The Japan Considered Podcast Archive
November 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

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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

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Show Notes

November 24, 2006. Volume 02, Number 42.

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Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for tuning in again today. Without your interest there's little incentive to prepare these programs and to continue to talk into the microphone. Listenership and subscriptions are up all over the world. Well beyond anything I imagined last year when the project began. But we're still a "narrow-cast," rather than a "broadcast" program, and will remain so. Given our specific topic and approach.

This week is all about the gubernatorial election in Okinawa last Sunday. And the significance of that election for Japan overall, the Abe Cabinet, and most important, the Democratic Party of Japan. It's a complex subject and took all of the time available.

We close with another brief selection from North Carolina's Wind Riders. This one from their recent CD, entitled "You Can Share My Blanket." Another great sound from this remarkable group.

November 17, 2006. Volume 02, Number 41.

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Click here for a transcript of this program.

This is it! Our First Anniversary Program. Thanks for tuning in again. Or, for those of you who have found us for the first time, a hearty South Carolina welcome. Each week on this program we consider the longer-term significance of events in the news for Japan's domestic politics or conduct of international relations.

This week, we hear the very beginning of the first program from last year's November 18th program. Then we follow up on last week's consideration of the Town Meeting flap that continues to give the public relations officials in the Kantei fits.

From there we move to consideration of the recent prefectural gubernatorial races, and what they can tell us about change in Japan's domestic politics. We note the DPJ's win in Fukushima, and then look at the arrests of prefectural governors under suspicion of bribery and bid-fixing.

Finally we return to the DPJ's decision to boycott Diet debates over the revision of Japan's basic education bill. Why did they do it? What did they gain? Or lose?

And we close with a stirring clip from a new bluegrass band, the Infamous Stringdusters. You can listen to more of their remarkable sound on their My Space page. Just click here to go there.

November 10, 2006. Volume 02, Number 40

Click here for the audio file for this program.

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for tuning in again. A cool but sunny day here in the Carolina Midlands. No program last week. Just too much going on here. Including building a new computer to produce audio files. Let's hope it improves the sound.

This week we consider the nuclear weapons "discussion discussion" that North Korea's nuclear test last month has inspired, and what it all means. Then we turn our attention to Japan's response to the U.S. midterm elections. Quite a bit to learn from that, I think. And finally, consider the longer-term significance of a scandal that's erupted over the Kantei planting question-askers in the Town Meetings held to discuss revision of Japan's basic education law.

And, not to be forgotten, North Carolina's Wind Riders now have their CD for sale on a site called "CD Baby." I've been assured by reliable sources that this is a well known, and legitimate site. Click on to view their ad.