The Japan Considered Podcast Archive

January 2008

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.

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Show Notes

January 25, 2008; Volume 04, Number 04

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Welcome to another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. This week we consider the performance of the LDP and the DPJ in the recently-opened 169th Ordinary Session of the Diet. With focus on Prime Minister Fukuda's policy speech. And the recent performance of the DPJ. Focusing on the Party leadership of Ichiro Ozawa. With Ozawa's talents as a political tactician compared to those of Karl Rove in the United States. I also provide a bit more information about the new political reform group, Sentaku. And discuss briefly the DPJ's promising new national budget proposal.

January 18, 2008; Volume 04, Number 03

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Thanks for joining us for another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. This week we have a special treat. Gregg Rubinstein of GAR Associates in Washington D.C., joins us again. Gregg this week helps us to understand the significance of the Ministry of Defense procurement corruption scandal we've discussed for the past few months. Gregg has been active in U.S.-Japan defense relations for a long time. And knows what's going on. He joined us over the SkypePhone on Thursday afternoon, the 17th.

In addition to Gregg's contribution, this week we examine the spate of public opinion polls released by Japan's media in the wake of Prime Minister Fukuda's visit to China and the Lower House two-thirds over-ride of Upper House opposition to the anti-terror law. It's quite a diverse set of poll results!

We then turn briefly again to the question of significant realignment of Japan's political party system.

January 11, 2008; Volume 04, Number 02

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Thanks for dropping by again. This week we consider the Ruling Coalition's decision to over-ride Upper House rejection of the new anti-terror bill, the Constitutional rules for passage of the national budget bill, the long-awaited parliamentary "debate" between Prime Minister Fukuda and DPJ Leader Ichiro Ozawa, and begin our discussion of the future of Japan's political party system. Lots to cover. With certain spill-over into future weeks. So stay tuned.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program directly to me at I read them all and answer as many as possible directly.

January 4 , 2008; Volume 04, Number 01

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Happy New Year, and welcome to the first program for 2008 in this series. Brought to you again from the Mobile Studio. This time parked at the beautiful South Carolina beach at Edisto Island State Park. There are a few photos in the transcript. Temperatures here dropped to below freezing last night. But it's much warmer today. And we're expecting temps in the 70s here, beginning over the weekend.

This week I'd hope to focus on the currents of significant change in Japan's domestic politics. But there was just too much that needed to be said about Prime Minister Fukuda's historic visit to Mainland China. And still stay within our promised time frame. So, what went on during the China visit, and its significance, take most of our time this week. Hopefully, little will happen next week which will allow us to dig into these interesting domestic political developments. Or, at least, indications that we may be seeing some interesting domestic political developments before long.

As always, thanks for your attention to the Japan Considered Podcast. And please continue to send your e-mailed comments and suggestions to me directly at I read them all, and respond directly to as many as possible each week. They're a great help.