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Category Archives: Politics

Red-Baiting in 2016

A recent attempt by the Liberal Democratic Party to brand the Japan Communist Party as violent has sparked a new debate on the political history of Japan, but it seems to be primarily a cynical political ploy.

Shinzo Abe and the Yakuza

The crackdown on yakuza, including the group called the Kudokai, which is registered as an especially dangerous criminal gang under Japanese law, has recently reached abnormal levels. However, the fact that the Kudokai is also an organization reported to have once had connections with Shinzo Abe before he became prime minister eludes most people.

The Dippy Opposition

Well, they’ve done it again. Just when you see glimmers of hope that Japan’s opposition parties might just be getting their acts together, they go and show you once again just how incompetent they really are.

Uniformed Officers Gaining Control of Defense Ministry

Uniformed Self-Defense Forces officers are currently demanding a larger role in setting military policies, which will for the first time utilize the security legislation forced through the Diet by the ruling coalition last September. Civilian defense bureaucrats have so far rejected the demands of the uniformed officers, fearing that acquiescing will decisively tilt the power balance between the two sides within the ministry.

Shioya Resists Role as Fukushima Radiation Dump

As the Japanese nation approaches the fifth anniversary of the March 11 tragedy, the burden of dealing with the widespread radioactive contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster continues to expand. Now this issue is seriously impacting even a small community in Tochigi Prefecture called Shioya.

A Conservative Victory in Ginowan

In the closely watched mayoral election in Ginowan city, which hosts the controversial US Marines Futenma Air Base, conservative incumbent Atsushi Sakima won reelection to a second term. Mayor Sakima faced a stiff challenge from Keiichiro Shimura, who had the backing of Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga and the “All Okinawa” forces opposing construction of the US Marines airbase at Henoko beach.

Timeline of Hashimoto Parties in National Politics

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto was still near the peak of his popularity when he announced in September 2012 that he would be moving into national politics. Simply by putting out the call, enough lawmakers gathered to his banner to establish a new political party meant to represent the Osaka Restoration Association’s interests at the national level. Today, in an echo from three years ago, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto is once again signalling his intention to launch a new political party meant to represent the Osaka Restoration Association’s interests at the national level.

Trump, Cruz, and Shinzo Abe’s Constitutionalism

Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been making waves with radical policy notions from the day he announced his run for his party’s nomination. He took this to a whole new level on August 16 when he released a five-page report entitled, “Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again.” Briefly noted within a subsection called—ironically enough—“Defend The Laws And Constitution Of The United States,” Trump called for “ending birthright citizenship.”

Answers Pending in Latest LDP Stock Scandal

Lower House member Takaya Muto tweeted on July 30 that the arguments of students protesting against the security bills “are based on the selfish and extremely egoistic thought of not wanting to go to war.” Since then, his tweet has gone viral in Japan: It was retweeted more than 6500 times and has sparked outrage in the media.