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POLITICS

Short takes from the weeklies

  • 2015-02-05 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

 “Thank you”

 [Shukan Bunshun, 2/12/2015 issue, p. 26]

 

o “The Japanese government really tried so hard [for the sake of my brother]. Foreign Ministry and National Police Agency officials also made strenuous efforts for him, even cutting down on sleep. I appreciate them very much. I also really appreciate the Jordanian government and its officials as well. Many people also gathered in front of the Kantei [i.e., the prime minister’s office], where they asked the government to help Kenji out. I also really appreciate people all over the world for holding up placards with the message of ‘I AM KENJI.’ For Kenji, let me please say ‘thank you.’ Again, I really thank you all.” (Junichi Gotoh, 55, the real brother of Kenji Gotoh, who was slain by the “Islamic State”)

 

 “Japan’s stand”

 [Shukan Bunshun, 2/12/2015 issue, p. 31]

 

o “Japan cannot participate in the air campaign, so there’s no option but to provide humanitarian aid. Also, Japan should look into the facts about Islamic State terrorists’ money laundering in order to clear up their source of funds, as Japan does in the case of North Korea.” (an assistant foreign news editor)

 

 “Asahi’s too thoughtless reporter”

 [Shukan Bunshun, 2/12/2015 issue, p. 31]

 

o “MOFA hit the roof.” (an international news reporter, referring to the Asahi Shimbun’s top play, in its Feb. 1 morning edition, a report from its Istanbul-based correspondent who entered Syria in defiance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ repeated advice for Japanese press reporters to stay away from the border and move back into Turkey because they were apparently targeted by “Islamic State” militants)

 

 “Zombie lawmakers”

 [Shukan Bunshun, 2/12/2015 issue, p. 45]

 

o “Fuji TV’s public opinion survey made me laugh. More than half of its respondents answered “no” when they were asked if they pin their hopes on the Democratic Party of Japan’s newly elected president, Katsuya Okada.” (Isao Iijima, formerly a political secretary to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, currently a special advisor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet, from his regular column)

 

o “I suggested one idea to Prime Minister Abe right after last year’s election for the House of Representatives. The prime minister was positive about my suggestion. What’s that? I said the LDP next time should not endorse any of its lawmakers who were defeated in a single-seat electoral district for the second time in a row but elected under proportional representation. That’s strange, isn’t it? There are too many lawmakers that were defeated but rose like zombie. This is also the best possible tactic that can undermine the opposition parties.” (Iijima)

 

 “Humanitarian aid”

 [Shukan Bunshun, 2/12/2015 issue, p. 135]

 

o “This money is intended for humanitarian assistance. However, the Japanese government’s English translation could be mistaken for military assistance.” (Osamu Tekina, writer and philosopher, from his “Fool of the Week” column, referring to Prime Minister Abe’s announcement during his recent Middle East trip of Japan’s humanitarian aid totaling 200 million dollars)

 

 “What’s in store for Skymark”

 [Shukan Bunshun, 2/12/2015 issue, p. 145]

 

o “Depending on the issue of compensation for Airbus, Skymark Airlines may go into liquidation.” (Tetsu Machida, an economic journalist familiar with the airline industry, referring to Skymark Airlines’ payment in arrears to Airbus for its agreement to purchase superjumbo jets)

 

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