Mar 23, 2012

Foes to sales tax hike in DPJ impede bill

The administration and the Democratic Party of Japan failed again Thursday to form a consensus among party members on the contentious consumption tax hike, postponing until next week a planned Cabinet meeting to formalize the bill. The administration originally planned to formalize the unpopular ...

Ozawa portrait hung at Diet with other old-timers

Mar 13, 2012

Ozawa portrait hung at Diet with other old-timers

A portrait of former Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa, who is on trial for allegedly breaking the political funds law, was displayed in the Diet on Monday. According to the Lower House, lawmakers who have been in office for over 25 years ...

Mar 6, 2012

DPJ leaders propose slashing lawmaker salaries by 14%

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan’s executive members decided Monday to slash legislators’ salaries by about 14 percent — nearly double the 7.8 percent pay cut for civil servants approved by the Diet last week. DPJ Secretary General Azuma Koshiishi proposed cutting ¥3 million ...

Mar 1, 2012

In rare case of bipartisanship, Diet cuts bureaucrats' pay

A bill to slash national civil servant salaries by an average of 7.8 percent for two years was enacted Wednesday after clearing the opposition-controlled Upper House. The bill will save about ¥580 billion in the two years from April 1. The savings will be ...

Mar 1, 2012

10% wage cut for Diet ranks OK by Noda

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Wednesday he would advocate cutting the salaries of lawmakers by more than 10 percent. Noda’s remarks came in a one-on-one Diet debate with opposition leaders held for the first time in the current Diet session. When asked by New ...

Noda tax quest one dimensional?

Feb 29, 2012

Noda tax quest one dimensional?

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has cleared numerous political hurdles since taking office in September, but his goal of raising the consumption tax and reforming the social security system may prove insurmountable as he wages a two-front battle. Noda faces rebellion from within the ranks ...

Feb 24, 2012

Civil servant pay cuts clear Lower House

The Lower House passed a bill Thursday to cut civil servants’ salaries 7.8 percent for two years in a move expected to save taxpayers ¥580 billion. The bill was immediately sent to the Upper House, which is expected to enact the legislation by the ...

| Feb 18, 2012

Fiscal ills not DPJ's doing but it's holding the bag

The tax and social security reform outline adopted by the Cabinet on Friday indicate the government has run out of options and must finally address welfare costs and public finances that have been spiralling out of control for years. Many members of the ruling ...

Literary awards run spectrum

| Feb 14, 2012

Literary awards run spectrum

When writer Shinya Tanaka won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize last month, he said, “I deserve this,” paraphrasing U.S. actress Shirley MacLaine at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1984. His cynicism about selection committee members and Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara also drew attention from the ...