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 ...

Will shrinking the Diet solve anything?

Feb 10, 2012

Will shrinking the Diet solve anything?

A company saddled with a hefty debt load might try to get back on a healthy track by laying off employees or reducing pay. The same holds true for a nation trying to tackle a dire fiscal situation. Japan, bedeviled by snowballing social security ...

Opposition digs in against Noda

Jan 27, 2012

Opposition digs in against Noda

Opposition lawmakers grilled Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Thursday over planned social security and tax reforms and his “inability” to keep his party’s campaign pledges, and pressed again for him to call a Lower House election. Just two days into the current 150-day ordinary ...

Noda team faces rocky Diet session

Jan 25, 2012

Noda team faces rocky Diet session

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says his partially reshuffled Cabinet is the best lineup ever, but it will need to be to face the turbulence expected in the Diet session that started Tuesday. Noda’s most challenging task will be the push by his Democratic Party ...

LDP chief pursues snap election at party rally

Jan 23, 2012

LDP chief pursues snap election at party rally

Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki pledged Sunday to force the ruling Democratic Party of Japan to dissolve the Lower House as early as possible so a snap election can be held to return the conservative party to power. “It’ll be a final political ...