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Preview: The Japan Considered Podcast

The Japan Considered Podcast



Weekly discussion of Japan's current domestic politics and foreign relations with host, Robert Angel, creator of the Japan Considered Project at the University of South Carolina.



Published: Thu, 06 Dec 2012 00:47:03 +0000

Last Build Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 00:49:15 +0000

 












090218JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No06

Thu, 19 Feb 2009 02:56:00 +0000

February 18, 2009, Volume 05, Number 06

Click here for a transcript of today's program

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:

http://mobilestudiotravels.blogspot.com/

(image) 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 RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I appreciate them.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/b0gTzsde3LA/090218JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No06.mp3




090206JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No05

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 01:47:00 +0000

February 06, 2009, Volume 05, Number 05

Click here for the audio file of today's program

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 RobertCAngel@gmail.com. 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.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/9dtjJwoAGW8/090206JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No05.mp3




090123JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No04

Fri, 23 Jan 2009 21:57:00 +0000

January 23, 2009; Volume 05, Number 04

Click here for a transcript of today's program

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.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/zZFIrOhpLTU/090123JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No04.mp3




090120JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No03

Wed, 21 Jan 2009 01:43:00 +0000

January 20, 2009; Volume 05, Number 03

Click here for a transcript of today's program

 

(image)

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.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/y_cMYZzOCmQ/090120JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No03.mp3




090109JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No02

Fri, 09 Jan 2009 23:10:00 +0000

January 09, 2009; Volume 05, Number 02

Click here for a transcript of today's program

(image)
Dreher Island State Park, SC
Click for More Photos

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 RobertCAngel@gmail.com. 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.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/e7Pq8cksDlc/090109JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No02.mp3




090102JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No01

Sat, 03 Jan 2009 01:58:00 +0000

January 02, 2009; Volume 05, Number 01

Click here for a transcript of today's program

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.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/OGKrEbvkKNQ/090102JapanConsideredPodcastVol05No01.mp3




081224JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No35

Thu, 25 Dec 2008 00:09:00 +0000


December 24, 2008; Volume 04, Number 35

Click here for a transcript of today's program

Thanks for dropping by again today. And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours from all of us. I hope you have just the sort of year-end holidays you have been wishing for.

Today's Christmas eve. Only Wednesday. Earlier than usual this week, because of certain Holiday confusion from tomorrow onward. It may be a while before I even get this posted to the Net!

Today we begin by considering Japan's struggle with response to the U.N.'s call for support for the international Somalian antipiracy campaign. Once again Tokyo is forced to confront the thorny problem of collective self defense. And it appears to be no easier this year for Prime Minister Aso than it was for Prime Minister Abe.

(image) Then we turn to domestic politics again to follow the "Trials of Taro." Whose position appears to be more and more difficult, if possible. Both the Traditionalists and the Reformists have intensified pressure on him. This week we focus on Yoshimi Watanabe's Lower House vote today for the Opposition-proposed dissolution resolution. And its significance for Japan's domestic politics. Quite a dramatic event.

As always, please continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at JapanConsidered@gmail.com. They make excellent reading. And help me to plan future programs. Even if you don't receive a reply, you can be sure that I've read and considered your note.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/VRvJd8zif1E/081224JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No35.mp3




081219JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No34

Sat, 20 Dec 2008 01:13:00 +0000

December 19, 2008; Volume 04, Number 34

Click here for a transcript of today's program

Thanks for tuning in again today. Back home in the regular studio, with lots to consider again this week. We've neglected Japan's international relations for some time now. Thanks to those of you who've written in to remind me about that. So, let's make up for it this time by taking a closer look at the last round of the Six-Party Talks held in Beijing from the 8th to the 11th. And what they mean for Japan's diplomacy.

Then, we'll turn our attention to the Dazaifu Summit. A historic meeting of the leaders of Japan, China, and South Korea, held on Saturday, the 13th, in Dazaifu, Fukuoka. Quite an event. One Japan has been proposing for over a decade now. A good solid meeting, with one quite encouraging development. A frank exchange of views between Japan's prime minister and China's premier over the Senkaku Islands.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/LjwsxjWr1J0/081219JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No34.mp3




081205JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No33

Sat, 06 Dec 2008 00:47:00 +0000

December 05 , 2008; Volume 04, Number 33

Click here for a transcript of today's program

Back again. This time from the shore of beautiful Lake Wateree State Park. Producing the program from the Mobile Studio in an ideal setting. No excuse not to be upbeat today!

