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All posts by Michael Penn

South Korea Relations

Tokyo-Seoul Relations Turn Ugly SNA (Tokyo) — The announcement by the Abe administration on January 5 that it would be withdrawing its ambassador from Seoul in order to protest a new Comfort Women memorial statue erected in front of the Japanese consulate in Pusan was

Nuclear Energy

SNA (Tokyo) — The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) may have breathed a sigh of relief when its fierce critic, Niigata Governor Hirohiko Izumida, abruptly announced last August that he would withdraw his bid for a fourth term in office. Governor Izumida had for several

Conspiracy Bill

The Return of the Conspiracy Bill SNA (Tokyo) — According to a leak from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to introduce a new version of the Conspiracy Bill to the ordinary Diet session now scheduled to open on January

Democratic Party

Renho Signals Eagerness to Betray Current Political Allies SNA (Tokyo) — In her New Year’s press conference held in Ise city, Mie Prefecture, Democratic Party leader Renho announced her desire to form a political alliance with the popular, rightwing governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, while

My Number System

My Number System Expected to Become More Pervasive in 2017 SNA (Tokyo) — Since its official launch a year ago, the unpopular My Number system has been making only halting progress in becoming part of Japan residents’ daily lives. The 12-digit identification number was initially

North Korea Relations

Kim Jong-Un Wishes You a New Year of Terror SNA (Tokyo) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, as he has done for five consecutive years, held a televised address on New Year’s Day. This time, however, he made a claim that hit the global headlines: