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February 18, 2010

The DPJ Confronts the Ozawa Factor

Japan’s new ruling party seems about to go down in flames. Prime Minister Hatoyama looks badly shaken after the first few weeks of the legislative season. The policy agenda of Japan’s new DPJ governm…

July 11, 2016

Voters Give Abe an Opening for Constitutional Debate

This blog post is part of a series entitled Will Japanese Change Their Constitution?, in which leading experts discuss the prospects for revising Japan’s postwar constitution. As elections go, ye…


June 26, 2012

Prime Minister Noda’s Divided Party

Yesterday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda succeeded in passing his legislative initiative on consumption tax and social security reform by a vote of 393 to 96. But it was Noda’s ability to gain the co…

Japan's prime minister Yoshihiko Noda attends a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo after Japan's lower house approved a plan to double the sales tax June 26, 2012 (Toru Hanai/Courtesy Reuters).

July 22, 2013

Abe Reassures After Election Victory

As expected, Japan’s ruling coalition won a majority in Sunday’s Upper House election, earning majority control of both houses of parliament for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The standoff between Upper …


December 18, 2012

Charles T. McClean: The LDP’s Freshmen

Charles T. McClean is a Research Associate for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. On Sunday, Japan’s citizens went to the polls and elected 294 members of the Liberal Democratic Part…

Hideki Murai (L) from Saitama 1st constituency  appears at a rally alongside Liberal Democratic Party president Shinzo Abe (R). Murai, a first-time candidate, won his district with 96,000 votes. November 30, 2012 (Mamoru Watanabe/Courtesy Hideki Murai, Facebook).

December 18, 2009

Are China’s Neighbors Being Too Deferential to Xi Jinping?

The visit of Xi Jinping, China’s vice president and heir apparent to People’s Republic of China (PRC) President Hu Jintao, has stirred up a mini-political firestorm in Japan over the decision to set …

November 16, 2012

Noda’s November Surprise

Japan’s prime minister Yoshihiko Noda suddenly announced this Wednesday that he would dissolve the Lower House of parliament, and today marks the end of the Democratic Party of Japan’s (DPJ) majority…

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda arrives for a lower house plenary session at the parliament in Tokyo

November 20, 2012

A Referendum for Japan

Japan’s politicians have been released from legislative deliberations, and are rushing to prepare for the next Lower House election, scheduled for December 16. The media is in hot pursuit as politici…

Japanese college students raise their fists at a job-hunting rally in Tokyo February 5, 2009 (Toru Hanai/Courtesy Reuters).

August 25, 2011

The Race to Replace Kan

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan bows to the national flag as he arrives for a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo April 1, 2011 (Issei Kato/Courtesy Reuters). The Democratic Par…

Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan bows to the national flag as he arrives for a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo April 1, 2011.

January 27, 2010

Nago Election Ushers in “Plan B” on Futenma

The election last Sunday of Susumu Inamine as mayor of Nago City in northern Okinawa effectively puts an end to the idea that the current plan for relocating Futenma Marine Air Station can somehow be…