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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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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Why Hatoyama is failing on Futenma

Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio returned home to Japan Wednesday after attending the Nuclear summit in Washington hosted by US President Barack Obama. Whatever significance the summit had for Obama's diplomatic agenda, as far as US-Japan relations are concerned nukes were overshadowed by Futenma. Hatoyama's self-imposed deadline of resolving the dispute by May is approaching, and …

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