Dec 8, 2014

Amending the Constitution

The political landscape emerging from the Dec. 14 Lower House election will impact when or whether a revision to Japan's Constitution becomes a major agenda item.

Oct 2, 2014

Ray of hope for democrats

by Chikako Nakayama

For those Japanese who grumble about low voter turnouts in local and national elections, or who complain about the secretive character of political procedures, the open, democratic process of the recent Scottish referendum on independence was an object of envy.

Oct 1, 2014

The achievements of Takako Doi

People who respect the ideals of Takako Doi, the former head of the Social Democratic Party who died last month at 85, have a lot to learn from what she achieved and what she could not achieve in Japanese politics,

Sep 28, 2014

Lower House electoral reform

A panel of experts has begun discussions on addressing Lower House electoral reforms, particularly the vote-value disparity between rural and urban districts, after talks among the ruling and opposition parties failed.

Sep 24, 2014

New Komeito's raison d'etre

Natsuo Yamaguchi, the just re-elected chief of New Komeito, and other party leaders should realize that if the party fails to ensure that Japan stays on the pacifist road with respect to the passage of new legislation, it will lose its raison d'etre.

Sep 18, 2014

Time to bridge the vote-value gap

Time is running for lawmakers to correct the "unconstitutional" vote-value gap between constituencies for the next triennial election of the Upper House. Discord with the Liberal Democratic Party over the matter doesn't help.

Sep 16, 2014

Repairing Japan-China ties

The leaders of China and Japan need to take quick action to repair mutual ties that have unraveled since the Japanese government two years ago nationalized three of the Senkaku Islands — over which China also claims sovereignty.

Sep 4, 2014

Keep a close eye on new Cabinet

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reshuffled executive posts of the Liberal Democratic Party and his Cabinet apparently with the aim of setting up his re-election as the Liberal Democratic Party's president in autumn 2015.

Jun 9, 2014

Creeping Orwellian angst

Legislative attempts to criminalize the act of "conspiracy" to commit some crimes as well as other government moves are enough to cause anxiety that Japan may be inching toward an Orwellian society.

Apr 28, 2014

Plug political funding loopholes

The fact that a question even exists on whether Your Party former chief Yoshimi Watanabe broke the law when he personally borrowed ¥800 million from a cosmetics company chairman ahead of elections points to the inadequacy of current laws on political funding transparency.

Apr 27, 2014

Politicians running in place

by Jiro Yamaguchi

Today, there's not so much political competition in Japan between the ruling and opposition camps as there is among opposition parties seeking to ally themselves with the ruling camp. Have individual lawmakers become less willing to take risks by speaking up?