The Japan Considered Podcast Archive
December 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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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.

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Show Notes

December 29, 2006. Volume 02, Number 46.

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Click here for a transcript of this program.

Good Morning, again, for the final Japan Considered Podcast of 2006. Thanks for dropping by. And special thanks to you long-time listeners. It doesn't work without you. So I appreciate your attention. And look forward to continuing these weekly programs of commentary and analysis concerning Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations in 2007.

This week we return to the problems the Abe Kantei seems to be having communicating with Japan's attentive public. Resolution of the Professor Homma fiasco we mentioned last week, eruption of a new political funding scandal, this time within the Cabinet itself, and its more rapid resolution. And then consideration of the significance of Yoshimi Watanabe's appointment to succeed Genichiro Sata as Minister of State responsible for administrative reform and regional revitalization.

Happy New Year to all.

December 22, 2006. Volume 02, Number 45.

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Click here for a transcript of this program.

Good Morning, from beautiful Spring Valley in the Midlands of South Carolina. Thanks for dropping in again. This week we consider developments related to LDP factions. Specifically, Taro Aso's creation of his own faction, that appears to be a traditional LDP faction. Then Tsutomu Takebe's organization of what we might call an "anti-faction-faction" composed of younger LDP members who have yet to join factions. Then we continue consideration of the Abe Cabinet's continuing difficulty with its relationship to Japan's attentive public, and speculate on some possible explanations.

Professor Dennis Yasutomo then joins us to provide some balance to my Kantei commentary with information about some Kantei initiatives that seem to be working as they were intended to work. Especially the Asia Gateway Project.

And we conclude with a clip from the Infamous Stringdusters' "My destination."

December 15, 2006. Volume 02, Number 44.

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Good Morning, again from the University of South Carolina. Thanks for tuning in. I've got a terrific program for you this week, though it's a little long. After a preliminary discussion of the continuing decline in the public approval ratings for the Abe Cabinet, Dr. Edward Lincoln joins us for his comments on Japan's current economy, and on the economic policies of the Abe Administration. Great material.

Dr. Lincoln is the director of the Center for Japan-U.S. Business and Economic Studies at NYU's Stern School of Business in New York, and a professor of economics there. Click here to visit the Center's new Website, which includes a page of valuable links for economic information about Japan.

The SkypePhone interview with Ed was so full of useful information that I've run the whole thing. So, no time once again for bluegrass. Next week fer shur, as we'd say OverHome.

December 8, 2006. Volume 02, Number 43.

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Click here for a transcript of this program.

Good Morning again from the Midlands of South Carolina. Thanks for dropping by. Sorry to have missed last week. Again, the day job seemed to get in the way. End-of-semester tasks such as research papers, grading, and writing exams. Those of you who teach for a living will understand.

This week, though, we will continue to consider the internal workings of Japan's major opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan. And how interaction there among the diverse interests represented will affect political and legislative outcomes in Japan.

We also take a look at the sharp drop in public approval of the Abe Cabinet. Its determinants, and its significance for short- and medium-term politics in Japan. Key here is a closer look at the Party's decision to allow eleven of the former "Postal Rebels" to return to full Party membership.

Then we turn to pending legislation of significance for the Abe Administration. First the efforts to revise the Basic Education Law, and then legislation that would upgrade Japan's Defense Agency to full ministerial status.

A warning: No time for bluegrass this week. But I'll try to have something nice next week as partial compensation.