The Japan Considered Podcast Archive

January 2009

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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January 23, 2009; Volume 05, Number 04

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It's Friday again, and thanks for dropping by. Another excellent interview for this program. Timely, and full of useful information. Dr. Ed Lincoln, Director of the Stern School of Business's Japan-U.S. Center at New York University, agreed to come on to help us understand how bilateral economic relations between Japan and the United States are likely to change under the incoming Obama Administration. Ed is far closer to the new Administration and the people likely to assume senior policy posts than am I. And, his political and econo-political perspective is quite different than mine. So his comments at this time are especially valuable.

It's another longer program than we usually have. But I'm sure you'll agree it's well worth the extra time.

Show Notes

January 20, 2009; Volume 05, Number 03

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090112EdistoBeachState Park
Click Photo for Picasa Album

Welcome back to another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. A bit delayed by a five-day visit to Edisto Beach State Park, on beautiful Edisto Island, South Carolina. Right on the shore of the Atlantic. Click on the photo on the left to see some photos of the trip. Even warm enough to kayak one day!

This week I've got another treat for you. Mr. Gregg Rubinstein, principal of GAR Associates in Washington D.C., agreed to join us again to follow up Skipp Orr's interview with discussion of security policy issues between Japan and the United States during the incoming Obama Administration. So, enjoy. An excellent overall assessment of what we're likely to see in this increasingly important aspect of the bilateral relationship.

January 09, 2009; Volume 05, Number 02

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Dreher Island State Park, SC
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Greetings again from Columbia, South Carolina. Just back from Dreher Island State Park with the Japan Considered Mobile Studio. A beautiful place to visit. Right on the shore of Lake Murray, and less than an hour from Columbia. Here are some photos on the left. Just click the picture to go to the Picasa website.

This week we have another treat. This is two in a row. You'll soon be spoiled! The media in Japan is full of articles about the effect of presidential administration change in Washington on U.S.-Japan Relations. Most of those articles have been either blatantly speculative, or showing signs of tight political spin. A number of you have written in asking about this as well, and suggesting that I spend more time on it.

Well, this week we will. Robert M. [Skipp] Orr agreed to join us via Skype-Phone from his home in Kamakura, Japan. It would be hard to find anyone more qualified to discuss this issue. Skipp played an important role in the Obama presidential election campaign. Further, as a former senior U.S. government official, academic, and businessman, he's developed an incredibly broad range of personal contacts in Japan over the past three decades. So, he's the fellow to go to for some answers. And we did.

Please continue to send your comments and suggestions directly to me at They've been especially helpful during the past few weeks. And I thank you for taking the time to write. Even if you do not receive a direct reply, be assured I've read your note, and will take it into consideration when planning new programs.

January 02, 2009; Volume 05, Number 01

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Happy New Year to you and yours, from all of us in Columbia, South Carolina. I hope you will find for another year enough of interest on the Japan Considered Podcasts to bring you back for more. Now that I'm an officially retired person, I can no longer use the "day job got in the way" excuse for not producing programs on time. So hopefully we'll have even more of them this year. No promise! But I'll do my best.

This week I have a real treat for you. Dr. Jim Auer of Vanderbilt University agreed at the last minute to do an interview to explain the ins and outs of the collective self defense issue for us. Even though he was in the midst of year-end and year-beginning family festivities over there in Tennessee. Thanks, Jim!

Quite a few of you wrote in after the last program asking for more detail about this subject. And since it's well beyond my area of expertise -- even my presumed area of expertise -- I thought it best to call in an expert.

I'd hoped also to consider the timing of Japan's next general election. But that didn't work out. Next time for sure. There's lots of interest for us to consider there. Even though Japan's media has been full of the topic for the past couple of weeks.