A terrible idea from DPJ backbenchers, quickly nixed

On Wednesday Ubukata Yukio, the deputy secretary-general, Tanaka Makiko, Koizumi Junichiro's controversial foreign minister who joined the DPJ last year, and other DPJ Diet members proposed to Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio and DPJ secretary-general Ozawa Ichiro that the party establish a new policy research arm to replace the policy research council that closed shop when …

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Credit where credit is due

Another poll, more bad news for the Hatoyama government.In Jiji Press's February public opinion poll, the Hatoyama government's disapproval rating surpassed its approval rating for the first time, with the former rising twelve points to nearly 45% and the latter falling eleven to nearly 36%. Disapproval among self-described independents rose thirteen points to roughly 46%. …

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Professor Hatoyama holds forth

Before entering politics — the family business — Hatoyama Yukio was a fledging academic, a Stanford-educated engineer. His background as an academic is often on display when he delivers set piece addresses. He has a penchant for abstraction, for drawing upon broad principles and shying away from the nitty gritty details of policy. This tendency …

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Why the Hatoyama government matters

As the Hatoyama government's approval numbers have faltered and more recently plummeted, as reports about the inappropriately large role being played by Ozawa Ichiro in the government (despite not being a cabinet minister) have grown, as doubts about Hatoyama Yukio's abilities as a leader have deepened, and as the court of public opinion internationally has …

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A new alliance in the making

Foreign Minister Okada Katsuya has arrived in Hawaii for a Tuesday morning meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Following weeks of bilateral acrimony, the two will discuss negotiations to strengthen bilateral cooperation on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the US-Japan mutual security treaty, signed fifty years ago this month.For the moment …

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