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JAPANESE TREND / Political Trend (4) / Political Trend (6)

Taking up herewith Japanese Political Trend News in last week.
Political Trend in Japan will be read via these News.
Sep 05 Tsukiji fish market relocation up in air (Yomiuri)
 The transition of power from the Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition to one led by the Democratic Party of Japan also seems to be affecting issues facing the Tokyo metropolitan government. One such issue is the planned relocation of the Tsukiji fish market to the Toyosu district of Tokyo's Koto Ward--a move the DPJ raised objections to while campaigning for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and House of Representatives elections in which the party emerged victorious.
Sep 04 A sea change in Japanese politics (Time)
 Give Yukio Hatoyama, leader of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), points for speed. Within hours of the DPJ's historic general-election victory on Aug. 30, Hatoyama was conferencing by phone with the leaders of South Korea and Australia, meeting with journalists and otherwise behaving as Japan's next Prime Minister - which he certainly will become in just a few weeks. "We have finally reached the starting line," Hatoyama told reporters on Aug. 31, leaving little doubt that he was eager to get on with governing.
Sep 04 Japan's Hatoyama welcomes G20 regulation debate (Reuters)
 Japan's next leader, Yukio Hatoyama said on Friday the fact that the Group of 20 finance ministers meeting in London this weekend will discuss financial regulation was a sign the world is reflecting on the excesses of market fundamentalism. A financial regulatory debate ahead of the Sept. 4-5 meeting has been dominated by European moves to seek consensus on limiting bank bonuses and by a U.S. push for tougher bank capital standards.
Sep 04 Ozawa set to be DPJ secretary general (Japan Times)
 Yukio Hatoyama, leader of the Democratic Party of Japan and prime minister in waiting, told reporters Thursday he will appoint DPJ acting President Ichiro Ozawa as secretary general, the No. 2 post of the party that now holds an overwhelming majority in the Lower House.
Sep 04 First lady grabs spotlight with spiritual quirks (Japan Times)
 The next prime minister is known for being bland in his speeches. His wife, however, is anything but. A strong believer in spiritualism, Miyuki Hatoyama said in a TV appearance earlier this year she met U.S. actor Tom Cruise - in a previous life. She also claims that her soul has traveled to Venus on a UFO.
Sep 03 The rise of the opposition (NewsWeek)
 The Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ) landslide victory in August served as a watershed moment in the country's electoral politics. Japan, a parliamentary democracy, had been dominated by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), governing by itself or in coalition with others for nearly all of the past half century.
Sep 03 Obama congratulates next Japanese PM (AFP)
 US President Barack Obama Wednesday spoke by telephone with Japan's incoming Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to congratulate him and his Democratic Party of Japan on a landslide election win. Obama said he looked forward to seeing Hatoyama at this month's United Nations General Assembly in New York and the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, which will mark the new Japanese leader's first steps on the world stage.
Sep 03 US not expecting big change in alliance with Japan (AP)
 The United States' top military officer in the Pacific said Wednesday he doesn't expect major changes to his country's defense relationship with Japan despite the election of a new government that has vowed to reevaluate its ties with Washington. Admiral Timothy Keating also said the U.S. had resumed talks with China's military for the first time in 10 months, while noting that Washington is concerned about some of the weapons systems Beijing is developing.
Sep 03 Japan's unendurable new Prime Minister (CBS News)
 It's tempting to read what follows as a plea for a new Co-Prosperity Sphere, but really, even Hatoyama knows that Japan could not lead one. Instead, he seems to be calling for a sort of Asian Union. Careful observers of China and Korea are already laughing. They know the extent of Japanese, Korean, and even Chinese protectionism, as well as what great domestic politics it makes for Chinese and Korean leaders to flog their historical grievances with Japan.
Sep 03 What lies ahead for DPJ / Choppy waters ahead for politician-led govt (Yomiuri)
 While the DPJ says it will formulate a vision for the future of the nation and decide upon a basic budget outline, it has yet to give specific details. A typical example of how the party has yet to make its plans clear is the question of whether it would employ bureaucrats as national strategy bureau staffers. The manifesto states the party will "bring together talented people from both the public and private sectors," with some party members believing the bureaucrats brought in should be those who are sympathetic to DPJ ideology and policy.
Sep 02 DPJ moving closer to assuming power as coalition talks proceed (AP)
 The Democratic Party of Japan, which won Sunday's general election by a landslide, launched talks Wednesday with its two tiny allies over forming a tripartite coalition, moving a step closer to assuming power. The policy chiefs of the DPJ, the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party held talks in parliament, in which the DPJ handed the two a draft of a coalition plan which is based on the common campaign platforms compiled before the election.
Sep 02 DPJ asks Aso to disclose Japan's budget spending information (Bloomberg)
 The Democratic Party of Japan, which is preparing to take power after a landslide election victory, asked Prime Minister Taro Aso's administration to disclose information on how budget funds are being spent. DPJ Secretary-General Katsuya Okada and party policy head Masayuki Naoshima met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura to discuss the first transfer of power between two parties since Aso's Liberal Democratic Party was founded in 1955.
Sep 02 Missile defense system upgrade, new helicopter carrier part of defense budget (Mainichi)
 The Ministry of Defense released its 4.85-trillion-yen budget plan for the next fiscal year on Monday, including provisions for upgrading the nation's missile defense system and purchasing a new helicopter carrier.
Sep 02 GSDF member arrested for selling private info on 140,000 personnel (Mainichi)
 The leaked information, which was saved on a CD-Rom, included names, addresses, ages and current affiliations of almost all GSDF members. The leaked information, which was saved on a CD-Rom, included names, addresses, ages and current affiliations of almost all GSDF members.
Sep 02 Japan's underpopulation crisis led to recent election upset demographer says (lifenews.com)
 The Japanese people made Sunday's national elections a history one by making it so the ruling Liberal Democratic Party lost power for only the second time in the post-World War II era. A demographer says he thinks he knows the reason why: the nation's underpopulation crisis. Japan has one of the 10 lowest birthrates in the world -- 1.25 children per woman despite a birth rate of 2.13 needed to replace current population. Legalized abortion has contributed to the nation having too few people and underpopulation is resulting in other problems.
Sep 02 Is Japan's sun rising or setting? (guardian.co.uk)
 It's tempting to dismiss the weekend election landslide victory of Japan's opposition Democratic party (DPJ) as reflecting no more than a bad-tempered "throw the bums out" mood among recession-hit voters. European commentators transfixed by China's rise have jumped two-footed into this trap. They play down the result's wider significance for a country they view as a declining power while predicting that little will change in practice.
Sep 02 Relocation of US troops will test new Japan leader (AP)
 Reservations within Japan's incoming government about a plan to move thousands of U.S. Marines off Okinawa will likely be the first test of its leader's efforts to remake the country's relationship with Washington while maintaining their strong alliance. Yukio Hatoyama, riding a landslide victory by his Democratic Party of Japan in Sunday's parliamentary elections, is expected to be formally voted in as prime minister as early as early as Sept. 16, ending more than a half-century of almost uninterrupted rule by the staunchly pro-Washington Liberal Democratic Party.
Sep 02 Next first lady feels affinity with Michelle Obama (Japan Times)
 Miyuki Hatoyama, set to become the next first lady of Japan, says her husband has been nicknamed "alien" because he is different from old-style politics, and she feels she and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama share a "sensibility." The 66-year-old former actress and the 62-year-old leader of the DPJ married after they met in the United States.
Sep 01 Victor's rookies win big; elected women set record (Japan Times)
 Sunday's poll saw 158 rookie lawmakers land Lower House seats, including 143 running on the Democratic Party of Japan ticket, final results showed. The average age of the 480 winning candidates is 52.0. A record 54 women were elected, or 11.3 percent of the total, exceeding 10 percent for the first time.
Sep 01 Indigenous Ainu people to launch new national body (AP)
 Japan's indigenous Ainu people plan to launch a national organization possibly by the end of this month in an effort to urge the government to establish new legislation to improve their lives and promote their culture, sources familiar with the move said Tuesday.
Sep 01 Japan finance minister to skip London G20: report (AFP)
 Japan's outgoing Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano will skip the Group of 20 finance ministers' meeting in London this weekend due to health reasons, Kyodo News agency said Tuesday. "I could not get the full go-ahead from my doctor" to travel overseas following a tough election campaign, Yosano, 71, was quoted as saying.
Sep 01 A rude shock! in gentle Japan (sfgate.com)
 The world's most patient democracy finally snapped. After nearly 50 years of single-party rule, Japanese voters handed the old guard leaders a landslide loss. Two decades of flat finances plus a record jobless rate spelled the end for the Liberal Democratic Party. Until Sunday's vote, its leaders had crafted a winning combination of subsidies, patronage and government spending that papered over a huge but faltering economy.
Sep 01 Japan's next PM a softie at home, says wife (AFP)
 Japan's next prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, likes to wash dishes, enjoys animal movies and is secretly addicted to shrimp crackers, according to his wife Miyuki, a newspaper said on Monday. Hatoyama, who heads the Democratic Party of Japan, which won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections on Sunday, is "a natural person," Miyuki told the Mainichi newspaper.
