| Amid lengthening friction between the Changwon city government and the NC baseball team on the selection of a baseball stadium site, local governments have come out of the woodwork hoping to shift the home base of the NC team to theirs. In addition to the city governments of Ulsan and Pohang, Seongnam had set out to take home the NC baseball team.
Yet Changwon will likely end up being the final place for NC, as the city government of Changwon has made it clear that it will shift the location of the new baseball stadium to the current Masan sports complex site from the former site of the Army College in Jinhae.
Changwon Mayor Ahn Sang-soo said in a news conference on Thursday that Changwon has decided to accept the shift of site to the Masan sports complex that NC demanded. "It was regrettable that confusion was stirred in the process of naming a baseball stadium siteJapan뭩 Liberal Democratic Party Tomomi Inada has poured cold water over Korea-Japan relations by claiming that the Kono Statement should be revised. She said this immediately after taking office as chair of the Policy Research Council. The Kono Statement was made in 1993 by then-Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, and acknowledges the involvement of the Japanese military in the recruitment of the system of sexual slavery. It is one of the pillars of Korea-Japan diplomatic relations.
Inada, who has transferred from minister in charge of administrative reform on Wednesday appeared on the private broadcaster BS Fuji and attacked the Kono statement. She deplored the situation, which is detracting from Japan뭩 honor in the global community due to what she claimed were falsehoods. The chair of the Policy Research Council is one of the three leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party and conducts prior deliberation of government bills, reflects the opinions of the various sectors, and exerts influence on the Cabinet뭩 policymaking. Her predecessor Takaichi Sanae, 53, had also proposed to the government that a new statement should replace the Kono Statement.
Inada, a Waseda University-educated former lawyer, is a female politician who has broadened her base as a right-wing brand along with Takaichi. In 2013, when Osaka Mayor Toru Hashitomo뭩 comment that the sex slaves were necessary became problematic, she defended him, saying although the comfort women issue is sad, she thought it was true that it was legal during the Pacific War. She also joined 45 ruling and opposition party lawmakers in the support of full-page advertisement in the Washington Post prior to the comfort women resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives claiming that there was no evidence that the Japanese military intervened in forcibly conscripting sex slaves.
Her stance on history leans towards the ultra-right wing. She chaired in 2006 the group of Tradition and Creation comprising of new lawmakers in her party and said the International Military Tribunal for the Far East is in violation of international law. She also claimed that the Yasukuni Shrine is not a place to vow no war but to swear that they would follow in the war dead뭩 footsteps if something should happen to their mother land. After joining the Cabinet in December 2012, she has paid respects at the Yasukuni Shrine without missing. In 2011, she stirred controversy by holding a meeting with a Neo Nazi leader who visited the Japanese parliament and posed for a photograph with him.
She is also a hard-liner towards Korea as well. In August 2011, she was denied entry into Korea at Gimpo Airport on her way to Ulleung Island claiming that the Dokdo Islets were Japanese territory along with fellow lawmakers including Yoshitaka Shindo.
Wako University professor Mieko Takenobu said to the Tokyo Shimbun on the revision of Shinzo Abe뭩 reshuffle of his Cabinet that although the appointment of the female minister was to appease women뭩 anxiety on conservative policies owing to emphasis on women, a conservative women was selected. As NC keeps claiming that it would not move to the Jinhae stadium, the Changwon city government is unable to stand by its previous stance.
Accordingly, NC뭩 new baseball stadium will likely be built on the site of Masan sports complex next to the current Masan Baseball Stadium. Ahn said the current building would not be razed, instead be remodeled. On the former site of the Army college, where the new stadium was initially planned, a state-of-the-art R&D base and a second campus for the Changwon Moonsung University have been promised.
Yet there still remain obstacles. Ahn said that a few years before Changwon city government offered favorable conditions in the process of bringing NC to Changwon. He said unreasonable items should be reviewed, expressing his commitment to a new agreement. Now that NC has had its way in getting the building of a new baseball stadium on the site of the Masan sports complex some speculate the Changwon government plans to demand NC chip in for part of the building expenses, which are estimated to be some 108 million dollars. Initially, the Changwon government had said it would build NC a new baseball stadium for free.
Jinhae region residents are also objecting. Lawmaker Kim Sung-chan from Jinhae visited Changwon immediately after the Changwon Mayor뭩 announcement that the Mayor must take responsibility for unilaterally letting down the administrative confidence. Kim said a realistic development plan for the must be devised.
NC said it welcomed the decision of Changwon and that it would sign a detailed agreement soon with the city government of Changwon and see the swift completion of the new stadium.