The Afghanistan mission is doomed, for the time being

In the midst of the chaos at the top of the LDP and the government, Yamasaki Taku has announced that any new legislation to enable the MSDF to contribute to coalition operations in and around Afghanistan will be postponed to next year's regular Diet session. Mr. Abe's "international promise" is effectively dead.This is interesting in …

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Abe’s resignation — first thoughts

It's official. After less than a year in office, Mr. Abe has announced his resignation.Evidently his decision came as a surprise to the LDP leadership.In his statement, available here from Asahi, Mr. Abe emphasized that his resignation is a way to break the deadlocked situation in Japanese politics, especially concerning the anti-terror law. He hopes …

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The stakes of the anti-terror law debate

The DPJ has wasted no time in using its new found power to pressure the government.Two days into the Diet session, Mr. Ozawa has lambasted the government's suggestion that it will use its House of Representatives supermajority to override Upper House rejection of an anti-terror law. Earlier in the day, Defense Minister Komura said that …

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Why has the debate on the anti-terror special measures law problem not deepened?

That's the question asked by Amaki Naoto in a post that wonders why the DPJ has not responded to the arguments made by Kurt Campbell, Michael Green, and others about the nature of the mission in Afghanistan.Amaki, of course, is convinced that it is all a US war, and thus the DPJ should make the …

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The government considers all options

With the special session of the Diet due to start on September 10th, the Abe government is beginning to outline its options for the renewal of the anti-terror special measures law in the face of unyielding (thus far) DPJ opposition.The government evidently recognizes that it is facing an nearly impossible window in which to pass …

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The LDP, somewhere between a rock and a hard place

US officials — including the president — continue to voice their desire that Japan renew the anti-terror special measures law (the latest contributor is National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley), and the new Abe Cabinet continues to signal its willingness to compromise with the DPJ in getting the law passed.It's not entirely clear to me how …

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Tantrums in Washington will have consequences in Tokyo

The ongoing tantrum being thrown by the US government and Japan experts in Washington's think tanks in response to the DPJ's decision to oppose the extension of the anti-terror special measures law continues unabated.Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, voiced the Pentagon's strong desire that Japan continue to contribute to the multinational coalition working to rebuild …

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