| Jun 16, 2009

Ozawa's residual influence

Even after being forced to resign as Democratic Party of Japan president because of a scandal involving his secretary, Ichiro Ozawa appears to exert strong influence over his successor, Yukio Hatoyama. A second factor that may augur ill for the unity of the No. ...

| May 25, 2009

Paying Aso back with praise

Ranking officials at the Foreign Ministry appear more preoccupied with presenting Prime Minister Taro Aso as dexterous at diplomacy than promoting the national interest. One official has confided that it is now their turn to return the favor given to them when Aso was ...

| May 11, 2009

Ozawa weighs next move

The attention of many political observers appears to be focused on when and how, rather than if, Ichiro Ozawa will step down as the leader of the No. 1 opposition Democratic Party of Japan before the next general election due to take place no ...

| Apr 20, 2009

Looking for a new leader

David Cameron, the leader of the British opposition Conservative Party, is the envy of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which is in desperate need to find someone to replace or succeed Taro Aso, whose popularity remains low despite a political scandal involving the Democratic ...

| Mar 16, 2009

LDP is running on empty

Amid the dwindling approval rate of Prime Minister Taro Aso, triggered by a series of gaffes coming out of his own mouth and by disgraceful behavior of his right-hand man in the international arena, the conventional wisdom would call either for him to resign ...

| Feb 11, 2009

Breaking the U.S.-Japan jinx

Prime Minister Taro Aso seems eager to meet the new president of the United States, Barack Obama, as the initial step toward accomplishing something big in the field of diplomacy, and in an effort to put the brakes on the downward spiral of his ...

| Jan 28, 2009

Can Japan afford the DPJ?

With the Aso administration’s approval rating continuing to plunge, there appears to be a growing likelihood that the No. 1 opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, will defeat the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the next general election and take the reins of ...

| Jan 19, 2009

Aso getting the brushoff

As the approval rate for the government of Prime Minister Taro Aso plummets, bureaucrats have begun to distance themselves from him in favor of establishing closer ties with the No. 1 opposition Democratic Party of Japan, which they apparently think has at least a ...

| Dec 23, 2008

DPJ has a foot in the door

As the odds grow that the No. 1 opposition Democratic Party of Japan will take the reigns of government after the next general elections, the focus in the Japanese political arena is shifting to the lineup of a Cabinet headed by DPJ leader Ichiro ...

| Dec 16, 2008

Japan aches for a political rescue

Time appears to be ripe for a complete overhaul of the Japanese political landscape, but it is utterly impossible to predict how political parties will line up after the next general election. When Prime Minister Taro Aso came to power in September, it appeared ...