| Nov 11, 2003

SDP, JCP setbacks spell trouble for Constitution

The setbacks suffered by the Social Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party, which were both reduced to less than 10 seats in Sunday’s House of Representatives election, mark a sharp decline in forces committed to opposing any change to the war-renouncing Constitution. Their ...

Scandal-tainted politicos ousted

| Nov 11, 2003

Scandal-tainted politicos ousted

by Reiji Yoshida

The results of Sunday’s election may have left a bitter taste in the mouths of some of the nation’s big names. Taku Yamasaki, vice president of the Liberal Democratic Party, handed in his resignation Monday after losing his Diet seat to opposition candidate Junichiro ...

NCP to disband, merge with LDP

| Nov 11, 2003

NCP to disband, merge with LDP

by Reiji Yoshida

The New Conservative Party will disband and join the Liberal Democratic Party, party executives said Monday. The NCP, the smallest force within the tripartite ruling coalition, suffered a crushing defeat in Sunday’s general election, losing five of its nine seats, including that of party ...

| Nov 8, 2003

Campaign financing still high, murky

by Masayuki Kitano

“Five pass, four fail.” That was a phrase long used to sum up the amounts of money — several hundred million yen — that separated winners from losers in Japan’s elections during decades of political corruption. In today’s money, that meant a winner had ...

| Nov 5, 2003

Fate of justices in voters' hands

by Hiroshi Matsubara

In the shadow of intense campaigning for Sunday’s Lower House election, nine people are quietly waiting for voters to decide whether they deserve to stay in the nation’s top judicial posts. Held simultaneously with the general election, the 19th national referendum on Supreme Court ...

Abductions equal terrorism: candidates

| Nov 4, 2003

Abductions equal terrorism: candidates

Some 93 percent of candidates in Sunday’s House of Representatives election believe that the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea constitutes terrorism, according to the results of a survey released Monday. Only 55 percent, however, advocate slapping sanctions on North Korea, such as ...

| Nov 4, 2003

Candidates pile on abduction bandwagon

by Eric Johnston

OSAKA — It was an unusually warm day in late October when a small crowd gathered around a candidate speaking outside Izumigaoka Station near Kansai airport. Shingo Nishimura, a fiery ultraconservative who in 1999 was forced to resign as vice minister of the Defense ...

| Nov 4, 2003

Foreigners are 'sneaky thieves,' governor says

Kanagawa Gov. Shigefumi Matsuzawa qualified his assertion Sunday that “all” foreigners are “sneaky thieves,” stating instead that only “some” are. Matsuzawa was delivering a campaign speech in support of a candidate running in the Nov. 9 House of Representatives general election near a railway ...