| 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 ...

| Nov 25, 2008

U.S.-China ties weaken alliances

As the United States works harder than ever to strengthen relations with China, there are signs its alliances with Japan and Taiwan are weakening. A conspicuous sign of change in Japan-U.S. ties came early Oct. 12 when President George W. Bush telephoned Prime Minister ...

| Nov 17, 2008

LDP split on when to fight

A serious schism has developed within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Prime Minister Taro Aso between those who demand an early general election and those who favor waiting for the political and economic situation to improve so that the party has a better ...

| Oct 28, 2008

DPJ leadership after Ozawa

At an extraordinary convention of the Democratic Party of Japan in Tokyo on Sept. 21, DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa surprised party members by declaring that the upcoming Lower House election will be his last opportunity to lead a nationwide political campaign. Saying he is ...

| Oct 20, 2008

Aso's curtailed prospects

Although Taro Aso won a landslide victory in the presidential election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Sept. 22 and was elected prime minister two days later, his administration could conceivably become the shortest in history, shorter even than the record 54 days ...

| Sep 26, 2008

Japan's mature spectators

Has democracy matured in Japan? Scholar-turned-politician Yoichi Masuzoe used to say Japan is a mature democratic nation, as its politics is led by public opinion. Recently, however, he seems to have reversed his way of thinking, as he states that Japanese citizens have become ...

| 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 ...