The Japan Considered Podcast Archive
February 2007

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

February 23, 2007. Volume 03, Number 08

Click here for the audio file of today's podcast.

Click here to read a full transcript of today's podcast.

Thanks for stopping in again this week. We've made some progress on migration of the Japan Considered Project website to new, hopefully more reliable, commercial servers. The process isn't done yet. But at least the audio files are up. And the link above takes you to the first page on the new website server. Nothing much else there yet, however. Coming soon, as they say.

This week I've devoted the whole program to more detailed consideration of the political significance of the continued decline in the public approval ratings of the Abe Cabinet. It is, I believe, the most important domestic political topic for Japan at the moment. With widespread implications. We explore a few of them, focusing on how the significance of public approval of Japan's central political executive has changed over the past few decades.

Thanks for your continued attention. As always, send your comments and suggestions to me at I read them all with interest. And soon you will be able to reach the Japan Considered Project website at

February 16, 2007. Volume 03, Number 07

Click here for the audio file for this program.

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for tuning in again this week. We're still in transition. Migrating the audio files from this and all previous programs to a commercial server. And setting up a new commercial server for the Website. Sorry for the confusion. But we should have more reliable service as soon as the migration is complete.

This week we focus on two topics. The first is a non-event, the decision to delay launch of Japan's fourth surveillance satellite again. I provide some background on the program, and intend it to illustrate changes in how Japan's attentive public views such issues.

We then consider the results and aftermath of the Six-Party Talks in Beijing, including the substance of the agreement announced and the reaction from around the world.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at I read them all and take each one into consideration when planning future programs.

February 9, 2007 . Volume 03, Number 06.

Click here for the audio file for this program.

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Sorry about the delayed posting of this transcript. Things are back to normal. You can find both the link to the program audio file and to the full transcript in their normal place on the Japan Considered Project website. Just go to, and click on the big podcast button. In the meantime, I hope you found the audio file and the transcript text right here. The problems with the University's servers, or whatever it was, seem to be fixed now. I'm hoping to have a better solution for you in a few weeks.

This week we have a full agenda, beginning with some comments on the on-going Six-Party Talks being held in Bejing on North Korea's nuclear efforts.

We then consider the significance of the results of Sunday's elections for the LDP and Opposition parties, and Prime Minister Abe's approval ratings.

Finally we consider the outcome of the Opposition parties' decision to boycott Lower House debate on the supplementary budget bill. In protest of Health Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa's offensive remark during a speech the week before. The boycott is over, but the results have longer-term significance for Japan's parliament, I think.

We close, of course, with an inspiring clip of bluegrass, this one sure to brighten your day

February 2 , 2007 . Volume 03, Number 05.

Click here for the audio file for this program.

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping by again this week for another Japan Considered Podcast. This week we continue to consider the problems the Abe Cabinet seems to be having with public approval ratings. And the various causes of those problems.

We also consider DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa's decision to organize an opposition party boycott of Lower House supplementary budget debate over Health and Welfare Minister Yanagisawa's description of Japan's mothers as baby-making machines.

Then Dr. Kristina Troost of Duke University joins us to describe the excellent website she has created to provide convenient access to all kinds of on-line resources on Japan. This is one of the very best Japan-related websites on the net.

And, as usual, we close with a heart-warming bluegrass clip, this from the Original Seldom Scene.