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This Week in Japan (11.16.17)

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 second week of November 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.

The Making of Japan’s Olympics Stadium Scandal

In advance of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision on July 17 to take the 2020 Olympics national stadium construction plans back to a “zero base,” matters had been creeping along quietly and largely outside of public notice. It is therefore of considerable value to look back at the development of this slow-burning scandal so as to understand how the situation arrived at the point where it stands now.

Governor Masuzoe’s Olympic Offensive

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are supposed to be a partnership between the national government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and Governor Yoichi Masuzoe is clearly determined that his voice will be heard. When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suddenly reversed course on July 17 and decided to take the national stadium construction plans “back to zero,” he clearly didn’t make much of an effort to communicate or coordinate with the Tokyo governor.