Jun 21, 2012

Noda officially gives in on tax, welfare reform

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Democratic Party of Japan executives officially endorsed changes to the government’s social security and tax reform bills Wednesday, while signalling the Diet session will be extended, possibly to early September. Noda was forced to postpone a vote on the ...

Desperate Kurd plays final asylum card

May 26, 2012

Desperate Kurd plays final asylum card

The 42-year-old Kurdish asylum seeker’s wife and four children fled back to Turkey more than a year ago, terrified about the radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear crisis, but he stayed on, in limbo, hoping beyond hope that he would be permitted to remain ...

New JICA chief wants aid profile lift

May 23, 2012

New JICA chief wants aid profile lift

If Japan wants to maintain its international influence, it should increase, not pare, official development assistance because South Korea, China and other countries are boosting economic aid to key developing states, the new Japan International Cooperation Agency chief says. Throughout the 1990s, Japan was ...

Owner OK with metro bid to buy disputed Senkaku Islands

May 18, 2012

Owner OK with metro bid to buy disputed Senkaku Islands

Ever since Hiroyuki Kurihara and his family took title to the Senkaku Islands in the 1970s, they have firmly kept to the will of the previous owner: The islets are not to be sold to anyone but the Japanese government or a public organization. ...

Noda's vexing full plate: tax hike, Ozawa, Futenma, Senkakus

May 13, 2012

Noda's vexing full plate: tax hike, Ozawa, Futenma, Senkakus

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda hopes to persuade Okinawans to accept the government’s highly contentious plan to move the Futenma air base elsewhere in the prefecture once the burden of hosting U.S. forces there starts to ease. Vehement local opposition has stalled the proposed relocation ...

Diet finally starts deliberations on tax hike bill

May 12, 2012

Diet finally starts deliberations on tax hike bill

The Diet kicked off deliberations Friday on the contentious bill to double the 5 percent consumption tax by 2015, and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is urging the opposition camp to help ensure its passage by the end of the Diet session in June. During ...

Conservatives call for revising Constitution

May 4, 2012

Conservatives call for revising Constitution

The time has come for political parties to overcome their differences and join hands to revise the Constitution to suit the times, including by establishing of an “army” to protect Japan, its people and its territory, conservative lawmakers said Thursday. Marking the 65th anniversary ...

May 3, 2012

Conservative group wages war on Article 9

The war-renouncing clause to the Constitution is a threat to national security that leaves Japan vulnerable to foreign invasion and cyber-attacks and should be revised as soon as possible, a conservative citizens’ group said Wednesday. Article 9 is flawed because it prevents Japan from ...