Meet the new daijin, same as the old daijin

On Friday morning, Prime Minister Abe summoned forty-eight-year-old Akagi Norihiko to Kantei and requested that Akagi serve as Matsuoka Toshikatsu's successor at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF). Akagi, a Tokyo University graduate, MAFF old boy (OB), and grandson of an agriculture minister in the cabinet of Abe's grandfather Kishi, was first elected …

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Change the LDP, change Japan — now more than ever

David Pilling, the FT's Japan correspondent, indirectly responds to a point I made earlier this week when discussing Matsuoka's suicide in an op-ed entitled "No way back to old Japan" (subscription required).As the title suggests, he argues that Matsuoka's suicide actually marks the death throes of the old political system:The postwar system that is now …

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Does Abe have nothing to worry about come July?

From the English-language blogosphere's resident Abe apologist comes another post arguing that all is well in Abe's beautiful Japan.Hey, Ampontan, do you do this pro bono, or is there some kind of secret yarase blogger program run out of the Kantei? If the latter, is it too late to sign up?I think, if the price …

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The Matsuoka saga is far from over

As fallout from Matsuoka's suicide continues to spread — with an executive at J-GREEN, the MAFF agency under investigation for dispensing contracts to companies supporting Matsuoka, following Matsuoka to the grave — the probability of the Matsuoka/seiji to kane issue looming large over the Upper House elections seems to rise by the day.What was once …

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"An indispensable man of talent for agriculture administration"

Prime Minister Abe has given an official response to the suicide of MAFF Minister Matsuoka Toshikatsu — what Sankei Shimbun has dubbed a "shock" to Japan's political world. While all parties and players are shocked by the news, however, the uniform response seems to be that Matsuoka's suicide, coming on the heels of revelations about …

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