| 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 ...

| 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 ...