The Japan Considered Podcast Archive

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

March 30, 2007. Volume 03, Number 12

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Click here for a transcript of this program.

It's Friday again, and welcome back. This time from a remote site. Well, not really very remote. Just the Sesquicentennial State Park in the Midlands of South Carolina. But the program is being produced and recorded here among the beautifully blooming dogwood. In our Aliner Little Tin House. So, you'll probably hear a difference in the audio sound. Especially at the beginning. Hopefully not too bad.

This week, as promised last Friday, we focus on only one topic. The politics of the Abe Kantei's "Administrative Reform" proposal. This is potentially a very important issue. And, we've seen very little coverage of it, even in the Japanese political media. At least, compared to its significance.

So, we'll do that here. Beginning with the history and overall significance of the issue. Then how the Abe Kantei has presented their proposals, and the specific content of those proposals. And finally something on the politics of the whole issue.

Thanks for all of the e-mail messages. They are helpful. You don't have to agree with the analysis here to write in. Just address your e-mail to I look forward to reading them. And will respond to all I can. Also, click on over to the new Japan Considered website. Slowly, slowly, I'm getting materials migrated over.

March 23, 2007. Volume 03, Number 11

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Welcome back again this week. To all of you who regularly listen to and/or read the show. Another busy week in political and international Japan.

We begin with good news about modification of the "Sushi Police" scheme by the Ministry of Agriculture. But then look at the collapse of the Six-Party Talks held this week in Beijing, as a counter-balance.

The balance of the program is all about the upcoming prefectural and local elections. And what they actually mean for Japan's domestic politics. A number of you have written in asking for clarification. So, here it is.

I'd hoped to consider the administrative reforms the Abe Cabinet announced earlier this week. They are important. Far more important than their footprint in Japan's political press would suggest. But it will have to wait until next week.

At the end of the program we have another nice clip from Nashville's "Infamous Stringdusters." From "A Poor Boy's Dream." You can order the album from Sugar Hill by clicking on this link.

Until next week, then, continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at Especially anything you might have on the conduct of the prefectural and local elections. That news is darn hard to come by!

March 16, 2007. Volume 03, Number 10

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Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping in again. It's good to be back at the microphone. After nearly a two-week absence. Not "pod-fading," now. Just a planned short spring vacation. Thanks for all of your e-mails. I'll have gotten through them by the end of the weekend, hopefully. And they're all appreciated. We've had quite an increase in regular subscribers to the program since the last program. A hearty South Carolina welcome to you all. I hope the programs you receive will meet your expectations. Drop me an e-mail at to let me know what you think. I'll do my best to write back.

We’ll begin this week with a quick review of developments in the North Korean situation. Because of its overall importance. Then a comment on the Abe Cabinet’s discussion of defense relations with Australia, Indonesia, and France, and its significance. Next, we’ll consider recent developments in the relationship with Mainland China, including the run-up to Premier Wen’s visit to Japan early next month. And we’ll conclude with further consideration of the Abe Cabinet’s management of public communications, both domestic and international. And I've prepared an excellent bluegrass clip for you at the end. From the "Infamous Stringdusters." You can pick up a copy of their album, "Fork in the Road," from Sugar Hill Records by clicking here.

You also can reach the Japan Press Weekly by clicking here.

March 3 , 2007. Volume 03, Number 09

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Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping by again this week. Sorry the program is late going up. And, there won't be a program on Friday, March 9. Not podfading, just traveling for a few days. But I'll be back and at it the following Friday, March 16th. So stay tuned.

This week we take a look at the passage of Japan's FY 2007 budget through the Lower House Budget Committee and the Lower House plenary session. With special emphasis on what this process can tell us about Ichiro Ozawa's DPJ.

Then we consider Japan's management of relations with China, and how that has changed during the past decade or so. Using the Yasukuni Shrine Visit fracas of last year as an example.

And, of course, we close with a refreshing clip of bluegrass, just to brighten your week. This the Original Seldom Scene's rendition of James Taylor's "Sweet Baby James." Incredible music. You can find Act I by clicking on this link.