author

 
 
 Michael MacArthur Bosack

Meta

Michael MacArthur Bosack
Hiroshige Seko, former Liberal Democratic Party Upper House secretary-general, announces Thursday his intention to leave the LDP after receiving an official recommendation he do so following the party's political funds scandal.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Apr 5, 2024
Five takeaways from the funding scandal punishments
Political compromise was involved in the LDP punishment process, with many politicians caught up in the scandal remaining in relatively good positions.
Liberal Democratic Party heavyweight Toshihiro Nikai addresses a news conference Monday after he announced that he will not run in the next general election amid the political funds scandal engulfing his party.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Mar 28, 2024
Why LDP elder Nikai's announcement is a big deal (and isn't)
Despite portraying it as a move to preserve Nikai's legacy, it's seen as a proactive attempt to insulate himself and his associates from further scrutiny.
Factions, cliques, caucuses — whatever they may be called, groupings in legislatures are not unusual in many countries.
COMMENTARY / Japan / Perspectives
Mar 2, 2024
Is the funding scandal unraveling the LDP?
The media is caught up in the money-politics scandal of the moment, framing factions as all good or all bad. Things are a lot more nuanced than that.
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa (far left) and the prime minister of Samoa, Fiame Naomi Mataafa (far right), meet in Apia, the capital of Samoa, on Feb. 10.
COMMENTARY
Feb 21, 2024
Japan plays a game of Pacific islands geopolitical chess
The influx of Chinese investment and activities have introduced risk for some Pacific island nations, moves which Japan cannot ignore.
A sign erected in Hokkaido’s port of Nemuro calls for the return of the Russian-occupied islands that Japan calls the Northern Territories.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 13, 2024
Geopolitical chess: Unpacking the Northern Territories conundrum
While domestic motivation for Tokyo to resolve the Northern Territories dispute may endure, the opposite is true in Moscow.
Ground Self-Defense Force troops participate in a joint military drill and demonstration with the U.S., British, Canadian, German and other countries' militaries in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, on Jan. 7.
COMMENTARY / Japan / EXPLAINER
Feb 5, 2024
The Rosetta Stone to decipher Japan's new security deals
Japan has already signed several agreements this year that, together with previous ones, form a dense web of security pacts — one worth untangling.
Foreign Minister Yōko Kamikawa will likely face some institutional challenges in achieving quick and meaningful progress in advancing the United Nation's Women, Peace and Security initiative.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Feb 2, 2024
Japan unveils task force for gender-inclusive security issues
U.N. mandate spurs Japan into action with new task force aimed at enhancing women's roles in global conflict resolution.
The newly appointed leader of the Japanese Communist Party, Tomoko Tamura (front left), addresses the party convention on Jan. 18. The JCP is hoping its recent leadership change will improve its electoral fortunes.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 30, 2024
What the future holds for the Japanese Communist Party
After a decade of steadily declining seat counts in the Diet, the Japanese Communist Party has turned to its first-ever female leader.
Unfortunately for Japan, the demographic cliff is approaching and the government will need more than minor course adjustments to fix its Self-Defense Forces' recruitment woes.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 26, 2024
Cosmetic changes won’t fix the SDF’s recruitment problem
Facing demographic decline, Japan explores innovative solutions to boost recruitment in the Self-Defense Forces.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the dissolution of his LDP faction on Friday, marking a significant shift in the wake of a political funding scandal.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 22, 2024
Mired in scandal, the LDP chips away at its factions
Three LDP factions, including Kishida's, announced their dissolution last week. While it's unlikely that all groupings will meet the same fate, reform is in the air.
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa (right) met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on her visit to Kyiv on Jan. 7.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 15, 2024
Kamikawa’s surprise visit to Ukraine sent an important signal
As international support for Ukraine's war effort wavers, Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa's visit to Kyiv last week showed that Japan remains a key Kyiv ally.
Self-Defense Force personnel taking part in the earthquake-relief efforts help residents in an isolated village in Ishikawa Prefecture on Saturday.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 9, 2024
The U.S. role in Japan's domestic disaster relief
The U.S. pledge for support offers another example of how the U.S.-Japan alliance contributes to Japan's domestic disaster relief.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida awaits the results of a no-confidence vote against his Cabinet in the country's parliament on Dec. 13.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Jan 2, 2024
Unpacking the LDP's expected leadership race
LDP politicians are already talking about a leadership change, and the polls have shifted to who the public wants to see in the prime minister’s office.
Prime minister Fumio Kishida reviews Japan Self-Defense Forces troops at Camp Asaka in Tokyo in November 2021.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 27, 2023
Reviewing Japan's security moves in 2023
With Japan's economic malaise and scandals eroding political capital in Tokyo, 2024 may yield an extended waiting period for new security measures.
Investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office arrive to search the headquarters of the powerful Abe faction within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Tokyo on Dec. 19.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 26, 2023
Has the funding scandal doomed the Abe faction?
With criminal investigations under way, there is impetus for the younger generation of the Abe faction members to break away and form a rebranded group.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida awaits the results of  a vote on a no-confidence motion in the Lower House against his Cabinet on Wednesday over the ongoing party financing scandal.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 14, 2023
Kishida tries to clean up the Liberal Democratic Party house
A political event of the magnitude of the LDP-funding scandal bears close observation of what happened, why and what comes next.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s future is uncertain as a fund-raising scandal casts a shadow over who will lead the Liberal Democratic Party. 
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 8, 2023
Unpacking the scandal rocking the LDP to its core
What may be termed as the “faction parties scandal” is a shock to the system that will have deep implications for the Japanese political landscape.
Economic Security Minister Sanae Takaichi and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida take part in a news conference in September 2021 in the lead-up to the Liberal Democratic Party presidential race.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Nov 15, 2023
Takaichi makes another play to become the next PM
With the creation of a new study group, Cabinet minister Sanae Takaichi aims to build support for her bid for the top political job.
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo on Oct. 21.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Nov 8, 2023
Explaining Japan's nuanced approach to the Israel-Hamas war
Japan has the potential to influence the conflict due to its distinctive position within the international community.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends an extraordinary session at the Lower House of parliament in Tokyo on Oct. 23.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Oct 31, 2023
Prime Minister Kishida and a month of misery
The challenges Fumio Kishida faces are eroding confidence in his leadership and are likely to influence policy decision-making.

Longform

The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan