The real problem with Asō’s gaffe

After the uprising of the 17th of JuneThe Secretary of the Writers' UnionHad leaflets distributed in the StalinalleeStating that the peopleHad forfeited the confidence of the governmentAnd could win it back onlyBy redoubled efforts.Would it not be easierIn that case for the governmentTo dissolve the peopleAnd elect another?Bertolt Brecht, "Die Lösung" (1953) Deputy Prime Minister/Finance …

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Abe’s underwhelming victory

Abe Shinzō's LDP-led coalition with Komeitō got its wish Sunday, winning enough seats to retake control of the House of Councillors for the government and ending the "twisted" Diet for at least the next three years. With five seats still undecided, the LDP and Kōmeitō have secured 134 seats, comfortably over the majority threshold of 122 seats. …

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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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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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Who’s afraid of the conservatives?

Yamasaki Taku, perhaps the leader of the LDP's remaining doves, spoke at a Genron NPO meeting Thursday afternoon at which he addressed Murata Ryohei's revelations of the secret deal between the US and Japan that permitted the US to "introduce" nuclear weapons to Japan. (Previously discussed in this post.)"It is appropriate to approve this kind …

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Constitution revision back on the agenda?

Yomiuri has released the results of its annual poll on constitution revision and has found that once again a majority — a slight one, 51.6% — favors revising Japan's constitution. This marks a nine-point increase over last year's poll. Opposition to revision fell from 43.1% to 36.5%.Interestingly, majorities among both self-described LDP supporters and DPJ …

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