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Eric Johnston

For Eric Johnston's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Jul 24, 2014

In Osaka, plan to merge wards faces stiff winds

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and his Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka) political group formally approved a plan Wednesday evening to consolidate the city’s 24 wards into five semiautonomous zones with their own elected leaders and assemblies rather than appointed officials. But with all ...

LDP candidate flounders in Shiga governor race

Jul 14, 2014

LDP candidate flounders in Shiga governor race

In a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the ruling coalition, Shiga voters chose as their next governor Taizo Mikazuki, the designated successor to Yukiko Kada, over a candidate heavily backed by the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito. The election was the ...

Jul 8, 2014

Odds fall on USJ casino ambition

As Osaka moves forward with plans to build an integrated resort complex in the hope that the Diet will soon legalize casinos, the future role of the Universal Studios Japan theme park remains unclear. Management is in a long-running dispute with Osaka municipal officials ...

Jul 2, 2014

U.S. hails defense revamp

Tuesday’s decision by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet to reinterpret the Constitution to allow collective self-defense has divided Japan, with some people fearing it would drag the nation into a U.S.-led war. But in the U.S., the change is being hailed as a positive ...