The Japan Considered Podcast Archive
October 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

You can subscribe by copying the following URL into the "subscribe" window of your podcast aggregator, such as iTunes, Juice, zeibot, or the many others.

Those of you with iTunes already installed on your computers can subscribe with a single click on the iTunes icon, here:   

Or, you can search for "Japan Considered" in the podcast section of the iTunes music store and subscribe from there.

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

Click Here to Return to
Podcast Home Page

Show Notes

October 26, 2007. Volume 03, Number 38

Click here for the audio file of this program.

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping in again this week. We have a full schedule. Though I'll do my best to keep the program to a reasonable length. This week we check in on the Ministry of Defense flaps. Including the "Moriya Golf" issue, and how that issue has been combined with debate over renewal of legislation authorizing Japan to continue refueling U.S. ships, and ships of other nations, engaged in the war on terror.

Then we have an interview with Dr. James Auer, Director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and Cooperation at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Public Policy Studies. Jim helps us unravel the complex parliamentary goings-on concerning Japan's diplo-military relationship with the United States. A real mine field.

October 19, 2007. Volume 03, Number 37

Click here for the audio file for this program.

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for joining me again today. We have a good program. Featuring an extended interview with Gregg Rubinstein of Washington, D.C. Gregg gives us his latest thinking on the nature of U.S.-Japan relations. All interesting stuff.

Before that we briefly consider the significance of a couple of items in the news this week. First, Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura's comments to the Kantei press corps about negotiations with China over the East China Sea gas exploitation dispute. He clearly said -- again -- that Japan believes this issue requires a "political" resolution. And that Japan expects China to present a more reasonable proposal. Clearly, "dialogue" can mean all sorts of things.

The second issue concerns NHK's reporting today on allegations that recently retired Ministry of Defense Vice Minister, Takemasa Moriya, has been playing golf regularly with representatives of an important defense contractor. For years. This isn't a new issue. Japan's tabloid political press and newsletters have been covering it for months. But NHK's decision to cover it is significant, I think. We'll just have to see how the Fukuda Cabinet responds.

Finally, we have the excellent interview with Gregg Rubinstein I mentioned a moment ago. Full of information and insights. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

And we close with a clip of bluegrass from the Seldom Scene's 1985 album, "Blue Ridge." If you buy only one album of bluegrass for your collection this may well be the one to get. Here's where it's available on-line.

October 12, 2007. Volume 03, Number 36

Click here for the audio file for this program.

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping by again. And for the e-mailed comments and suggestions for the program that you've taken the time to send. They're very helpful, and keep 'em coming! To

In response to your suggestions, I've added a trial website search window to the Japan Considered Project website home page. It's at the bottom of the page. Give it a try. It should allow you to search the website's contents for files that contain words and phrases you input. Let me know how it works.

This week we take a look at the latest round of bilateral talks between Japan and China on the East China Sea gas exploitataion dispute. No progress in the talks. But I think they tell us something about Japan's new prime minister and cabinet.

Then we continue our consideration of the first 18 days of Yasuo Fukuda's premiership. With special attention to the implications of the style of his selection for his performance as prime minister.

October 5, 2007. Volume 03; Number 35

Click here for the audio file for this program.

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping by. No program last week. But, hopefully, we're back on track now.

This time we return to Japan's international relations, with consideration of Tokyo's reaction to recent events on the Korean peninsula. The second round of the Six Party Talks, and the North-South Korean Summit meeting. Japan has a big stake in developments there.

Then we consider selection of Yasuo Fukuda as LDP president, and prime minister of Japan. How he was selected. What was expected; what was unexpected.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at And click on over to the Japan Considered Project website for past podcast transcripts and audio files. And, links to useful English language web-based resources on Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations