Biden Congratulates Japan’s New PM Fumio Kishida

File photo:  Fumio Kishida, former foreign minister, poses for a photo following a press conference after being elected as the new leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo on September 29, 2021. Du Xiaoyi / POOL / AFP

 

US President Joe Biden offered his congratulations Monday to Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, saying the “historic partnership” between the two nations will help them face the world’s ongoing challenges.

“The US-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world, and I look forward to working closely with Prime Minister Kishida to strengthen our cooperation in the months and years ahead,” Biden said in a statement.

“The historic partnership between our two democracies and our two peoples will continue to be a critical asset as we work together to take on the challenges of our time.”

The 64-year-old Kishida, a soft-spoken centrist in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), easily won Monday’s vote in the Japanese parliament approving him to lead the world’s third largest economy.

He succeeds former prime minister Yoshihide Suga, who had announced he would not stand for the LDP leadership after just one year in office.

Biden said he commended Suga “for a successful tenure.”

AFP

‘I’ll Feel Bad If APC Doesn’t Give Southeast An Opportunity’ – Weekly Quotes

 

The passing week has been a very eventful one globally with the world still battling COVID-19 and trying to adjust to the new reality.

Nigeria is never left a week without drama, as events continue to take different turns, leading the authorities to take certain drastic actions that got tongues wagging.

Having reviewed most of the major stories from the passing week, both locally and on the foreign scene, here are top quotes that tend to paint a vivid picture of what transpired and perhaps give us a hint of some things we must expect in the coming days:

1. “If I follow APC for this length of time, and they don’t give the Southeast an opportunity, I will feel bad.”

A file photo of Ebonyi Sate Governor, Dave Umahi. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
A file photo of Ebonyi Sate Governor, Dave Umahi. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, says he will feel bad if the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not give the South-East a chance at the presidency, come 2023.

2. “I remain committed to his agenda for our great Nation and shall continue to support him in any way possible.”

A file photo of the former Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, at his office in Abuja. Photo: Twitter- @EngrSMamman

 

Former Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, declares his support for the Muhammadu Buhari administration following his sack by the President.

3. “Today at the executive meeting, (party) president Suga said he wants to focus his efforts on anti-coronavirus measures and will not run in the leadership election.”

Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga leaves at the end of an extraordinary Diet session at the Upper House of parliament in Tokyo on September 17, 2020. / AFP / Behrouz MEHRI

 

Secretary General of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Toshihiro Nikai, reveals that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will not run for re-election as party leader in September.

4. “The sooner the Taliban will enter the family of civilised people, so to speak, the easier it will be to contact, communicate, and somehow influence and ask questions.”

File photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the International Military-Technical Forum “Army-2021” held in the Patriot Park, in Kubinka outside Moscow on August 23, 2021. (Photo by Ramil SITDIKOV / SPUTNIK / AFP)

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he hopes the Taliban will behave in a “civilised” manner in Afghanistan so the global community can maintain diplomatic ties with Kabul.

5. “I am the landlord, I didn’t give myself, the constitution gave me that power.”

A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV
A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

 

Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku issues a stern warning to residents of the Mambilla Plateau, urging them not to sell lands to “selfish politicians” who storm the area in order to benefit from compensations meant for the Mambilla hydroelectric power project site.

6. “The report of the audit committee showed that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta and even before the submission of the report, some contractors have returned to site on their own and completed about 77 road projects.”

A file photo of the Niger Delta Development Commission headquarters building in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
A file photo of the Niger Delta Development Commission headquarters building in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

 

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio says the Forensic Audit Report of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) indicates that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects within the coastal region.

7. “Nigeria has 10.6 million cannabis users, this is the highest in the world, isn’t it sad?”

File photo of NDLEA Chairman, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (rtd)

 

Since January 2021, drugs worth over ₦100 billion have been seized and about 1,630 criminals arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, says Brig. Gen Buba Marwa.

8. “The principle would be a grouping of qualifiers every year, and at the end of the season a major competition, World Cup or continental championship.”

Arsenal’s former coach Arsene Wenger was named FIFA’s world football development director, the Zurich-based body said on November 13, 2019. Ozan KOSE / AFP

 

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger calls for World Cup to be held every two years in an interview with French sports daily L’Equipe.

9. “This is to confirm to you that suspected kidnappers at about 06:45hrs along Lagos-Benin expressway, by Isuwa, kidnapped five unidentified persons and in the process shot to death one Sowore Felix Olajide, male, a pharmacy student of Igbinedion University, Okada.”

The late Olajide Sowore.

 

The Edo State Police Command confirms the murder of Olajide Sowore, brother to Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore by suspected kidnappers.

10. “The trajectory into the future is bright. If you see some of the things we have been able to do under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to exit recession in record time, most established democracies are still battling with the recession.”

A file photo of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
A file photo of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

 

Despite the current challenges facing Nigeria, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, is optimistic that the nation’s trajectory is good.

11. “For us to reach the level of development that we need in our country, every part, segment and strata of the society must have a developed, deliberately focused leadership, so that what we do at the local level compliments what we do at the state level and from there, terminating at the apex – at the Federal level.”

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, briefs reporters after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on June 24, 2021.

 

Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, attributes leadership deficit as one of the factors preventing Nigeria from achieving sustainable economic growth and development, and addressing insecurity and other socioeconomic problems.

12. “We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations.”

In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook app logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP
In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook app logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP

 

Facebook apologizes and disables its topic recommendation feature after it mistook Black men for “primates” in video at the social network.

13. “The committee is to identify grazing routes and work with states and map them. It is not to recover grazing routes, it is to identify the scale of the problem.”

Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today on September 2, 2021. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, argues that mapping out grazing routes will help to identify the scale of the herder-farmer crisis.

14. “Police have located the man and he has been shot. He has died at the scene.”

New Zealand flag.

 

Authorities in New Zealand speak after police shoot dead a man who wounded six people in an attack at an Auckland supermarket.

15. “You come with what you know how to do best.”

A screengrab of Ric Hassani during an interview with Channels TV’s “Sunrise”.

 

Pop singer, Ric Hassani, reveals why his sound differs from the normal “Nigerian music” sound.

16. “He asked me what I was willing to do for music.”

 

In bombshell testimony, a 32-year-old man says he became associated with Kelly’s entourage and pleaded guilty in 2021 to attempting to bribe a woman who would potentially testify against the musician.

17. “What has happened is largely a repeat of the things we have seen in the past.”

Chairman of the Northern Governors' Forum, Mr Simon Lalong made an appearance on Channels Television on February 9, 2021.
Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Mr Simon Lalong .

 

A former member of the House of Representatives, Bitrus Kaze, says the Governor Simon Lalong-led administration has not done enough to change the dynamics of the conflict in Plateau State and secure the lives of the people.

18. “If you look at the President’s statement, in no place will you see that; not at all. In no place will you see those words that performance was weak, he didn’t say that.”

A combination of file photos of Mr Mohammed Nanono and Mr Saleh Mamman.

 

President Buhari’s media adviser, Femi Adesina, makes clarifications regarding the sacking of two ministers.

19.  “Well, it happened because, perhaps for the first time in the history of the country, and of the NNPC, there is a President who is not using the place like a personal Automated Teller Machine (ATM).”

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on October 23, 2020.

 

The Media Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, explains why the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recently declared profit.

Japan PM Suga To Step Down, Says Party

File photo:  Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga leaves at the end of an extraordinary Diet session at the Upper House of parliament in Tokyo on September 17, 2020. / AFP / Behrouz MEHRI

 

Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday he will not run for re-election as party leader this month, effectively ending his tenure after just one year, his party’s secretary general said.

Suga announced his intention to resign at an emergency meeting of senior members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Toshihiro Nikai told reporters.

“Today at the executive meeting, (party) president Suga said he wants to focus his efforts on anti-coronavirus measures and will not run in the leadership election,” Nikai said.

“Honestly, I’m surprised. It’s truly regrettable. He did his best but after careful consideration, he made this decision,” he added.

The shock announcement comes with Suga’s approval ratings at an all-time low over his government’s handling of the response to the pandemic.

But it was a decision that had not been foreshadowed, with Suga dropping no hints of his plans to leave office after just a single year in power and before contesting his first general election.

He came to office last year, stepping into the post left empty when Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe resigned for health reasons.

Suga had been widely expected to seek reelection as LDP leader in a vote set for September 29, with most speculation surrounding only how soon after that he would call a general election.

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The election must be called by late October, and the LDP is expected to remain in power but possibly lose seats as a result of Suga’s unpopularity.

His government’s approval rating has nosedived to an all-time low of 31.8 percent according to a poll by the Kyodo news agency last month.

And recent reports about his plans for a cabinet reshuffle, as an attempt to remedy his unpopularity, appeared to be insufficient.

Suga has been battered by his government’s response to the pandemic, with Japan struggling through a record fifth wave of the virus after a slow start to its vaccine programme.

Much of the country is currently under virus restrictions, and the measures have been in place in some areas for almost the entire year.

But they have been insufficient to stop a surge in cases driven by the more contagious Delta variant, even as the vaccine programme has picked up pace with nearly 43 percent of the population fully inoculated.

Japan has recorded nearly 16,000 deaths during the pandemic.

The 72-year-old Suga’s election as prime minister last year capped a lengthy political career.

Before taking the top office he served in the prominent role of chief cabinet secretary, and he had earned a fearsome reputation for wielding his power to control Japan’s sprawling and powerful bureaucracy.

The son of a strawberry farmer and a schoolteacher, Suga was raised in rural Akita in northern Japan and put himself through college after moving to Tokyo by working at a factory.

He was elected to his first office in 1987 as a municipal assembly member in Yokohama outside Tokyo, and entered parliament in 1996.

AFP

Japan PM, Biden To Meet In US On April 16

A file photo combination of Biden and Suga.

 

Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will hold face-to-face talks with Joe Biden in Washington on April 16, as the first foreign leader hosted by the US president, the Japanese government said Friday.

Local media had reported the trip would take place next week, but top government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said the mid-April date would give both sides time to prepare.

The trip comes at a time of renewed focus on China’s role in the region, as well as its alleged abuses of the Uyghur minority and its crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong.

“We had been coordinating for early April, and a final decision was made that the date will be April 16, to allow us to prepare to make sure the prime minister’s US visit is successful,” Kato said.

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The talks follow a visit by the Pentagon chief and top US diplomat to Japan in March when the two countries warned China against “coercion and destabilising behaviour”.

Kato said Suga’s trip would be a chance to discuss “strengthening the Japan-US alliance” and issues ranging from the coronavirus to climate change.

Matters related to China and North Korea will also likely be on the agenda, Kato added. North Korea carried out missile tests last week in its first substantive provocation since Biden took office.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks about Monday’s mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, in the State Dining Room at the White House on March 23, 2021 in Washington, DC.

 

Suga, 72, became prime minister in September after his predecessor Shinzo Abe stepped down for health reasons.

He has had his first shot of Covid-19 vaccine in preparation for the US trip, although Japan is not expected to begin mass jabs for weeks.

Suga will also reportedly use the trip to invite Biden to the Tokyo Olympics, due to begin on July 23 after a year’s pandemic delay.

AFP