The Japan Considered Podcast Archive
June 2006

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

You can subscribe by copying the following URL into the "subscribe" window of your podcast aggregator, such as iTunes, Juice, zeibot, or the many others.

Those of you with iTunes already installed on your computers can subscribe with a single click on the iTunes icon, here:   

Or, you can search for "Japan Considered" in the podcast section of the iTunes music store and subscribe from there.

If none of that makes sense, then on the Japan Considered Podcast page [click here] 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

June 30, 2006. Volume 02, Number 24.

Click here for the audio file for today's program.

Click here for a transcript of today's program.

Welcome again for another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. This week our show runs a little longer than usual. Sorry about that. We take a close look at the bilateral summit meeting between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and U.S. President George W. Bush, and the implications of that meeting for our understanding of Japan's domestic politics and international relations. Things are changing in Japan, and we have to recognize and understand those changes in order to manage the relationship from the U.S. side.

A discussion of "gai-atsu" emerged from our consideration of this important summit meeting. "Gai-atsu" simply means external, or foreign, pressure in Japanese. But what role has it played in the bilateral U.S.-Japan relationship? How have changes in Japan, and in the United States, changed the significance of gai-atsu, and the effectiveness of gai-atsu as a tool in the American diplomatic tool box?

Please visit the rest of the Japan Considered website for additional English language information on Japan's domestic politics and international relations. No new interviews yet, but I hope to have an interesting one to add in a week or so.


June 23, 2006. Volume 02, Number 23.

Click here for the audio file for today's program.

Click here for a transcript of today's program.

Thanks for dropping by again today. This week we focus on comments made by a long-time listener in response to my comments last week on the LDP presidential race. Our listener has known both Shinzo Abe and Yasuo Fukuda for some time, and argues that they are very different LDP leaders. And points out the differences between a parliamentary and a presidential democratic political system.

Then Dr. Edward J. Lincoln, incoming director of the Center for Japan-US Business and Economic Studies at the Stern School of Business of New York University, joins us via Skype internet hookup to explain the economics of the political debate over growing economic inequality in Japan. In the Japan Considered website Interviews section, you can read and listen to an interview with Dr. Lincoln done last year. Just click this link to go there.


June 16, 2006. Volume 02, Number 22.

Click here for the audio file for today's program.

Click here for a transcript of today's program.

Thanks for dropping by today. Early last week, technological over-confidence resulted in a severe computer crisis. Two hard disks, including the one with all the backup files, rendered inoperable. A computer that wouldn't boot. All files lost forever. Or so it seemed for several days.

Thanks to advice and specific instructions from Japan Considered readers/listeners, and the efforts of the crack technical support staff here at USC, I have been able to recover all of the data. A relief! And testimony to the importance of off-site back-ups of essential files.

This week, in response to numerous listener questions since the beginning of the program, I describe the information sources upon which the Japan Considered Podcast is based, and the processes through which it is created each week. I think I've covered every question. But send an e-mail if I've missed something you have asked, or in which you have an interest: I'll try to respond.

We also return to the LDP presidential election race, and consider its significance for the future of Japan's domestic government and international relations.

June 2, 2006. Volume 02, Number 21.

Click here for the audio file for today's program.

Click here for a transcript of today's program.

Thanks for joining me again today. We've got a long show. Lots going on in Tokyo that we must cover. We begin with some new offerings on the Japan Considered Project website. These include an excellent summary of a talk given by Professor Len Schoppa of the University of Virginia on May 31, 2006, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington D.C. The paper, entitled, "The 2006 Koizumi Succession in Historical Perspective," is in the "Occasional Papers" section of the site.

At the request of a listener, I provide what I hope are clear instructions on how to access the audio files for the program. Both for the IBM-PC and for the Mac.

Then we update Japan's relations with Mainland China and South Korea, and consider recent developments in preparations for Prime Minister Koizumi's visit to Washington later this month.

The bulk of the program is taken up with consideration of developments in the LDP presidential race. Professor Schoppa provided us with information about the participation of LDP prefectural branches in the presidential election, details he learned from Professor Yukiko Amakawa of the Chiba Institute of Science during his visit to CSIS at the end of last month. Professor Amakawa is a friend and adviser for Shinzo Abe. Professor Schoppa provides the details of Professor Amakawa's contribution in his paper.

We conclude with notice of unexpected parliamentary developments in the committee considering the conspiracy crime law we have mentioned from time to time on this program. The DPJ, it seems, ended up refusing to debate their own bill. A lesson to us all.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at I read them all and take them into consideration when preparing future shows. And, look through the Japan Considered Project website for more specific information on the topics we cover in this program.