This is an ex-faction!

Speaking of predictions, the destruction of the Machimura faction is proceeding apace.Before the LDP's September election, I asked whether anyone thinks that "the Machimura faction, that 89-member monster of a faction that sits at the intersection of the LDP's divisions between 'neo-liberal' reformers, party leaders, and ideological conservatives, will survive this party election."Events appear to …

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Japanese boots, Afghan ground?

In the Fukuda government's continuing quest to determine its strategy in regard to the time-limited MSDF refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, Machimura Nobutaka, chief cabinet secretary, floated a new idea over the weekend: expanding the Japanese contribution in Afghanistan to include JSDF personnel on the ground. The prime minister addressed Mr. Machimura's remarks the …

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The domestic constraints on Japanese foreign policy

Prime Minister Fukuda, originally scheduled to visit Germany, Britain, and France as well as Russia during the Japanese political world's Golden Week holiday in early May, has changed his plans, announcing that he will be restricting his travels to a trip to Russia 25-27 April to meet with Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev. The reason …

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Speaking of democracy

Addressing the DPJ's rejection of the nomination of Watanabe Hiroshi to be deputy governor of the Bank of Japan at a press conference Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura Nobutaka commented upon the internal dynamics of the DPJ. He said, "Although a majority of the DPJ's investigatory subcommittee on joint personnel decisions approved the nomination, I …

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Another consequential decision for the government

Having just finished the process of using Article 59 to pass the new anti-terror law, the Fukuda government is once again debating whether to go through the process of rushing a desired bill (the extension of the temporary gasoline tax) through the House of Representatives in order to leave the government time to "re-pass" the …

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