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Jiji Press

TOKYO (Jiji Press) Senior Japanese and U.S. diplomats reconfirmed Tuesday that
their countries plus South Korea will closely cooperate to keep exerting pressure
on North Korea, which continues nuclear and missile development.

Its important for Japan, the United States and South Korea to work more closely
than ever, while cooperating with China and Russia as well, Vice Foreign Minister
Shinsuke Sugiyama told reporters after meeting with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
John Sullivan in Tokyo.

The United States does not rule out the possibility of holding direct dialogue with
North Korea, but the focus now is on putting pressure on the reclusive country,
Sullivan said.

The two also discussed issues related to U.S. President Donald Trumps visit to
Japan from Nov. 5.

The presidential visit will be a great opportunity to show anew the robust Japan-
U.S. alliance to the world amid the toughening security environment in the region,
including provocations by North Korea, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami
told a press conference.

Sugiyama and Sullivan are set to hold a trilateral meeting with South Korean First
Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung Nam in Seoul on Wednesday.

In line with this, a meeting will be held among the three countries top
representatives in the six-party talks on dismantling North Koreas nuclear
program. Kenji Kanasugi, director general of the Foreign Ministrys Asian and
Oceanian Affairs Bureau, will represent Japan in the talks.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Women account for a record 17.7 percent of the candidates in the current House of
Representatives election, with 209 women running for seats. However, this is still
a long way from the different parties election pledges to even the numbers of male
and female lawmakers.

The Liberal Democratic Party pledged to pass as early as possible a bill for the
promotion of equal participation of men and women in the political sphere. The bill
aims to oblige political parties to make efforts to make the number of male and
female candidates in national and other elections as equal as possible.

Some other parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, are touting the high
target of making the numbers of male and female Diet members equal.

In reality, however, 8 perecent of the LDPs candidates are women, compared to 24

percent for the JCP.

As far as the number of female candidates in the current election is concerned, it

cannot be denied that the parties pledges are merely slogans.

Before the official start of the election campaign, only 9.1 percent of lower house
members were women.

In the LDP and other long-established parties, members of the recently dissolved
lower house, most of whom are men, have been endorsed as candidates in many cases.
There is little room for women to get in, a source related to the LDP said. Even
among the 44 new candidates from the party, only two are women.

It is easier for newly established parties and others to actively field female
candidates because they include fewer candidates from the recently dissolved lower

Women make up 24 percent of the candidates of the Constitutional Democratic Party

of Japan, and 20 percent of the candidates for Kibo no To (Party of Hope). Among
Kibos 124 new candidates, 41 are women.

There is also the fact that the parties efforts to field female candidates did not
go as they hoped, partly because the lower house was abruptly dissolved.


The Yomiuri Shimbun

Kibo leader Yuriko Koike said in her stump speech in Sagamihara on Thursday: I
wish we could have fielded more [female candidates]. Its a pity we didnt have
enough time.

The highest number of female candidates in history was 229, in the lower house
election in 2009. Of this group, 54 won seats and the percentage of women among all
successful candidates was also a record high of 11.3 percent.

Of the 229 women, 40 were from the then Democratic Party of Japan. Because Ichiro
Ozawa, who is now coleader of the Liberal Party, coached them on how to compete in
the election campaign, they were dubbed Ozawa girls.

A focal point of the current election is whether women can surpass the previous
records of winning 54 seats and accounting for 11.3 percent of the victors.

The important point is how to form a consensus inside political parties, because
if the number of female candidates increases, there will be less opportunities for
men. More voters also need to criticize the fact that womens opinions are not
sufficiently reflected in politics, said Prof. Mieko Nakabayashi of Waseda
University, who was once a lower house member and is well versed in womens
participation in politics