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This Week in Japan (08.25.17)

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 third 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.

The Abe School of Corruption

The Abe government’s electoral dominance over the opposition parties has transformed from an impressively stable administration into a veritable school of corruption.

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.

The Phantom Menace

Once again today Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared it. As the House of Councillors begins its deliberations on the Legislation for Peace and Security, the people are told that the passage of these bills is necessary and must be done now—in this Diet session. There is no alternative. Japan’s national security is now under threat like no other time in the postwar period.

Reassessing Japan and the Iraq War

When Ross Caputi was sent to fight in the Second Battle of Fallujah, Iraq, with the US Marines in 2004, he believed unquestioningly in the mission that he was told his unit was fighting for: liberation and justice for the Iraqi people.

The ‘China Threat’ Narrative Stumbles

The Mainichi Shinbun has opened the year with a blockbuster exclusive news story that is likely to be underplayed, or even ignored, by most of the rest of the Japanese media. One of the biggest headlines in November 2013 was the public announcement by Beijing that it was establishing an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over a large swathe of the East China Sea.