Is that a prediction or a threat?

For the second time in the past week, the Japanese media has noted concern that the comfort women resolution will worsen US-Japan relations.Last week, Kato Ryozo, Japan's ambassador to the US, warned, "This resolution, which is not grounded in objectivity, is not good for US-Japan relations."Now Mainichi reports that in New York on Monday, on …

Continue reading Is that a prediction or a threat?

Japan’s constitution turns sixty

As Japan celebrates Constitution Day, marking the anniversary of the promulgation of the postwar constitution, the Abe Cabinet has renewed its push to revise the constitution — read Article 9 of the constitution — on the heels of bilateral meetings with the US that pointed to a more globally active US-Japan alliance.In Washington, Defense Minister …

Continue reading Japan’s constitution turns sixty

Constitution revision — still a long way away

The big story out of Japan today, aside from Chinese Premier Wen's final day in Japan, spent visiting Kyoto, is that the Lower House's Special Investigative Committee on the Constitution passed the LDP draft of a national referendum bill that is a critical precursor to constitution revision.A massive piece of legislation (printed in its entirety …

Continue reading Constitution revision — still a long way away

The 総理 (souri) goes slowly, and pays for it

I spoke earlier today about Abe Shinzo running into trouble with LDP members of the Upper House; now the FT reports that a number of surveys by Japanese newspapers have shown substantial drops in Abe's popularity. Even Yomiuri -- the leading conservative daily -- registered a major fall in his public support.The article notes, "Survey …

Continue reading The 総理 (souri) goes slowly, and pays for it

The annual foreign policy survey, pt. 1

Nikkei reports today on the results of the Japanese government's annual survey of public opinion on Japan's foreign relations. The results are not particularly surprising. Nikkei leads by reporting that the ratio of respondents (57%) who thought that Japanese-South Korean relations were bad was the highest since the survey began in 1986 -- this likely …

Continue reading The annual foreign policy survey, pt. 1

New survey on Japan’s Iraq mission

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports today on a government survey that shows that among those surveyed (around 1800 people), 71.5 per cent said they "valued" the JSDF's reconstruction operation in Iraq, with only 22.6 per cent saying that they didn't value the mission.Among those who said they valued it, as with earlier polls, they pointed to …

Continue reading New survey on Japan’s Iraq mission