Good intentions are not enough

Yomiuri reports that the prime minister's Advisory Group on Comprehensive Reform of the Public Service System, chaired by Okamura Tadashi of Toshiba, has issued its final report containing recommendations for reforming the Japanese bureaucracy.The report, available for download here, contains a number of good suggestions, in pursuit of seven goals: (1) outlining the appropriate role …

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Discarding the old mantras

After winning the Florida Republican primary on Tuesday, Arizona Senator John McCain has more or less solidified his position as the likely Republican presidential candidate. Sankei's Komori Yoshihisa was quick to praise Senator McCain today for his unstinting support for the US-Japan alliance, pointing to lines from Senator McCain's essay in the November/December issue of …

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The weakness of Fukuda’s (and Japan’s) carbon campaign

As the Fukuda government has insisted at every chance it has to remind Japanese citizens and foreign governments that the focus of this summer's G8 summit in Hokkaido will be climate change policy. Tokyo is eager to be at the forefront of the quest for a post-Kyoto climate change pact.This weekend Mr. Fukuda took this …

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Recommended Book: The Coldest Winter, David Halberstam

As the six-party talks continue to dance around the question of the future of the Korean peninsula — and the major powers plan for the collapse of the DPRK — it is worthwhile to look back to the (unresolved) conflict that cemented the division of the peninsula and had untold consequences for US Asia policy.In …

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The Machimura faction tries to untwist the Diet

The Machimura faction, which just gained a new member to solidify its position as the LDP's largest, has delivered a proposal to Prime Minister Fukuda that calls for the drafting of new rules for Diet management in light of the divided Diet. The proposal, according to Asahi, points to a "structural deficiency in the constitution," …

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