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TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Cabinet resigned, clearing the way for his successor to take over after parliamentary confirmation later Wednesday.

Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, announced last month that he was stepping down because of health problems.

“I devoted my body and soul for the economic recovery and diplomacy to protect Japan’s national interest every single day since we returned to power,” Abe told reporters at the prime minister’s office before heading into his final Cabinet meeting.

“During this time, I was able to tackle various challenges together with the people, and I’m proud of myself.”

He said his health is improving thanks to treatment and that he, as a lawmaker, will support his successor-to-be, Yoshihide Suga, from now on. He also thanked the people for their understanding and strong support for the upcoming leadership under Suga.

Suga, chief Cabinet secretary for Abe’s government and long seen as his right-hand man, was chosen Monday as the new head of the governing Liberal Democratic Party, virtually guaranteeing his election as prime minister in a parliamentary vote Wednesday because of the party’s majority.

Suga, a self-made politician and the son of a strawberry grower in the northern prefecture of Akita, has stressed his background in promising to serve the interests of ordinary people and rural communities.

He has said he will pursue Abe’s unfinished policies, and that his top priorities will be fighting the coronavirus and turning around an economy battered by the pandemic. He gained the support of party heavyweights and their followers early in the campaign on expectations he would continue Abe’s line.

Suga has been a loyal supporter of Abe since Abe’s first stint as prime minister from 2006 to 2007. Abe’s tenure ended abruptly because of illness, and Suga helped him return as prime minister in 2012.

Abe, 65, has ulcerative colitis and his current treatment requires IV injections. He said last month his condition has improved but, facing ongoing treatment and physical weakness, he decided to resign.

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Suga has praised Abe’s diplomacy and economic policies when asked about what he would like to accomplish as prime minister.

Suga, who does not belong to any wing within the party and opposes factionalism, says he is a reformer who will break down vested interests and rules that hamper reforms. He says he will set up a new government agency to speed up Japan’s lagging digital transformation.

In a reshuffle of the ruling party key posts, however, Suga evenly allocated top posts to key factions, a balancing act seen as a return of favor for their support in the leadership race.

Suga said he will appoint “reform-minded, hard-working people” to the new Cabinet, to be launched later Wednesday. About half of the members in the Abe Cabinet are expected to be retained or shifted to different ministerial posts.

Media reports say some key ministers, including Finance Minister Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto, and Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, the son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, will stay. Abe’s younger brother, Nobuo Kishi, is reportedly tapped as defense minister, replacing Taro Kono who is expected be shifted to administrative reforms minister.

Compared to his political prowess at home, Suga has hardly traveled overseas and his diplomatic skills are unknown, though he is largely expected to pursue Abe’s priorities.

The new prime minister will inherit a range of challenges, including relations with China, which continues its assertive actions in the contested East China Sea, and what to do with the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed to next summer due to the coronavirus. And he will have to establish a good relationship with whomever wins the U.S. presidential race.

News Source: newsbrig.com

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U. of Wisconsin Grad Student Lied About Being Black, Resigns from Teaching Position

A graduate student at the University of Wisconsin recently announced that she has lied about her race. Graduate student CV Vitolo-Haddad, who is actually Sicilian, wrote in a blog post this week that she has pretended to be black for some time. At one point, Vitolo-Haddad also told her peers that she identified as Latino. She has resigned from her position as a teaching assistant

According to a report by the New York Post, University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student CV Vitolo-Haddad admitted recently that she had lied about being black and Latino. Vitolo-Haddad is just one of several progressive activists that have falsely claimed to be black in the past several years.

“When asked if I identify as Black, my answer should have always been ‘No.’ There were three separate instances I said otherwise. I should not have adopted any identity outside of what I know,” Vitolo-Haddad wrote in a Medium post. “I should have recognized my commitments to liberation can be based on my experiences without incorporating those experiences into my identity. I should have instead been clear and honest about how I identify and talked through people’s perceptions and ideas of me.”

In the blog post, Vitolo-Haddad admitted that she is actually Sicilian. She claims that she was inspired to claim a minority identity after hearing conflicting claims about her racial heritage from her parents.

“What I know is that I am Southern Italian/Sicilian. In trying to make sense of my experiences with race, I grossly misstepped. I went along with however people saw me,” she wrote” I over-identified with unreliable and unproven family history and latched onto anything I remembered growing up. All of those actions were deeply misguided and have caused an incredible amount of hurt for the Madison community, those I organize with, and everyone who has been exposed to this public reckoning. It was my choice and error to identify any differently.”

Vitolo-Haddad has resigned from her position as a teaching assistant. She has also stepped down as the co-president of the UW chapter of the Teaching Assistants’ Association.

Vitolo-Haddad was criticized by commenters over her failure to directly admit that she is “white” in the blog post. One commenter even claimed that Vitolo-Haddad had previously invalidated the perspectives of others on the basis of their “white privilege.”

It is amazing to me that even in this second statement you cannot bring yourself to just say “I am white.” You constantly used “white” as a way to shut down committed organizers you disliked or resented, assassinating their character as a way to avoid constructive political debate. You accused whole left organizations of being too white to participate in coalition work (and these are orgs with ACTUAL POC members that you conveniently and stubbornly ignored for your political purposes)…Anytime a white person disagreed with you on a political point however reasonably, you would point out that since they were white they had no place having an opinion, and act self righteous and injured.

Breitbart News reported at the beginning of the month that George Washington University Professor Jessica Krug admitted that she had also lied about being black. In reality, Krug is a white woman from Kansas City, Missouri.

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