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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Kan presses the reset button

Having successfully fended off Ozawa Ichirō's challenge to his leadership of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan — indeed, having defeated Ozawa by an unexpectedly large margin, not only winning the vote among Diet members but also receiving the support of 249 of 300 district-level party chapters and sixty percent of the vote among local …

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The meaning of the Upper House election

On Thursday campaigning for the House of Councillors election scheduled for 11 July begins, as 440 candidates vie for 121 seats. (Michael Cucek has the breakdown here.)The significance of this election has been thrown into clear relief since Kan Naoto took over from Hatoyama Yukio as prime minister and head of the DPJ. What once …

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The Kan system

The Kan government has formed, having retained eleven ministers from the Hatoyama government (as expected). Among the new faces in Kan's cabinet of "irregular forces" are Noda Yoshihko (finance), Yamada Masahiko (agriculture), Arai Satoshi (national strategy), Genba Kōichirō (administrative reform), and, perhaps most prominently, Renhō (government revitalization).Looking at the transition from the Hatoyama-Ozawa regime to …

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