| Sep 19, 2008

Ozawa bets on a takeover

Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the No. 1 opposition Democratic Party of Japan, has long been known as a gambler, both at the casino and in the political arena. When he was his 40s, he often went to London to study British parliamentary politics, which ...

| Aug 22, 2008

Abe edging back into fight

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to be trying to move back into the political limelight, even though his close associates think it’s too early. As deputy chief Cabinet secretary under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Abe gained fame as a leader of the campaign ...

| Jul 22, 2008

Clustering with the Europeans

Japan was among the 111 countries that took part in an international conference held in Dublin, Ireland, in May and unanimously adopted a treaty that, in principle, prohibits all signatories from using, developing, producing, stockpiling, retaining or transferring cluster munitions. That means that the ...

| Jul 15, 2008

Keidanren hedging bets on LDP

The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) is showing signs of changing its unflinching support for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, as it seeks closer ties with the No. 1 opposition Democratic Party of Japan. This does not mean the federation is giving up on ...

| Jun 24, 2008

Silver-spoon politicians who rule

A growing number of politicians in Japan have “inherited” their parliamentary seats from their fathers. Unless this “hereditary” system is reversed, Japanese politics in all likelihood will continue on a path of decline. Since last year, one impasse after another has developed in the ...

| May 27, 2008

Tycoon aims to speed up politics

Business tycoon Hiroshi Okuda is said to be meeting frequently but secretly with leading figures of both the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the No. 1 opposition Democratic Party of Japan, apparently with an eye to reorganizing the political landscape after general elections expected ...

| May 19, 2008

Early election plot thickens

The ripples of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s hint in a recent speech at an early dissolution of the Lower House and a general election seems to have spread to leading figures in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The LDP’s election campaign chairman, Makoto ...

| Apr 16, 2008

Change sweeping North Korea

Drastic changes appear to be taking place in North Korea as its Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) further strengthens its grip and its strongman Kim Jong Il tackles three major tasks: to pave the way for announcing his successor, to minimize whatever damage may result ...

| Mar 25, 2008

Fukuda's pain is Aso's gain

The focal point in Japanese politics has been shifting from when Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will call general elections to who will replace him. As late as a month or two ago, there were hardly any calls within his Liberal Democratic Party to hold ...