The Japan Considered Podcast Archive

February 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.

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February 18, 2009, Volume 05, Number 06

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Welcome today from the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. At Edisto Beach State Park, South Carolina. Back at site # 18 again, and enjoying the view. What a great place to produce a podcast! You can see more of Edisto Beach at:

Today we'll focus on the problems of Japan's political party system at the national level. Really, the "trials of Taro," or, more politely, the challenges facing Prime Minister Aso, are only a manifestation of that more basic problem. As presently configured, Japan's national political party system has proven incapable of recruiting effective, competent central political executives. And Japan overall is paying the price. I suggest that this situation can't last forever. That we're likely to see the beginnings of fundamental change in the party system during the next general election.

Please continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program directly to me at I appreciate them.

February 06, 2009; Volume 05, Number 05

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Click here for a transcript of today's program

Thanks for dropping by again today, to you long-time listeners. And a hearty South Carolina welcome to those of you who have found us for the first time. Each week, or most weeks, anyway, on this program we consider developments in the news concerning Japan's domestic politics and/or the formulation and implementation of foreign policies.

This week we consider two recent international developments. Japan's recent dispute with Russia over the terms of access to one of the Northern Territories islands, Kunashiri. And the significance of what appears to be North Korea's latest missile diplomacy initiative.

Following that we return to the even more turbulent environment of Japan's domestic politics. With brief consideration of the role prefectural and local individuals and organizations may play in sorting out the current mess in Nagatacho.

Please continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at We've had a big increase in the volume of e-mailed comments recently. Thanks for the effort. They all help to improve the program.