The DPJ will bring the ships home — and open Japan’s economy to the US?

After weeks of signs that the DPJ might wholly embrace the foreign policy status quo, Hatoyama Yukio announced on Wednesday that, when the current special measures law for the deployment of Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) refueling ships in the Indian Ocean in support of coalition activities in Afghanistan expires in January, a DPJ-led government would …

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The DPJ unveils its manifesto (part two)

This post continues the analysis of the DPJ's 2009 general election manifesto, which I began in this post.Child care and education: The centerpiece of the DPJ's child care program is obviously its child allowance plan, amounting to 26,000 yen per month per child until the end of middle school. The party plans to provide half …

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The DPJ unveils its manifesto (part one)

At an event at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo Monday evening the DPJ released its 2009 general election manifesto to the public.Running to twenty-four pages, the manifesto is centered around five major areas: (1) cutting waste (essentially political and administrative reform); (2) child care and education; (3) pensions and health care; (4) regionalization; and …

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How do you solve a problem like the freeters?

One policy area that could see cooperation between a DPJ-led government and the JCP (and the SDPJ) is the treatment of non-regular workers (mentioned here).The JCP's position on dispatch workers and other non-regular workers is clear: the party wants to ban the employment of temporary workers in manufacturing work, making an exception only for "specialized …

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The DPJ navigates between left and right

Not surprisingly, the LDP has greeted the DPJ's "realism" with severe criticism.Prime Minister Aso Taro suggested that the DPJ has become "blurred" by softening or reversing the positions it had taken on LDP foreign policy initiatives in recent years. Amari Akira, Aso's minister responsible for adminstrative reform, also used the word "blurred" and suggested that …

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