Meet the new cabinet, (mostly the) same as the old cabinet?

As Japan waits for the DPJ's Diet members to choose a new party leader and then for the Diet to confirm the new prime minister, the media is speculating about the new lineup for the cabinet and the party leadership.Among other items of speculation, Sengoku Yoshito is supposedly the front runner to succeed Ozawa as …

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Was the coalition doomed from the start?

On Friday, Fukushima Mizuho, the head of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, refused to bow to the prime minister's decision to accept a modified version of the 2006 realignment agreement, forcing the prime minister to dismiss her from her position as minister responsible for consumer affairs.Not surprisingly, on Sunday the SDPJ decided that it …

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Hatoyama accommodates the US on Futenma

It may have taken a few months longer than I expected, but it appears that the Hatoyama government may have finally accommodated itself to the 2006 agreement on the realignment of US forces. The US and Japanese governments have reached an understanding regarding the future of Futenma following Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to …

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Why did Hatoyama go after Futenma first?

With little surprise, the Hatoyama government has decided to postpone a decision on the future of Futenma, after alienating both the Okinawan people and the US government with its indecisiveness on the issue. Reuters reports that after months of treating the end of May as the deadline for solving the dispute, the government has announced …

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