Sep 01 Bureaucrats jockey to face new management (Japan Times)
 The Liberal Democratic Party's crushing election defeat brings to an end its cozy relationship with the bureaucracy, which the victorious Democratic Party of Japan has promised to weaken. Thousands of ministry officials now must come to terms with the DPJ's promised reforms, which include stripping the bureaucracy of its powers and control over the nation's purse strings.
Aug 31 Aso says he will step down as LDP president (AP)
  Prime Minister Taro Aso said Monday he will resign as president of the Liberal Democratic Party to take the blame for its historic defeat in Sunday's general election. The 68-year-old vowed that his party, whose presence was whittled down from 300 seats to 119 in the House of Representatives, will rebuild itself and take back power from the Democratic Party of Japan, which prevailed in the election.
Aug 31 Global insight: A very Japanese revolt (FT.com)
 By some yardsticks, Japan's electorate has delivered the biggest shock to the political system since the end of the American occupation. Voters have shattered, at a stroke, what came to be known as the "1955 system" - five decades of political stability administered by a Liberal Democratic party whose conservative, but egalitarian, instincts suited the postwar temperament. First through a period of transformational growth and, latterly through years in which the economy has been treading water, the LDP has time and again been entrusted with the keys of office.
Aug 31 Great expectations for Japan's victorious Democrats (AFP)
 Japan's Democratic Party Monday began talks on forming a new government, facing the tasks of reviving the struggling economy and reshaping ties with key world allies after its crushing election win. Yukio Hatoyama's centre-left Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is under heavy pressure to get to work quickly on solving the huge challenges facing this fast-greying country and pulling it out of its long economic malaise.
Aug 31 Hatoyama born with a silver spoon (Asahi)
 Politics runs in Yukio Hatoyama's bloodline. As the scion of a famed political family, his pedigree guaranteed he could make a name for himself in the public eye. What is surprising, however, is that he is set to attain the top job by leading the opposition Democratic Party of Japan to victory, rather than as the president of the ever-present Liberal Democratic Party, whose first president was Hatoyama's grandfather, Ichiro. Hatoyama's victory in Sunday's election symbolizes the many twists in his own personal history.
Aug 31 Obama looks forward to working with new Japan PM: White House (AP)
 U.S. President Barack Obama looks forward to working closely with the new prime minister of Japan to be installed following the Democratic Party of Japan's landslide victory in Sunday's general election, the White House said. "The people of Japan have participated in an historic election in one of the world's leading democracies. As a close friend and ally, the United States awaits the formation of a new Japanese government," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.
Aug 31 Many LDP heavyweights swept away in DPJ's landslide victory (AP)
 With Sunday's House of Representatives election taking an enormous toll on the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party, many of its heavyweights fell at the hands of challengers from the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan. Although most of them managed to salvage a seat under the proportional representation system, that gives candidates a second chance to be elected, former Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa, former LDP vice president Taku Yamasaki and former defense minister Fumio Kyuma ended up being thrown out of parliament.
Aug 31 Japan's leader vows end to 'cosy' triangle (Times Online)
 Japan's first outright change of government in 54 years - and a spectacular mandate for the Democratic Party of Japan - will trigger "tectonic shifts" in the ideology of the world's secondbiggest economy and may rip-up Japan's long history of pro-business politics. Speaking immediately after his victory last night, Yukio Hatoyama, Japan's new leader, launched a clear attack on the "cosy" triangle between business, government and the bureaucracy that has defined the country's previous five decades.
Aug 31 Opposition DPJ crushes LDP in landslide victory (AP)
 The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan scored a landslide victory in Sunday's hotly contested general election, dealing a crushing blow to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and driving it from power for only the second time in its 54-year history. The historic victory, which has given the untested opposition party 308 seats in the powerful 480-member House of Representatives, will enable DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama to become the new prime minister, replacing LDP President Taro Aso, who has held the premiership for less than a year.
Aug 31 Japan Democrats take power, tough challenges loom (Reuters)
 Japan's next leader Yukio Hatoyama, fresh from a historic election win, faced the task on Monday of forming a government to tackle challenges such as reviving the economy and steering a new course with close ally Washington. Sunday's victory by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ends a half-century of almost unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and breaks a deadlock in parliament, ushering in a government that has promised to focus spending on consumers, cut wasteful budget outlays and reduce the power of bureaucrats.
Aug 31 Koizumi's son wins seat but some other hereditary candidates lose (AP)
 Despite growing criticism in Japan of the system in which politicians can easily inherit their relatives' parliamentary seats, a political career appears to have been launched in Sunday's election for Shinjiro Koizumi, son of retiring former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, as a "hereditary" lawmaker.
By J.S. on Sep 9, 2009



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