Aug 28, 2012

Rectifying vote-value gap still beyond reach?

Even if Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda dissolves the Lower House and calls an election, before a poll can be held he must rectify a major constitutional problem: the vote-value disparity in the Lower House. Since the Supreme Court ruled last year that vote-value disparities ...

Aug 28, 2012

DPJ fix for vote-value gap wins panel nod

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan voted Monday in an opposition-boycotted Lower House committee to back its legislation aimed at rectifying the national disparity in vote values, which is threatening the constitutionality of Japan’s elections. The bills, which are expected to clear a Lower ...

Death with dignity bills heading toward Diet

Aug 25, 2012

Death with dignity bills heading toward Diet

It was 2 a.m. when Chiaki rushed to the hospital to see her 63-year-old father, who had collapsed from a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Six hours after surgery, the doctor told her and her mother that he was going to die even though the operation ...

Did hearings let public send clear nuke signal?

| Aug 14, 2012

Did hearings let public send clear nuke signal?

The 11 government-sponsored hearings on what the public thinks the nation’s future energy mix should be in light of the Fukushima nuclear crisis ended earlier this month to mixed reviews. Many participants appeared doubtful the government truly intended to take their opinions into serious ...

Aug 11, 2012

Upper House passes bill to hike sales levy

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda achieved a major goal Friday when the Upper House passed his administration’s social security and tax reform bills that will double the sales tax to 10 percent by 2015. Noda has staked his political career on the unpopular plan to ...

Noda snubs LDP call to set dissolution date

Aug 9, 2012

Noda snubs LDP call to set dissolution date

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda managed Wednesday to avoid being slapped with a double-punch no confidence vote and censure motion by the Liberal Democratic Party by promising to call for a snap election “soon.” Noda met with LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki and New Komeito leader ...

Aug 8, 2012

LDP pulls threat, will vote on bill for tax hike

In an apparent about-face Tuesday, the Liberal Democratic Party agreed to vote in favor of the contentious tax hike and social security legislation in the Upper House on Wednesday. But at the same time, the conservative party threatened to up the pressure on Prime ...

Aug 7, 2012

LDP chief holds tax bill hostage to election

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda needs to give assurances that he will dissolve the Lower House and call a snap election before the Liberal Democratic Party votes for his social security and tax reform bills in the Upper House, the leader of the top opposition ...

Kids' safety key worry in Fukushima

Aug 3, 2012

Kids' safety key worry in Fukushima

A year and half after the start of the nuclear crisis, many who attended the government’s latest public hearing on energy policy in Fukushima on Wednesday still expressed concern about the impact of radiation on their children. “I’m really terrified,” said a city resident ...

Aug 2, 2012

Fukushima residents rip nuke power

Residents of Fukushima Prefecture, speaking Wednesday at a government-sponsored public hearing on national energy policy, called for an end to dependence on nuclear energy by 2030. The event in the prefecture that hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant was the latest in ...