Selling free trade

Bogged down by an unfavorable political situation in Tokyo, the Kan government has few avenues for policy innovation. In recent weeks, however, it seems that the Kan government has decided to consider joining the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP), a multilateral free trade agreement that currently includes only Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, and Brunei, but …

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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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Is the Bush administration thinking about the China relationship?

With the Bush administration's recent move to press a suit against Chinese violations of intellectual property in the WTO sparking fears of a full-blown Sino-American trade war, I must ask the same questionI asked when the US Commerce Department announced tariffs on Chinese glossy paper: is this administration pursuing a coherent strategy in Asia, or …

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