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This Week in Japan (10.16.17)

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 October 2017.

This Week in Japan (09.30.17)

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 fourth week of September 2017.

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.

Is the DPJ Brand Worth Saving?

There are many reasons for the hapless condition that the Japanese political opposition has fallen into, but one of the biggest factors surrounds the state and ambitions of the largest remaining opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan. The question, put simply, is whether or not the DPJ should focus on trying rebuild itself into a party that may one day govern the nation again, or if it has fallen so low in public esteem that its lawmakers would better advised to jump ship and to start afresh with a new political party.

The Painful Birth of the Unity Party

Rarely has a political party been created that so looks forward to its own destruction. More commonly the birth of a new political party is attended by hopes that one day, with hard work and perseverance, it may capture a majority and govern the nation. But in the case of the Unity Party, inaugural leader Kenji Eda has made it surprising clear that he expects his new party to have long met its demise even before its first general election.

Tadatomo Yoshida Elected Head of SDP

Whenever we go to cover a Japanese political party event, it is usually the case that we are the only non-Japanese in the room. You had to figure that the leadership race of the venerable but now largely insignificant Social Democratic Party (SDP) would be another one of those and, of course, it was. But, really, there were only a couple of dozen Japanese reporters there too.

The Uncertain Road to Opposition Consolidation

There’s one thing that all of Japan’s significant, existing opposition parties seem to agree upon; and that’s that none of them have any hope of overthrowing Liberal Democratic Party rule on their own in the presumed double elections of July 2016. They must combine their forces in some new manner in order to present a credible alternative that people might actually vote for.