The Japan Considered Podcast Archive
November 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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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

November 23, 2007. Volume 03, Number 42

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Welcome again to this week's post-Thanksgiving Day Japan Considered Podcast. No Podcast next week, November 30th. I'll be traveling and won't have internet access most of the time. So, tune back in on December 7th.

This week has been busy again in Japan. Both domestically and internationally. We'll begin with preliminary discussion of Prime Minister Fukuda's trip to Singapore. And his important summit meetings there.

Then we'll shift to the domestic political scene, and an event that's received little notice. Comparatively. Election of Hideo Hiramatsu as Mayor of Osaka. Quite an interesting election. With important implications for Japan's national politics. Though perhaps not quite the implications we're reading in Japan's political press.

And finally, we'll consider one of the two puzzles I mentioned last week. And the week before! This one continuing -- even intensifying -- discussion of a "snap election." It simply doesn't make sense to me. So, let's discuss it in some detail.

So, until week after next, then. Continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program to me directly at I read them all, and reply to as many as possible. They are a great help when planning the topics for future programs.

November 16, 2007. Volume 03, Number 41

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Thanks for coming by again this week for our second anniversary program. It was November 18, 2005, when I recorded the first program. Just an introduction. With terrible sound. Check the archives for 2005 if you'd like a chuckle. But your continued interest in the program has kept it going.

This week we consider the results of the eleventh bilateral Japan-China expert negotiating session over gas exploitation in the East China Sea. Then we review Prime Minister Fukuda's brief visit to Washington, his summit meeting with President Bush, and how Japan's political press has reported the run-up and outcome. Finally we update the rapidly expanding Ministry of Defense equipment procurement scandal.

Finishing well within our twenty-five minute time limit. Have a listen, or a read, and send your comments to me directly at

November 9, 2007. Volume 03, Number 40

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Thanks for dropping in again this week. We have another full schedule. Japan's domestic politics continue to surprise. So, we'll focus most of our energies on domestic political issues.

First, an update of the Prosecutors' investigation of suspicions of corruption at the Ministry of Defense. More Diet testimony scheduled; a few arrests; and plenty of media coverage. I also review the traditional pattern of these political financial scandals in Japan. And suggest why this one may have some significance for Japan's domestic politics.

Then we look at the second Fukuda-Ozawa closed-door meeting, and the remarkable media coverage it has generated. Including lots of talk of "Grand Coalition" proposals. If all this hasn't been dramatic enough, DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa decided to submit his resignation as Party president, and then retract the decision. Quite remarkable performances.

In addition to these important domestic political developments, we look in again on the series of bilateral meetings between Japan and China over management of gas exploitation in the East China Sea. Another meeting is scheduled for next week.

As always, send your comments and suggestions to me at

November 2, 2007. Volume 03, Number 39

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Thanks for dropping by. Another full week. Even without being able to access news for today, Friday. I'm in the Mobile Studio again, at Hunting Island State Park, on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. A beautiful site. But a long way from internet access!

This week we'll consider Takemasa Moriya's testimony Monday before the Lower House Committee, and subsequent Japan political press coverage of the event. What was said and what was only hinted.

Then we'll shift to Tuesday's meeting between Prime Minister and LDP President Yasuo Fukuda and DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa. Lots of speculation since about that mostly closed-door meeting. And the decision to cancel the Diet debate between Fukuda and Ozawa the following day.

And finally, we begin our consideration of Fukuda the Man, a brief profile of Yasuo Fukuda. That hopefully will help us interpret his behavior and consider the implications of his premi