The Japan Considered Podcast Archive

February 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

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

February 29, 2008; Volume 04, Number 07

Click here for the audio file of today's program

Click here for a transcript of this program

Welcome again this Leap Year February 29th. Thanks for joining me again today. I've got a treat for you this week. Dr. Ed Lincoln agreed to provide us with some background and insight into the somewhat obscure issue of sovereign wealth funds. Some of Japan's reform-minded politicians have been promoting the idea for a while now. It looks as though they may be getting more attention in the next few months. So, we'd better know what they're talking about. Ed helps us sort through the issues involved.

Also, we return briefly to the tainted gyoza issue. As of today, it appears that the Chinese side can't continue to cooperate on this one. And that the Japanese side isn't willing to give them a pass. So ... earlier optimism appears misplaced. We'll see, though. It's a while before President Hu is scheduled to visit Tokyo.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions directly to me at I do read them all. Though the sharp increase in audience in recent months makes it impossible to respond directly to every one. They're helpful when planning new programs, and for background.

Show Notes

February 22, 2008; Volume 04, Number 06

Click here for the audio file of today's program

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for dropping by again today to all. Including you new listeners. Sorry to have missed you last week. Day job complications, and a chance to visit my dad in North Carolina. This week, though, we have to consider two gloomy topics. Gloomy both in the specifics of the topics. And gloomy when we consider the Fukuda Cabinet's political response.

The first is the collision earlier this week between the MSDF destroyer, Atago, and a civilian fishing boat. The second is the suspected rape of another Okinawan teenager by a U.S. Serviceman. For both, given limitations of both information and expertise, our focus is on the politics of the issues. Especially the response of the Fukuda Cabinet.

And, one more encouraging topic: continuation of the bilateral investigation of the contaminated gyoza incident. Or incidents. This has been going quite well. Or, at least, it hasn't degenerated into mutual finger-pointing and name-calling. And that's encouraging.

Lots more to consider. But it will have to wait until next week.

February 8, 2008. Volume 04, Number 05

Click here for the audio file for today's program

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for tuning in to another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. This week we backtrack a bit, with more information about government funding of Japan's political parties. Then we consider the "tainted gyoza" incident that recently erupted into a major topic of front-page consideration in Japan during the past few days. And move from there to the first part of our consideration of how the LDP and DPJ have handled the gasoline tax surcharge issue in this session of the Diet.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program to me directly at I'm a bit behind on responses, with the recent increase in listenership. But read them all. And will respond to as many as possible.