This week we look briefly at Japan's conduct of international relations. Focusing on the frenzied speculation in Japan's media about the effect of the incoming Obama Administration on U.S. relations with Japan. Then we consider very briefly some modest progress in the Six-Party Talks on North Korea's nuclearization plans.

Then we return to what has almost become "The Trials of Taro," with a look at recent developments -- perhaps significant -- within the Liberal Democratic Party. And how they are likely to affect Prime Minister Aso's future. The future of the LDP itself, for that matter! This includes appointment last week of Yoshinobu Shimamura as a spokesman assistant to Prime Minister Aso. An unexpected development that may or may not matter.

Thanks again for your cards and inquiries about the future of this program, and of the Japan Considered Project, after my retirement from the University of South Carolina. Response to both has been so encouraging that I plan to continue on. So, send your suggestions for the program, and for the overall project, that you can see at www.JapanConsidered.com.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/GTfv03Yr2uk/081205JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No33.mp3




081121JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No32

Sat, 22 Nov 2008 02:54:00 +0000

November 21, 2008; Volume 04, Number 32

Click here for a transcript of today's program

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.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/ZVKVZWebJ-Y/081121JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No32.mp3




081114JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No31

Sat, 15 Nov 2008 01:07:00 +0000


November 14, 2008; Volume 04, Number 31

Click here for a transcript of today's program

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.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/jRW6-jHvbIg/081114JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No31.mp3




081107JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No30

Sat, 08 Nov 2008 00:39:00 +0000

November 7 , 2008; Volume 04, Number 30

Click here for a transcript of today's program

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!


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/urgrxKBwfvs/081107JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No30.mp3




081031JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No29

Sat, 01 Nov 2008 02:11:00 +0000

Program for October 31, 2008; Volume 04, Number 29

Click here for a transcript of today's program

It's Friday again. And I'm back on schedule, it seems. Well, for a while, anyway. It's hard to tell these days what the next week will bring. Thanks for tuning in.

Today we begin with by considering some significant recent international developments. First, reaction from Asia's major capitals to election of Taro Aso as Japan's prime minister. Then Chinese reaction to Prime Minister Aso's visit to Beijing on October 24th. And the speech Aso gave in the Great Hall of the People. Then a brief look at Japan's continuing reaction to Washington's decision to remove North Korea from the Department of State's list of terror-sponsoring nations.

Program before last I promised to take a closer look at the meaning of "reform." And finally on this program I have the first part of that complex subject. What is "political reform"? What are the objectives of Japan's political reformers. And so on. Not enough time to finish the consideration. So that will have to wait until the next program. Hopefully, next week.

As always, thanks for your attention to the Japan Considered Podcast.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/dUbudZqllw8/081031JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No29.mp3




081027JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No28

Mon, 27 Oct 2008 21:05:00 +0000

October 27, 2008; Volume 04, Number 28

Click here for a transcript of today's program

Good Monday morning, and thanks for joining in today again. Today's show is a real treat. An interview with Mr. Gregg Rubinstein, Principle of GAR Associates in Washington, D. C. Gregg's a frequent contributor on this program. When I can get him! And always has something interesting to say about Japan's foreign relations and the U.S.-Japan relationship.

This interview was recorded via SkypePhone last Monday, the 20th, at just this time. And I'm finally getting it posted on the Web. Better late than never. So, enjoy Gregg's comments on the current situation.

Next time I'll return to the subject of political reform in Japan, and how we assess it.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/4tbm8iINrv8/081027JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No28.mp3




081003JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No27

Sat, 04 Oct 2008 02:27:00 +0000

October 3, 2008; Volume 04, Number 27

Click here for a transcript of today's program

Thanks for dropping by. Today we consider the emergence of Taro Aso as a "Popular" candidate for the LDP presidency. And a victorious one, at that. How Aso transformed himself from a politician very unpopular with Japan's public to one who could campaign for the LDP presidency as the "popular" choice. And win. Including identification of changes in Japan's domestic political environment that inspired that transmogrification. And what all this will mean for Aso's conduct of the premiership.

Next time we'll focus on political reform, or "seiji kaikaku," and what it means for domestic politics in Japan today.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/fant_RXc0co/081003JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No27.mp3




080914JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No26

Sun, 14 Sep 2008 23:36:00 +0000

September 14 , 2008; Volume 04, Number 26

Click here for a transcript of today's program

Today we consider what really motivated Prime Minister Fukuda on Monday, September 1st, to announce his intention to resign the premiership. My explanation is considerably different from what appears to be consensus opinion within Japan's political media.

In brief, I doubt that Fukuda was motivated by frustration with the job, with himself, or with others. And that he just threw in the towel. Irresponsibly, carelessly, or selfishly.

I believe Fukuda's resignation represents a carefully orchestrated effort to save the Traditionalist character of the LDP, while maintaining the LDP as Japan's majority parliamentary party.

And, I believe this difference in interpretation helps us better to understand what's actually going on now within the LDP. And probably to better understand the behavior of Taro Aso should he be elected as the LDP's next president, and Japan's next prime minister. And as of today, at least, it seems likely that the race is Aso's to lose.

It further suggests to me that Aso will assume the LDP presidency trying to ride two horses: One to maintain the public approval that he and most everyone else now recognizes as essential to keeping his job; and another with which he'll try to persuade the LDP's Reformists not to bolt the Party. But without allowing significant reforms in the way the LDP has traditionally operated.

I've never tried to ride two horses at once. But it looks to me like a dangerous trick!


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/E5r6UcJDRNo/080914JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No26.mp3




080822JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No25

Sat, 23 Aug 2008 02:12:00 +0000

Click here for a transcript of today's program

Greetings again from the Japan Considered Project Studio. Following a massive computer crash. Of my own making, by the way! A crash that wiped out a 320-gig hard drive. And worse, the latest backup of that drive. Fortunately, an earlier backup survived. So only data from early July onward was lost. But that was enough to slow things down! Oh well ....

Puzzling news on Japan's domestic political situation continues to flow from Tokyo. So, to better understand the current situation, and hopefully, to avoid more surprises in the future, I've asked Professor Daniel Metraux of Mary Baldwin College in Virginia to join us this week. To explain the current ruling coalition from the perspective of New Komeito. Daniel has been researching the Komeito and Soka Gakkai for decades. And knows what he's talking about.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program directly to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all and take each one into consideration when preparing new programs.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/g6GcpxtiYx8/080822JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No25.mp3




080808JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No24

Fri, 08 Aug 2008 22:51:00 +0000

August 8 , 2008; Volume 04, Number 24

Click here for a transcript of today's program

Thanks for dropping by today. Good to be back behind the microphone after a 23-day RV camping and kayaking trip. Have a look at some photos from the various campgrounds and surrounding mountains on the Mobile Studio Travels page.

This week we have a special treat. Dr. Edward Lincoln of NYU's Stern School joins us via the SkypePhone to discuss the economic significance of Prime Minister Fukuda's August 1 cabinet reshuffle. Ed's comments were so interesting that I included the full interview, rather than the usual out-takes. I think you'll agree that it's well worth the time today.

Thanks to all of you who wrote e-mails asking about the next program. Glad to know you're interested. And continue to send your comments and suggestions directly to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I enjoy reading them.

Next week we'll return to a more normal schedule, with focus on the significance of recent developments in Japan's relations with Mainland China and Korea.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/3zSV_7-3T5g/080808JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No24.mp3




080714JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No23

Mon, 14 Jul 2008 15:23:00 +0000


July 14, 2008; Volume 04, Number 23

Click here for a transcript of today's program

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 RobertCAngel@gmail.com.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/4Y0FZBvlCS0/080714JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No23.mp3




080704JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No22

Fri, 04 Jul 2008 21:51:00 +0000

July 4, 2008; Volume 04, Number 22

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 RobertCAngel@gmail.com. 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.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/WfSMpMe8qP8/080704JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No22.mp3




080627JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No21

Fri, 27 Jun 2008 23:39:00 +0000


June 27, 2008; Volume 04, Number 21

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for dropping by again this week. Out in the Mobile Studio again. This time in a new State Park. Have a look at the photos on the transcript. You'll be amazed.

This week has been relatively quiet in Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations. But there are a few things we simply can't ignore. Most important is Japan's response to the Bush Administration's decision to de-list North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. In return for an overdue "report" on their nuclear activities.

