| Mar 15, 2011

Rolling blackouts to affect lifelines, transportation, medical needs

Tokyo Electric Power Co. started rationing power throughout much of the Kanto plain on Monday to prevent a nuclear power plant crisis in Fukushima Prefecture from causing a complete blackout of the Tokyo metropolitan region and surrounding areas. The prefectures affected include Tokyo, Gunma, ...

Mar 11, 2011

Moms speak out for Hague treaty

Japanese mothers whose children were spirited away by their foreign husbands urged the government Thursday to sign the Hague Treaty to prevent cross-border parental child abductions. One of the mothers said she wants Japan to sign the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of ...

Activist fighting for LGBT rights

Mar 11, 2011

Activist fighting for LGBT rights

Harvey Milk is part of U.S. history but Japan has yet to see anyone like him 32 years after his assassination, according to Taiga Ishikawa, an openly gay candidate running for the Toshima Ward Assembly in Tokyo. Harvey Milk was the first openly gay ...

Edano named as temporary minister: Kan

Mar 8, 2011

Edano named as temporary minister: Kan

Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Monday appointed Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano to temporarily double as foreign minister following Seiji Maehara’s Sunday resignation for accepting illegal donations from a foreign national. Edano’s temporary appointment and Maehara’s resignation were approved at the day’s Cabinet meeting. ...

Mar 4, 2011

DPJ member bolts, ties with Nagoya mayor

A rookie Lower House member resigned Thursday from the Democratic Party of Japan to join a small group led by Nagoya Mayor Takashi Kawamura, weakening the ruling DPJ’s power in the Lower House by yet another vote. Yuko Sato’s departure is another blow to ...

Mar 2, 2011

Budget passed but 16 in DPJ skip vote

The Democratic Party of Japan’s executive council said Tuesday it will suspend the party membership of the leader of 16 DPJ rebels who refused to attend a Lower House plenary vote on the fiscal 2011 budget, which cleared the chamber anyway in a session ...

Mar 1, 2011

Budget near passage as DPJ abstentions loom

The Lower House was set to enact the fiscal 2011 budget early Tuesday morning, but the fate of related bills critical to financing the government’s massive debt remained up in the air with the divided Diet. The ¥92.4 trillion budget was set to clear ...

Ozawa ally quits farm post, fanning fears of DPJ meltdown

Feb 25, 2011

Ozawa ally quits farm post, fanning fears of DPJ meltdown

A Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker close to Ichiro Ozawa tendered his resignation Thursday as parliamentary secretary of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, adding to Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s woes. “I was told by (agriculture minister Michihiko) Kano to stay on in my ...

Feb 25, 2011

Nobuko Kan fliers rile, worry DPJ members

Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s unpopularity among voters is increasing and now his wife, Nobuko, appears to be coming in for the same treatment because of Democratic Party of Japan fliers that represent her as a comic character. During a meeting Thursday, party members complained ...

DPJ suspends Ozawa; Kan hints at election

Feb 23, 2011

DPJ suspends Ozawa; Kan hints at election

The Democratic Party of Japan’s key executive body opted Tuesday to suspend Ichiro Ozawa’s party membership pending the outcome of his trial, despite rising pressure from the indicted kingpin’s allies to withhold punishment. Besieged Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who is also the DPJ president, ...