Apr 7, 2010

Getting along with China

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, delivering a government work report at the third session of the 11th National People’s Congress in March, claimed that China was “first in the world to realize economic recovery and positive turnaround” following the international financial crisis, and that its ...

Mar 9, 2010

Hatoyama's growth strategy for economy raises questions

Responding to the criticism that the Hatoyama Cabinet lacks a growth strategy, the government on Dec. 30 unveiled the basic policy of its new strategy for economic growth titled “For a Shining Japan.” The government intends to achieve “economic growth driven by demand expansion” ...

Jan 29, 2010

Building on Copenhagen

Last month the 15th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15) closed by announcing the Copenhagen Accord drawn up by major participating countries. Although the process produced some positive results — such as calls for steps to hold ...

Jan 8, 2010

Public hopes fade to fears over the DPJ's capabilities

The Hatoyama Cabinet’s approval rating is falling rapidly. In the Lower House election last August, people in Japan rejected the Liberal Democratic Party’s long years of reliance on vested interests in favor of the Democratic Party of Japan for a change of government. From ...

Dec 1, 2009

East Asian Community primer

Since taking office, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has attached importance to East Asia policy and has proposed, in Japan and abroad, his vision for creating an East Asian Community (EAC). The idea of promoting regional cooperation in Asia dates back to the Pacific Rim ...

Nov 12, 2009

Emissions cap-and-trade as policy?

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, at the United Nations Summit on Climate Change held Sept. 22, stated Japan’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, which is premised on “all the major economies” agreeing on ambitious targets. Other ...

Oct 3, 2009

Hopes and tasks for the DPJ

In a Yomiuri Shimbun opinion survey conducted just after the election, 72 percent of those polled had an optimistic view of the Democratic Party of Japan, reflecting a favorable popular response to the outcome of the Aug. 30 general election. Yet, in an Asahi ...

Aug 23, 2009

Japan has plenty of work to do in transforming how it governs

The world is changing dramatically and political governance is at stake. The U.S. subprime loan fiasco spawned a global financial crisis and the world economy is assailed by a recession comparable to the Great Depression of the 1930s. At the financial summits of November ...

Aug 22, 2009

The decline of policymaking

I have misgivings about the decline of Japanese policymaking abilities. Politics, on the basis of democracy, should have the functions of making decisions on fundamental national policies, making budgets and laws, and settling financial accounts. Administration, on the other hand, is in charge of ...

Aug 21, 2009

Decay of Japanese politics

Japan’s politics in recent years has lacked dynamism and incurred people’s distrust. The purpose of politics is to present a vision for the nation’s future, identify the systems and policies needed, and ensure the safety and prosperity of the nation and its people. Recently, ...