The Japan Considered Podcast Archive

July 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

July 14, 2008; Volume 04, Number 23

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Just a quick hello this morning, to let you know Japan Considered Podcasts will be arriving only sporadically for the next few weeks. Until mid-August. Due to my travel schedule. WiFi's not always available in the more remote parts of the country. Though I'll check in on Japan's domestic political and international news when I can. And put up a program when the WiFi connection is especially good. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I should be gone by now. But just quick mention this week of three important topics. First, the effect of Japan's participation in the Toyako G- 8 Summit on domestic politics in Japan. Then, the Beijing meeting Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the six countries trying to work out a peaceful resolution of North Korea's nuclear provocations. And finally, brief mention of former Kochi Governor Daijiro Hashimoto's announcement that he's decided to form a new national political party. Before, not after, the next general election. Interesting development

I'll discuss all of these topics in more detail in the weeks and months to come. So, stay tuned, and continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program to me at

July 4, 2008; Volume 04, Number 22

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Click here for a transcript of today's program

Welcome again. And Happy Fourth of July! I hope your celebration is going well today. We have a couple of interesting topics to cover again. This time from the Mobile Studio, parked at Iron Station, in our Neighbor to the North. You may hear the sound of gunfire in the background. No, we're not under attack. As far as I can tell. It's just the way they celebrate July 4th here abouts. Quite a sound!

This week we begin with a follow-up look at Japan's response to President Bush's decision to remove North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Nothing very surprising. The real test of the significance of this issue is yet to come.

Then we shift to domestic politics, to consider a proposal recently made by LDP Upper House Member, Ichita Yamamoto. To change the rules under which an LDP president is elected. Yamamoto's proposal has received virtually no attention in Japan's political press. But I think it could well be important in the future. If, as I suspect, Yamamoto is raising the issue with the support of a larger number of reformers within the LDP. We have to review Junichiro Koizumi's experience back in 2001 to appreciate the potential of this issue.

Thanks for all of the e-mailed comments and suggestions. Again, you don't have to agree with my interpretations to have your e-mails read and taken seriously. I read each one. It's become impossible to respond individually to every note. But, even if you don't receive a reply, be confident that your effort isn't wasted. Send them to And click on over to the Japan Considered Website at www.JapanConsidered.Com for additional background on Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations.