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LDP Secretary General Ishiba to visit U.S. in late April

Shigeru Ishiba, secretary general of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, plans to visit the United States in late April, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday. Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa told reporters at the prime minister's office that Ishiba is scheduled to make a speech in Washington on April 30. The LDP is trying to have Ishiba meet with officials of President Barack Obama's administration and Congress in his first visit to a foreign country since he assumed the post in September 2012.

LDP Secretary General Ishiba to visit U.S. in late April

Shigeru Ishiba, secretary general of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, plans to visit the United States in late April, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday. Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa told reporters at the prime minister's office that Ishiba is scheduled to make a speech in Washington on April 30. The LDP is trying to have Ishiba meet with officials of President Barack Obama's administration and Congress in his first visit to a foreign country since he assumed the post in September 2012.

Gov't to avoid listing scenarios for use of collective self-defense

The government will not specify scenarios for Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense when Tokyo announces its basic stance in coming months, government sources said Thursday. The decision would run contrary to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's initial plan to present clear examples to deepen public understanding of the issue. It comes amid fears within the government that doing so would inevitably limit the scope for Japan to exercise the right, the sources said.

Gov't seeks to loosen SDF law on collective self-defense: PM adviser

The government will seek to relax its existing rules to allow the Self-Defense Forces to be dispatched to cope with armed attacks on allies with "close security ties" to Japan, if it decides to lift a ban on exercising the right to collective self-defense, a special adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday.

Tokyo governor to make 'city diplomacy' visit to Beijing

Tokyo's top local official said Tuesday he will visit Beijing this month at the invitation of its mayor, in an attempt by officials to heal Japan and China's bruised relations. Governor Yoichi Masuzoe, a former health minister who took office in February, will conduct a three-day trip as the guest of mayor Wang Anshun, the first Tokyo governor in 18 years to be invited.

Campaign starts for Kagoshima poll, 1st test for Abe after tax hike

Official campaigning began Tuesday for a lower house by-election April 27 in Kagoshima Prefecture, the first national-level election since Japan's consumption tax hike took effect earlier this month. The race, in which six candidates entered in the morning, is expected to center on a battle between a ruling Liberal Democratic Party candidate and an independent backed by the Democratic Party of Japan and three other opposition parties.

Ex-premiers Koizumi, Hosokawa to establish antinuclear power forum

Former prime ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa will establish an antinuclear power forum in May to promote research into renewable power sources and support antinuclear candidates in elections, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday. The inauguration meeting will be held May 7, according to the sources.

Campaigning begins for lower house by-election in Kagoshima

Official campaigning began Tuesday for a lower house by-election April 27 in Kagoshima Prefecture, the first national-level election since the contentious tax hike took effect earlier this month. The race, in which six candidates entered in the morning, is expected to center on a battle between a ruling Liberal Democratic Party candidate and an independent backed by the Democratic Party of Japan and three other opposition parties.

Campaigning begins for lower house by-election in Kagoshima

Official campaigning began Tuesday for a lower house by-election April 27 in Kagoshima Prefecture, the first national-level election since the contentious tax hike took effect earlier this month. The race, in which six candidates entered in the morning, is expected to center on a battle between a ruling Liberal Democratic Party candidate and an independent backed by the Democratic Party of Japan and three other opposition parties.

Veteran lawmaker throws hat into ring for Your Party leadership race

A veteran lawmaker of the opposition Your Party said Wednesday he will run in the upcoming party leadership election after its chief resigned over a money scandal. "We must protect the party," Keiichiro Asao, the party's secretary general, said at a press conference announcing his candidacy in the election to be held Friday. Asao, a 50-year-old House of Representatives member, vowed to restore public trust in the party and "pursue reforms," saying his "party's policies have the support of many people."
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