I'd hoped also to look briefly at the efforts of Upper House Member, Ichita Yamamoto, to revise the rules by which an LDP president is elected. Didn't get to it. It will have to wait until the next program.

Which, by the way, is scheduled for July 11th. Friday after next. Since the 4th is a holiday here.

Continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com

Oh, and have a look at the Google search facility that I've added to the main web page of the Japan Considered Project website, and to the main page of the Podcasts section. Let me know how it works for you. And thanks, Michael, for the suggestion!


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/Ku4Ob0u_Tx8/080627JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No21.mp3




080620JapanConsideredPodcastVolume04Number20

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 22:43:00 +0000

June 20, 2008; Volume 04, Number 20

Click here for a transcript of this program

Welcome back for another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. This week we complete our consideration of the Upper House Censure Resolution, concluding that it didn't go quite as its sponsors planned. Then we take a very superficial look at the "breakthrough agreement" between Japan and China announced on Wesnesday. The East China Sea issue. Beyond the initial announcement reports, there's been little mention of it on the Japanese side. And finally we look at Takeo Hiranuma. Conservative? Traditionalist? Why does it matter?

Continue to send your comments and suggestions in. They're most helpful. RobertCAngel@gmail.com will do it.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/NTGUQfQ4FtI/080620JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No20.mp3




080613JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No19

Sat, 14 Jun 2008 01:13:00 +0000

June 13, 2008; Volume 04, Number 19

Click here for a transcript of this program

Greetings from the Mobile Studio parked at Lake Wateree State Recreation Area. Another opportunity to enjoy South Carolina's beautiful scenery and recreational water. Wish I could send some of it to you. A few photos are included in the transcript, though. So click on over and have a look.

This week we continue our consideration of the DPJ's decision finally to introduce a resolution of censure against Prime Minister Fukuda and his Cabinet in the Upper House. Things have gone pretty much as we expected last week. Not near the effect on Japan's national politics one would expect from reading the Japanese political media over the past year or so.

Then we return to political party system reorganization in Japan. With focus on Lower House Member Takeo Hiranuma's threats to create a new genuinely conservative political party. We didn't get very far beyond analysis of the environment within which this is taking place. Next week we'll focus more specifically on Hiranuma and why his effort may actually matter.

And we close -- nearly on time -- with another clip from the Infamous Stringduster's latest album. A great piece of work.

Thanks for your attention to the Japan Considered Podcast. Please continue to send your comments and suggestions to me directly at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, and take each one into consideration when planning new programs. Mail has increased during the past couple of months. That's a good thing. Though I'm considerably behind on responses. Even if you don't receive a direct response, you can be sure I've read your contribution, and appreciate you taking the time and trouble


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/bEZDXSUQZe0/080613JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No19.mp3




080606JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No18

Sat, 07 Jun 2008 02:36:00 +0000

June 6 , 2008; Volume 04, Number 18

Click here for a transcript of this program

Welcome back for another program. This week we take a close look at the threat of a resolution of censure in Japan's Upper House. What it means; what it doesn't mean. And its effect.

Then we turn to international affairs with review of Japanese media focus last week on China allowing Japan to use SDF military aircraft in their relief efforts for China's earthquake. It didn't happen. But media coverage of the event had significance for Japan-China bilateral relations.

And we close with another clip from the Infamous Stringdusters' latest album, "Well, Well." A real winner.

Please continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, and take each one into consideration when planning future programs.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/28v_I9K28GE/080606JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No18.mp3




080523JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No17

Sat, 24 May 2008 02:04:00 +0000

May 23rd, 2008. Volume 04, Number 17

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for tuning in again this week. Lots of travel and activity. Even though it is summer here!

This week we wrap up Chinese President Hu Jintao's historic visit to Japan. What was accomplished; what wasn't. And conclude it was an important success for both countries.

Before that, though, we look again at the Space Bill that passed Japan's parliament on Wednesday, and what the bill means for Japan's national security and for its conduct of international relations. Especially in Asia. There's been blessed little coverage of this bill in the English language press. Probably because it's summer. But it really is quite important.

And finally, we take a preliminary look at Japan's response to China's earthquake disaster in Sichuan Province on May 12th. The bilateral atmospherics appear to have been positive, and that's important. Next time we'll consider the strange events surrounding news that China had asked Japan to use SDF military planes in the relief effort. And what happened to that.

