The Japan Considered Podcast Archive
July 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

Friday, July 27, 2007. Volume 03, Number 25

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Click here for a transcript of this program.

Greetings from the Finger Lakes Region of New York State’s Southern Tier. Coming to you today, Friday the 27th, from the Mobile Studio. The northernmost point on my long trip with the Mobile Studio. Great fun. Though internet access has been spotty, at best. I’ve finally found a WiFi connection strong enough to allow me to upload the audio file and web pages.

This week we take a final look at the run-up to the Upper House election on Sunday. With a focus on the two issues I think are most critical: the government’s failure to correct problems of SIA’s mismanagement of public pension records, and public resentment over enduring, pervasive problems with political funding.

No bluegrass this week. Sorry. And the sound quality of this program may not be quite what it should be. The Mobile Studio is very much a work in progress.

But thanks for tuning in. And, as always, continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at And click on over to the Japan Considered Project website for a transcript of this, and past, programs. As well as other resources related to Japan’s domestic politics and conduct of international relations.

July 13, 2007. Volume 03, Number 25

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Click here for a transcript of this program.

Greetings again from Spring Valley in the Midlands of South Carolina. I will be traveling for the next few weeks. So, Japan Considered Podcast postings until mid-August will depend entirely upon my access to WiFi connections to the Internet. Both to collect political and international news from Japan, and to upload the programs produced from the information collected. I hope you keep checking back, though. I haven't "Pod-Faded," as Scott Fletcher used to say.

This week we look briefly at a couple of significant international issues. First, Japan's role in the international effort to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons development. Then at publication of the Ministry of Defense's first Defense White Paper. With focus on the section devoted to analysis of China's military development.

Then we return to the national political scene, and consider the run-up to the July 29th Upper House election. The official campaign period began yesterday, Thursday the 12th. How will Japan's potential voters respond. There is near-unanimous agreement among Japan's political press, Punditocracy, and Tenurate that the LDP under Shinzo Abe's leadership is headed for a loss. A big loss. As one important issue, we consider the origins and significance of SIA's lost pension payments, and what is to be done.

July 6, 2007. Volume 03, Number 24

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Click here for a transcript of this program.

Greetings Again From the Japan Considered Podcast Mobile Studio. Parked here on the shore of Lake Thurmond. Enjoying the view, in spite of the heat. Thanks for dropping by.

This week we focus almost entirely on the significance of the resignation of Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma. After the negative publicity his comment on U.S. atomic bombing of Japanese cities at the end of World War Two incited.

After describing what happened, we consider the significance of Kyuma's resignation, given the options, and what it tells us about Shinzo Abe's management of the Japanese premiership. My conclusions are somewhat different than those of most of Japan's political media.

Finally we consider what I believe to be the most long-term significant aspect of the Kyuma Affair: Appointment of Yuriko Koike as his successor. And why.