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Ties with Japan are important for S. Korea: Ishihara

Shintaro Ishihara, co-leader of the opposition Japan Restoration Party, said Wednesday Japan-South Korea relations are important for Seoul despite soured bilateral ties due to a territorial dispute and conflicting views on wartime history. Ishihara's remarks followed the first official meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun Hye in the trilateral talks with U.S. President Barack Obama in The Hague on Tuesday.

Japan Restoration Party waters down party platform on Constitution

The opposition Japan Restoration Party on Saturday adopted a revised party platform that watered down its harsh criticism of the war-renouncing Constitution, in an apparent effort to advance realignment of opposition forces in the future. The conservative party, co-headed by former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara and outspoken Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, dropped the phrase branding the current Constitution as the main factor that forced Japan into isolation and made it a target of disdain, and imposed an unrealistic dream of absolute peace.

Tokyo assembly OKs resignation of scandal-tainted governor

The Tokyo metropolitan assembly on Tuesday approved Gov. Naoki Inose's resignation over his receipt of 50 million yen from scandal-tainted hospital chain operator Tokushukai. Inose, who was elected Tokyo governor on Dec. 16, 2012, is stepping down after just 372 days, the shortest period in office in the capital's history.

Ishihara raps party co-head Hashimoto for controversial remarks

Shintaro Ishihara, co-head of the Japan Restoration Party, criticized on Tuesday the party's other head Toru Hashimoto, saying it was a "great nuisance" that Hashimoto's controversial remarks on Japan's wartime military brothels hurt public support for the party. Hashimoto, who doubles as Osaka mayor, may have to resign as the party's co-leader depending on the outcome of the upcoming House of Councillors election next month, former Tokyo Gov. Ishihara said in an interview with Kyodo News.

Hashimoto clarifies remarks on "comfort women" after flak

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto on Wednesday sought to clarify his remarks on a system to recruit women into sexual servitude for Japan's soldiers during World War II, saying he personally does not condone the scheme. Two days after he made controversial remarks that the so-called comfort women were "necessary to maintain discipline" in the Japanese military, Hashimoto told reporters he simply stated a fact that people at the time had that kind of view.
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