Here comes Koike and friends

With Fukuda Yasuo set to finalize a schedule for a cabinet reshuffle after consultations with Komeito — according to Machimura Nobutaka, the prime minister is waiting for reports on the latest failed Doha Round negotiations before proceeding — the cabinet reshuffle is a go, possibly as early as 4 Aug (Monday).The media has immediately shifted …

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More prime ministerial trouble

With Prime Minister Abe set to depart on his latest diplomatic jaunt on August 19th, the situation in Tokyo continues to worsen.The latest scandal involves Defense Minister Koike Yuriko, who is in a showdown with Administrative Vice Minister Moriya Takemasa, a long-serving defense bureaucrat who rose from within the ministry's ranks (instead of being seconded …

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Ambassador Schieffer, stand down please

J. Thomas Schieffer, US ambassador to Japan, is continuing with his campaign to convince the DPJ to change its opposition to the extension of the anti-terror special measures law, giving interviews to major dailies on the spat between the US and the DPJ. (Mainichi interview here; Asahi interview here.)The message is more or less the …

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Koike opens a second front

As the skirmishes over the extension of the anti-terror special measures law intensify, Defense Minister Koike Yuriko has decided to take the fight to Washington, DC at the same time that DPJ President Ozawa Ichiro met with US Ambassador Thomas Schieffer.On Wednesday morning, Koike met with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who expressed his appreciation …

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No one benefits from the pensions scandal?

The Asahi Shimbun published a chart today that shows public opinion regarding responses to the the pensions crisis (sadly, it does not appear to be online).Asked if they appreciated the Abe Cabinet's response to the pensions scandal, 59% of respondents said they did not appreciate it to 24% who did.That's not so surprising, but the …

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