The Japan Considered Podcast Archive
November 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

November 21, 2008; Volume 04, Number 32

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Thanks for joining me today for our Third Anniversary Show! Yup! Three years. A lifetime in the podcast world. With an archive chuck-full of the audio files and transcripts from past programs.

This week we conclude our discussion of political reform, or "seiji kaikaku." And then try to apply the concepts we've been considering to Prime Minister Taro Aso. Is he a Reformist or a Traditionalist? I conclude he's a Traditionalist who just happens to be able to give a wonderful stump speech! And, of course, we consider the significance of all this for the future of Japan's domestic politics.

Next week I hope to focus on the timing of the next general election, and what that tells us about parliamentary politics in Japan. And Japan's reaction to the election of Senator Barak Obama as president of the United States.

November 14, 2008; Volume 04, Number 31

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Thanks for dropping in again this Friday. We're slowly getting back to our regular weekly schedule. Hopefully, it will last. But no promises.

This week we return to the Tamogami Essay Incident, considering General Tamogami's testimony before the Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday, and the reaction to that testimony. We also consider the significance of 94 additional active duty Air Self Defense Force officers submitting essays for the same contest, and what that means for military discipline and supervision of military training.

Then, at long last, we return to the topic of political reform, or 'seiji kaikaku' that we began considering week before last. And nearly complete it before the Old Clock on the Screen went into emergency blinking.

Thanks too for your e-mailed messages. Your comments and suggestions for the program are most helpful. Agree or disagree, they're all valuable. So keep 'em coming.

November 7, 2008; Volume 04, Number 30

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It's Friday again. Here in the Mobile Studio, at Lake Wateree State Park. And I'm still on schedule. Remarkable, given all that's been going on around here. This week we have another "extended program," to put it politely. That is, one far longer than our agreed-upon 25 minutes or so. And I didn't even get to complete discussion of political reform, or "seiji kaikaku"!

This week we take a look at the latest Ministry of Defense flap. This one concerning the behavior of a senior uniformed officer, Air Force Chief of Staff, Toshio Tamogami. Who's written an essay in which he flatly contradicts important aspects of Japan's foreign policies. Knowing the essay would be published for all to read and comment upon. Quite a serious issue. And one that takes some time to consider responsibly.

Then we consider the timing of the next general election. With focus on the motivations of Prime Minister Aso and the opposition parties. This issue too is more complex than it might first appear to be. So, by the end of a discussion that only scratches the surface, we're well over time. Though I think it's important to consider the significance of public funding on the timing, and the actual effect of the election, once it's held.

Again, thanks for the e-mailed comments and suggestions for the program. I read every one of them. And take them into consideration when planning future programs. Keep 'em coming!