The california rolls are safe

After announcing plans to institute a certification system for Japanese restaurants overseas back in November, Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, headed by the beleaguered Matsuoka Toshikatsu (the subject of this superb book -- more on this soon), has decided to abandon these plans after opposition from citizens' groups and after a panel chaired …

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Japan’s governance problem

John Plender, columnist in the FT, has a column (subscription only) in Wednesday's edition talking about the "accountability gap" in Japanese corporate governance.He wrote:...There is a corporate governance vacuum. Before the economic bubble burst in the early 1990s, the postwar model of capitalism known as “Japan Inc” incorporated governance disciplines based on a main bank …

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Dr. Pacifist and Mr. War Crime?

The consequences of Prime Minister Abe's indiscretions on the comfort women question continue to unfold, with this editorial in Korea's Chosun Ilbo, suggesting that Abe may have completely undone all of his diplomatic efforts with his remarks.Key paragraph:...Abe is not listening. He is listening to the recommendations of nationalistic lawmakers and considered launching a new …

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The muddy waters of the post-Koizumi era

For those who want a general overview of the present state of Japanese politics -- what's changed, what hasn't -- check out this article by Tokyo University professor Kabashima Ikuo and PhD candidate Okawa Chihiro. Published at Japan Echo, a monthly journal that publishes translations of scholarly articles originally written in Japanese, Kabashima and Okawa …

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Japan’s evolving democracy…aimed squarely at USFJ?

In light of this recent post on encouraging signs that the realignment of the US military presence may at last be ready to move forward to a conclusion that satisfies both countries, I found this op-ed in the Japan Times by journalist Hanai Kiroku interesting, in that it shows how the US military presence has, …

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