The Japan Considered Podcast Archive
August 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 RobertCAngel@gmail.com.


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Show Notes


August 31, 2007. Volume 03, Number 31

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Welcome again to the Japan Considered Podcast. This week our focus is on the reshuffle of the Abe Cabinet. and the significance of that reshuffle for Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations.

I've been able to persuade three specialists in the field to join us today as commentators. First Mr. Gregg Rubinstein gives his thoughts on the significance of all this for the Ministry of Defense, and its conduct of its mission.

Then Dr. Edward Lincoln provides his thoughts on the economic appointments -- both domestic and international.

And Dr. Dennis Yasutomo discusses the implications of the reshuffle for Japan's conduct of foreign relations, in broader perspective.

I'd planned to add my own commentary on the effect of the reshuffle on Japan's domestic politics. But the contributions of our guest commentators went a bit longer than expected. All good material, so I didn't feel comfortable cutting it. You'll hear from me next week.

Keep in mind, this just happened. So these are only preliminary thoughts on the subject. We may well see dramatic changes in the near future.


August 24, 2007. Volume 03, Number 30

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Thanks for tuning again this week. LibSyn, the service that stores the audio files for the program, has been experiencing difficulty for the past few days. So I suspect some of you have been unable to access the program's audio files. Let's hope the problem's settled soon so we'll be up and running.

Since this week we again have a lot to cover. We begin with some discussion of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Indonesia, India, and Malaysia this week. He left on Sunday and is expected back in Tokyo tomorrow, Saturday.

Then we turn to domestic politics, with consideration of developments in the appointment of the second Abe Cabinet. Some of those developments quite surprising.

And finally we look at Prime Minister Abe's political style, in search of explanations of the problems he has faced since his selection last September. I suggest that he may simply be conflict-adverse. Or that he's relying on individuals for advice who are out of touch with the current political situation in Japan.


August 17, 2007. Volume 03, Number 29

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Thanks for tuning in again. This week I'd hoped to continue the post mortem of the October 29th Upper House election. But as so often happens, pressing events intervened. So that will have to wait until next week.

This week we consider the longer-term significance of the eruption of conflict between Defense Minister Yuriko Koike and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihisa Shiozaki. Not pretty! And another blot on the Abe Administration's management of Japan's national government.

We must go into some detail, since Japanese and English language news reports of these events from Japan have been somewhat misleading. For the most part.

In addition, click on over and have a look at the Japan Considered Project interview with Gregg Rubinstein. It's another interesting addition to the collection on the Japan Considered website. Gregg has had an interesting career that spans government service and the life of a busy consultant in Washington. You can go directly to the interview by clicking here.

Also note some more progress on migrating the website to its current home from the University servers. I hope it's easier to navigate. Go have a look at www.JapanConsidered.com.


August 10, 2007, Volume 03, Number 28

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Back home at last from a 24-day Grand Northern Sojourn. This program coming to you from the home studio. Hopefully with a little better sound quality. Thanks for tuning in.

This week we begin by considering a couple of important international developments. The first, how the North Korean government's abduction and imprisonment of Japanese citizens has become a political football in Japan's domestic politics. Then evidence of a subtle change in the tone of Japan's relationship with Mainland China.

The remainder of our program this week is devoted to continuation of the July 29th election postmortem. This time focusing on the response of the Abe Kantei to the shocking defeat.

And we close with a clip of Tony Rice's "Changes" that I hope you enjoy.


August 3, 2007. Volume 03, Number 27


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Greetings again from the Mobile Studio. Still on the road, and finally about to get another WiFi uplink. Hope all works.

This week we focus on the results of the Sunday election for the Upper House. As predicted, the LDP lost, and Lost Big! This is quite an event. For the first time since formation of the party in 1955, the LDP is not the largest Party in both houses. So, it's important.

This week, we'll try to sort through what actually happened, and why it happened. I'd hoped to include the significance and consequences, but that'll have to wait until next week.

Continue to send your comments and suggestions to Robert C Angel @ Gmail.com. I read them all, and respond directly to as many as possible.