| 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 ...

| Jun 16, 2008

Reluctant runner viewed as possible Fukuda fill-in

It is expected that a race for Japan’s national leadership will start after Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda hosts the summit meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in Toyako, Hokkaido, in July. As the popularity of Fukuda dwindles, many political insiders think it ...

| 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 ...

| Mar 17, 2008

Ozawa's troops are restless

Political insiders have begun suspecting that Ichiro Ozawa may be losing his grip on the Democratic Party of Japan after a head-on collision between the DPJ and the governing coalition was averted during 11th-hour mediation by the Lower House speaker and the Upper House ...

| Feb 27, 2008

Wanted: world's best minds

With further globalization of economic strategies among the industrially advanced nations, fostering and securing “brains” in the scientific and technological fields has become of utmost importance to every country. It used to take a while before an invention, no matter how valuable, is recognized ...

| Feb 19, 2008

Fukuda and Ozawa plotting

A generally accepted view is that the opposition Democratic Party of Japan is bent on forcing Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to dissolve the Lower House and call general elections just as soon as possible, while the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and ...