2007: The Year That Was In Japanese Politics

A recent article in the Yomiuri Shimbun surveying the Japanese political situation as 2007 gives way to 2008 included a sidebar that compared the present day with the bakumatsu, the last days of the Tokugawa.Looking back over the events in political Japan over 2007, that comparison does not seem inappropriate. The picture that emerges is …

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The DPJ will submit its own bill after all

In the latest twist in the saga over Japan's involvement in operations in and around Afghanistan, the DPJ has decided that it will submit its own bill today.Asahi notes that the DPJ move is in response to recent public opinion polls that show rising opposition to the MSDF's resuming its refueling mission.Hatoyama Yukio explained that …

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Haass on allies and rivals

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, had an op-ed in the Financial Times this week (excerpted from a forthcoming article in The National Interest) in which he reconsiders the nature of US relationships with traditional allies and perceived enemies.Calling it the emergence of a "Palmerstonian moment," Haass wrote, "We are entering an …

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Not your father’s (or grandfather’s) LDP?

Asahi reports that the LDP has leaped into the twenty-first century and set up a YouTube channel of its own, with Kono Taro, third-generation LDP member of the House of Representatives (and third-generation potential party leader) as the party's face on YouTube.The innovation is not in putting videos on the Internet — there has been …

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