This week I have a clip of bluegrass from the "Infamous Stringdusters" that just can't wait. A clip from their latest, second, album. So, enjoy.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/Y1xtHOoQoeI/080523JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No17.mp3




080509JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No16

Sat, 10 May 2008 02:33:00 +0000

May 9 , 2008; Volume 04, Number 16

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for dropping in again today, to you long-time listeners. And welcome to those of you who have just found the program. I hope it meets your expectations. Send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, and appreciate each one. You don't have to agree with my analysis to have your comments read and taken seriously.

This week we focus on a preliminary look at the historic visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Japan. He's still there, so everything has to be preliminary. But I've got plenty of information about the trip, and preparations of the trip, to consider with you.

Also, we consider the significance of legislation going through Japan's parliament this week that modifies the rules under which Japan's extensive space program operates. The international media hasn't paid much attention to this. And to me it seems potentially significant.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/J8ef81PBCEI/080509JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No16.mp3




080428JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No15

Mon, 28 Apr 2008 23:25:00 +0000

April 28, 2008; Volume 04, Number 15

Click here for a transcript of this program

Surprise. A Monday program this week. Since there won't be time on Friday to produce a regular program. And just too many things are piling up in Tokyo for us to consider.

Today we'll look first at the journey of the Olympic Flame through Japan on Saturday. And the significance of what has to be described as a strange event for Japan's relations with Mainland China. All went well. Given conditions. And Beijing should be pleased. Very pleased, in fact.

Then we continue our examination of the various cross-factional associations that have blossomed within the LDP during recent months. This one, Mokusatsu Giren, likely to exercise the most influence over medium-term domestic political events in Japan. The potent combination of Yuriko Koike, Hidenao Nakagawa, and Junichiro Koizumi alone is enough to attract our attention. It appears that Yuriko Koike has gained some potent support in her "non-quest" for the LDP presidency and premiership.

Thanks for continuing to send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. They're all appreciated. You certainly don't have to agree with my analysis to have your comments read and taken into consideration.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/I3jJYr0i5as/080428JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No15.mp3




080414JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No14

Fri, 18 Apr 2008 23:11:00 +0000

April 18, 2008; Volume 04, Number 14

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for dropping by again this week. To you long-time listeners. And a hearty South Carolina welcome to those of you who have just joined us. Wow! The number of listeners -- and readers of the transcripts -- has made another jump during the past ten days. Good to see. I hope the program meets your expectations.

This week we begin by considering current relations between Japan and China. With focus on the Japan visit of China's foreign minister. For four days!

Then we begin our consideration of the new traditionalist and reformist cross-factional organizations within the LDP. We only had time to consider a few. So we'll be at this next program as well. So, tune in.

Continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, and appreciate every one. Still a bit behind on direct replies. But some of you will recognize implementation of suggestions you've made in the various programs.

It's the end of the semester at USC. So I will be unlikely to produce a program for April 25th. Day job has to come first! But I hope to be with you the following week. So stay tuned!


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/fjPHp-JcCZo/080418JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No14.mp3




080411JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No13

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 01:32:00 +0000

April 11, 2008; Volume 04, Number 13

Click here for a transcript of this program

Welcome again this week to another Japan Considered Podcast. Thanks for dropping in again to you long-time listeners, and a hearty South Carolina welcome to those of you who have just found the program. Even though this week we come to you from North Carolina!

Last week I said we'd consider the proliferation of LDP cross-factional associations that have been developing recently. In anticipation of significant changes in the Party. If nothing intervened. Well, something did intervene. Wednesday's parliamentary "question time" debate between Prime Minister Fukuda and DPJ leader, Ichiro Ozawa.

The debate was far livelier than normal for these events. And full of interesting indications of change within Japan's parliamentary politics. So, I've devoted all of our time together this week to considering its significance.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/OneSZG4DvIE/080411JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No13.mp3




080404JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No12

Sat, 05 Apr 2008 02:24:00 +0000

Click here for a transcript of this week's program.

Thanks for tuning in again this week. Coming to you from the Mobile Studio at Modoc, South Carolina. On the very shore of Lake Thurmond.

This week we examine the surprising increase in the number of mainstream Japanese political media articles related to reorganization of Japan's political party system. Just in the past few days. And sort through the implications of the most likely explanation. That, it seems, is the continuing tumble of the public approval rating for Prime Minister Fukuda and his cabinet.

