a commentator on Nippon Television, from Tokyo.
Trump might give Abe support on the abductee issue. One Times commentator suggested that the issue of the North Korean abductees catapulted Abe into the public spotlight.

"Also, a word about Abe's obsession with Japanese citizens abducted and taken to North Korea over the years: Abe owes his rapid political ascendance in Japan to the revelation made by Kim Jong Il in 2002 that North Korean agents had in fact kidnapped Japanese citizens. Until 2002, Abe was just another mediocre hereditary backbencher typical of the people in the Liberal Democratic Party. But he then skillfully exploited the outraged reaction to Kim Jong Il's admission and used it to gain popularity within his party and nationwide. The abductee issue helped make Abe leader of Japan, so he can't and won't let it go. "
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Old 2018-04-18, 22:19   Link #542
Verso Sciolto
Join Date: Nov 2015
In this week's Weekly Shincho, second week in a row. The weekly was able to break the story last week because a TV Asahi superior failed to act properly on revelations from a TV Asahi reporter reporting her own experiences of sexual harassment.

女性は輝けない!? 「麻生財務相」が「嫌なら男の記者に替えればいい」

Edit to add:
"Abe Gets Little From Trump to Douse Japan Scandal Firestorm" - By Isabel Reynolds for Bloomberg
April 19, 2018 at 18:58:24 GMT+9 Updated on April 20, 2018 at 9:24:17 GMT+9
Things seem to be getting worse by the day. The resignation of Japan’s top Finance Ministry official over sexual harassment allegations was splashed across Thursday’s front pages in Tokyo, the latest blow to the administration after a string of accusations of cronyism and cover-ups.

Some members of Abe’s ruling party are now saying Finance Minister Taro Aso should consider his position to take responsibility for the harassment case and a separate land-deal scandal involving the ministry.
"Finance Ministry's myopic response to sex harassment accusations backfires"
Mainichi, April 20, 2018 - Japanese original by Wataru Okubo and Daisuke Oka, Business News Department.
TOKYO -- The Finance Ministry's inappropriate response to sexual harassment allegations against its top bureaucrat has backfired, as the general public is increasingly critical of such cases.
The problem has also highlighted ministry officials' immature understanding of sexual harassment.
国会でも#MeToo 野党議員、セクハラ疑惑に抗議
山岸一生 for the Asahi Shimbun, 2018年4月20日15時01分

"#MeToo takes off as opposition lawmakers raise papers in protest" - by Kazuo Yamagishi / Staff Writer for the Asahi Shimbun, April 20, 2018 at 14:40 JST
The #MeToo movement is fast gaining traction in Japan, with opposition party lawmakers raising papers bearing the anti-sexual harassment slogan at a joint hearing in the Diet on April 20.

Last edited by Verso Sciolto; 2018-04-20 at 21:27.
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Old 2018-04-22, 22:34   Link #543
Verso Sciolto
Join Date: Nov 2015
"Support for Abe administration slips further to 30%: Mainichi survey" - April 22, 2018 (Mainichi Japan)

Abe and Aso both recently left the country, seemingly deeming the unfolding sexual harassment and power harassment scandals against women less important aspects of their duties and responsibilities. It would, in my opinion, be truly poetic if these old men misjudged that too. So many women leave Japan temporarily or permanently because in Japan women are indeed still treated as second rate citizens. It would be fantastic if not cover-ups of hidden and forged documents but ultimately the treatment of women brought down these two politicians and the systems of governance they and their party have represented for decades.

On another intersection of politics and popular culture, last week oral argument was heard in court in the lawsuit against "Cool Japan Fund" executives, including Japanese government officials.
In English, Japan Today and The Japan Times picked up the Kyodo news story when it previously reported on the case, in February 2018, with headlines like these: "Woman sues Cool Japan Fund over sex harassment"

The woman, who used to work at Cool Japan Fund Inc. as a temporary employee, is seeking 20 million yen in damages, claiming she was sexually harassed by her former bosses, including a senior official from the central government, between 2015 and 2016.

The woman also asserts that the fund, sponsored by the government and major Japanese companies, illegally refused to renew her contract after she formed a labor union.
On April 18, 2018, several Japanese papers reported on the court case with headlines and articles like these from Asahi Shimbun クールジャパンのセクハラ訴訟 被告の官僚ら棄却求める and クールジャパン機構争う姿勢 訴訟、第1回口頭弁論 from Sankei Shimbun indicating that those representing "the Fund" have decided to fight her in court and have asked the court to dismiss her case.

One hour ago - NHK World: "Disgraced bureaucrat to get $500,000 on retirement"

Reuters - Linda Sieg: "Voter support for Japan's Abe slips amid calls for finance minister to quit"
Abe’s ratings fell three points to 30 percent in a poll by the Mainichi newspaper. The conservative Yomiuri put his support at 39 percent, also down three points, while the right-leaning Sankei showed a drop of 6.7 points, to 38.3 percent.

The three results were in contrast to firm backing from a majority in the business community shown in a Reuters poll.

Last edited by Verso Sciolto; 2018-04-23 at 04:14.
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Old 2018-04-23, 18:58   Link #544
Verso Sciolto
Join Date: Nov 2015
"Japan PM Shinzo Abe sends ritual offering to war-linked Yasukuni Shrine" - Kyodo News - Apr 21, 2018 - 13:10

"Young assault victim using "comfort women" experience to drive change" - By Natsume Watanabe, Kyodo News - 22 hours ago - 10:33
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