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This Week in Japan (08.31.17)

This Week in Japan is your source for news and information about politics and other happenings in this East Asian island country. This episode covers the Top Five stories of the final week of August 2017.

This Week in Japan (08.08.17)

This Week in Japan is your source for news and information about politics and other happenings in this East Asian island country. This episode covers the Top Five stories of the first week of August 2017.

Reconstruction Minister Sacked After Fresh Gaffe

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga have repeatedly been warning this particularly gaffe-prone set of Cabinet ministers to exercise caution and to be very careful about what they say in public. Reconstruction Minister Masahiro Imamura, however, didn’t seem to get the memo, and after a fresh gaffe he is swiftly out.

Populism Wins Again in Nagoya

Populism can indeed win elections in Japan, but the problem is that there are so few politicians in this country who seem to have the personal political talents to tap into it.

Ruling Party Losing Discipline

It was inevitable at some point, but after more than four years of dominating the political landscape, clear signs are emerging that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is losing its discipline and reverting to some of its bad habits of the past, before they were booted out of power in the 2009-2012 period.

Goshi Hosono Resigns as Democratic Party Executive

Another prominent Democratic Party conservative offered a resignation today, and defections are ongoing among Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly members. In the near term, these are heavy blows to the party leadership of President Renho and Secretary-General Yoshihiko Noda which might bring them down in the late summer months.

Diet Debate Begins on Conspiracy Bill

House of Representatives debate on the Conspiracy Bill begins. The controversial legislation expected to become “the main event” of this Ordinary Diet Session as the government and the opposition parties draw battle lines.

Gearing Up for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Elections

The posters are beginning to appear on the city walls and the various parties are accelerating their preparations. The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly elections are now only three months away, and analysts are wondering just how dominant Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike will become when the contest has concluded.