The Hatoyama government will delay on defense policy

Busy with the hard work of introducing a new policymaking process, rewriting the 2010 budget from scratch so to make room for the programs promised in the DPJ's election manifesto, and finding a way to extract concessions from the Obama administration on the realignment of US forces in Japan, it is understandable that the Hatoyama …

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For the defense of Japan

After eight months of deliberations, the prime minister's defense ministry reform council, hastily convened after a series of scandals rocked the defense ministry in 2007, has released its final report on reforming the ministry.The report is available for download here.In the report, the council sought to address two issues. First, it investigated various institutional failures …

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Forging a Fukuda consensus

Following his first salvo in the creation of a new Fukuda Doctrine, Sankei reports that Prime Minister Fukuda is preparing to launch the next salvo, which will be aimed at remaking Japan's foreign and defense policymaking process, namely by intensifying the Kantei's leadership in foreign policy.Mr. Fukuda's approach is markedly different from Abe Shinzo's, the …

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The race for defense ministry reform

Back in February, when Defense Minister Ishiba Shigeru was threatened with censure for his ministry's dilatory response to the Atago incident, Prime Minister Fukuda gave Mr. Ishiba a firm vote of confidence, calling upon the defense minister to "review the organization from its very foundation."It appears that Mr. Fukuda's support for comprehensive defense ministry reform …

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Ishiba remains the scourge of the bureaucrats

With the fight over the nomination of Muto Toshiro taking center stage, opposition calls for Defense Minister Ishiba Shigeru to resign due to the Atago incident appear to have receded, leaving Mr. Ishiba to proceed with his efforts to clean up the Defense Ministry.The latest piece of that effort is his project team to "promote …

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Ishiba will fight on, with Fukuda’s help

Far from abandoning Defense Minister Ishiba Shigeru to his critics, Prime Minister Fukuda made clear today that he stands with Mr. Ishiba in emphasizing the need for fundamental reform of the Defense Ministry. The Atago incident, instead of spelling the end of Mr. Ishiba's second tour of duty in Ichigaya, may end up bolstering it …

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Ishiba under fire from all sides

It looks like the Ministry of Defense's civilians and the JSDF may not have to fight Defense Minister Ishiba after all.In the aftermath of the collision between the Atago, one of the MSDF's most sophisticated Aegis-equipped destroyers, and a fishing boat on Tuesday, questions have been raised about the vulnerabilities of MSDF ships to terrorist …

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