Is constitution revision actually possible?

Last week, the Sankei Shimbun reported that, in the face of mounting public opposition, the LDP would in fact not put revising Article 96 of the constitution at the heart of its upper house campaign strategy. (Naturally, the next day Sankei published an editorial arguing that the LDP should make revising Article 96 central to the campaign …

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The power of positive thinking?

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō Abe spoke with Jonathan Tepperman, managing editor of Foreign Affairs this month in an interview published under the heading "Japan Is Back."The interview is fairly comprehensive, discussing Abenomics and Japan's economic problems, history issues, territorial disputes, the constitution, and security policy. Tepperman was not shy about confronting Abe, especially when it comes to …

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Don’t declare victory for Abenomics yet

With the yen's falling to below ¥100/$1 for the first time since 2009 and the Nikkei’s posting five-year highs, analysts have begun declaring victory for the Abe administration’s campaign against deflation and slow growth. Paul Krugman, the intellectual godfather of Abenomics, has not quite begun his victory dance yet, but he is optimistic that under …

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Following the leader

Michael Cucek catches a comment from LDP Secretary-General Ishiba Shigeru at a public appearance in Kagawa. Ishiba said, "The Liberal Democratic Party is a party for doing what?...First and foremost, it a party for the revision of the Constitution." Cucek raises some useful questions about what this statement means, but I wonder whether Ishiba wasn't just being …

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Practical politics, symbolic conservatism, and the decline of the LDP

The LDP's presidential race is in full swing, and Tanigaki Sadakazu appears to be in command of the race against Kono Taro and Nishimura Yasutoshi. Polls of LDP Diet members suggest that Tanigaki enjoys the support of roughly a majority of the party's 199 Diet members; Yomiuri has Tanigaki with 102 votes, Nishimura with 30, …

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