The Japan Considered Podcast Archive
December 2005

Weekly programs of analysis and commentary on Japan’s domestic politics and foreign relations. Role of the prime minister and cabinet, changes in Japan's domestic political environment, connecting voters and candidates, constitutional revision, and Japan’s relations with other Asian nations. These broadcasts are created by Japan Considered Project creator/maintainer, Robert Angel, and include short interviews with other specialists on Japanese politics and international relations

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If none of that makes sense, then in the space below you can read the show notes for each weekly program, and download the audio file to your computer by clicking on the link. The audio files are in compact MP3 format, but still range in size from 8 to 25 meg, so they'll take a while to download.

Beginning with the first show of 2006, I have included a transcript of the whole program for those of you who would rather read than listen.

Thanks for listening, and send comments and suggestions to me via e-mail at

Show Notes

December 30, 2005, Volume 01, No 07

Best wishes to you and yours for a Happy and Productive New Year. This is the last podcast in the Japan Considered series for this year. Thanks for listening. Click the "Interviews" link in the navigation bar to go to a steadily increasing number of interviews with noted Japan specialists. Two more informative interviews are coming in the near future, for a total of 12 this year.

This week most of Japan is on vacation. But a lot still was going on. We consider the nature of news coverage and public relations during slow-news periods in Japan, the publication of census data that showed an earlier-than-expected beginning of the decline of Japan's population, and government efforts to demonstrate that they are trying to take counter-measures, report of the suicide last year of an official of Japan's Consulate in Shanghai who left notes suggesting he was being blackmailed by a Chinese intelligence official, and a tour of the website maintained by the Office of Japan's Prime Minister. We close the show with a few more bars of The Dirty River Band's "Crooked Smile," progressive bluegrass that's bound to brighten your day.

Links to individuals and organizations mentioned in today's show follow:

The Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo

Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare

National Institute of Population and Social Security Research

Minister Kuniko Inoguchi

Kantei Meeting of the Council for Gender Equality

Discussion of Japan's Press Clubs from Japan Media Review

People's Republic of China Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Kantei Website Main Page

The Dirty River Band of Washington, D.C.

This link takes you to the audio file for the program.

December 22, 2005, Volume 01, No 06

Prepared a day early this week due to power outages planned for Gambrell Hall, here at the University of South Carolina, home of the Japan Considered Project. Point your browser at for more details about the program and the other information resources of the Japan Considered website. Write me at with your comments and suggestions.

Today we consider press reaction to the annual convention of the Democratic Party of Japan, and the performance of the DPJ's chairman, Seiji Maehara, looking for hints about what electoral politics in Japan will be for the next few years.

Then we consider the Ministry of Finance's draft of next year's budget, which came in just below 80 trillion yen, down from last year. Budget cuts, however, are not without specific victims, and we focus on medical expenditures and Japan's overseas development aid.

The leading academic expert on Japan's ODA, Professor Dennis Yasutomo of Smith College, Massachusetts, joins us this week for a brief commentary that provides background and sophisticated commentary on their political implications.

Links to individuals and organizations mentioned on today's program:

University of South Carolina
Democratic Party of Japan
The Japan Medical Association
Rengo, The Japanese Trade Union Confederation
Ministry of Finance Budget Page
Japan Considered Interview with Professor Dennis Yasutomo
The Dirty River Band of Washington D.C.

This link takes you to the sixth audio program.

December 16, 2005, Vol 1, No 5.

Welcome to the fifth program in the Japan Considered Podcast series.

Today we consider:

Here are a few links to individuals and organizations mentioned during the program:

This link takes you to the fifth audio program.

December 9, 2005, Vol 1, No 4.

Welcome to the fourth program in the Japan Considered Podcast series.

Go to the Japan Considered Project website for more English language information on Japanese politics and diplomacy.

Today, we consider the following topics:

Links to organizations and individuals mentioned in today's Podcast:

This link takes you to the fourth audio Program

December 3, 2005, Vol 1, No 3.

This is the third program in the Japan Considered Podcast series. Today we discuss the following topics:

And we close with music from North Carolina's progressive Bluegrass band, the Wind Riders.

Links related to this program:

This link takes you to the third audio program