Next week I hope to sort through the various non-faction, even non-party, associations that have blossomed in Japan's political world during the brief period Prime Minister Fukuda has occupied the Kantei. And consider their significance for selection of Fukuda's successor, the next general election, and the reorganization of Japan's political party system.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/drVKRtKBN3E/080404JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No12.mp3




080328JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No11

Sat, 29 Mar 2008 02:15:00 +0000

March 28, 2008; Volume 04, Number 11

Click here for a transcript of this program

It's Friday again. And the links above will take you to the audio file for today's Japan Considered Podcast, and to an accurate transcript of the program. Interesting goings-on in Tokyo these days. Just as we like it!

First we continue with our consideration of Japan's response to eruption of Tibet problems for Beijing. Asking why Japan's official response has been so muted and cautious. And what that means for overall Japan-China relations. I then try to put the current situation into historical perspective, emphasizing development of more realistic give-and-take in the relationship.

Following that we take a close look at a surprising political event in Tokyo yesterday, Thursday. A hastily-called press conference at the Kantei. During which Prime Minister Fukuda announced an end to the earmark for proceeds from the "provisional" gas tax. Beginning during FY2009. An announcement that took many of the LDP's senior Traditionalist Zokuists by surprise. And they said so.

Fukuda told the press he made his proposal to encourage the DPJ to return to the negotiating table. I doubt that, and provide an alternative explanation. One related to increasing strength of the Reformists within the LDP.

In response to countless protests, we close again this week with an inspiring clip of bluegrass music. The early Seldom Scene's "Want of a Woman." Enjoy


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/EP02ohy_oSw/080328JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No11.mp3




080321JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No10

Sat, 22 Mar 2008 02:06:00 +0000

March 21, 2008; Volume 04, Number 10

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for dropping by again this week. You won't be wasting your time, that's for sure. Whether you're listening, or just reading the transcript. Since we're joined again this week by Dr. Edward Lincoln. Who gives us quite a different perspective on the Bank of Japan governorship vacancy than the one I presented last week. As usual, Ed combines his insights as an economist with a keen sense of the political. For very useful commentary. So listen closely to what he has to say this week.

I'd hoped to cover in some detail Japan's response to the crisis in Tibet that erupted onto the front pages of the world media last Friday, the 14th. But there was time only to introduce the subject. The details will have to wait until next Friday. Details that I think will give us additional perspective on Tokyo's conduct of international relations in the 21st century. Well worth keeping an eye on.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/tZ55arJ7Wfw/080321JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No10.mp3




080314JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No09

Sat, 15 Mar 2008 01:34:00 +0000

March 14, 2008; Volume 04, Number 09

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for joining me again today for the Japan Considered Podcast. This week's program is devoted almost entirely to comments from listeners. Comments about last week's program.

Specifically, the issue of physical violence in the halls of the Diet, and what I described last week as the antique tactic of parliamentary boycott. Lots of e-mailed reaction to those points.

This week I provide a little more detail on each of these issues, and also consider the current debate over replacement of the Bank of Japan Governor.

Thanks again for all of the e-mailed comments, and please keep them coming. To RobertCAngel@gmail.com.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/eD0jpZ1TJc8/080314JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No09.mp3




080307JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No08

Sat, 08 Mar 2008 00:55:00 +0000

March 07, 2008; Volume 04, Number 08

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for dropping by today. I've got a loooong show for you. Beginning with some follow-up on the tainted gyoza negotiations between Japan and China. Then moving on to discussion of introduction of what I describe as antique parliamentary tactics into Japan's 21st Century Diet. And the implications of the introduction of those tactics. As well as the reaction of Japan's communications media. Including even violence within the chambers of the Diet.

So, have a listen. Or, a read. Depending on your preference. As always, e-mail your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. And have a look through the other features available on the Japan Considered Project website at www.JapanConsidered.com. It's all free for the clicking, so to speak.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/SEZ2Np0Vx8U/080307JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No08.mp3




080229JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No07

Sat, 01 Mar 2008 03:55:00 +0000

February 29, 2008; Volume 04, Number 07

Click here for a transcript of this program

Welcome again this Leap Year February 29th. Thanks for joining me again today. I've got a treat for you this week. Dr. Ed Lincoln agreed to provide us with some background and insight into the somewhat obscure issue of sovereign wealth funds. Some of Japan's reform-minded politicians have been promoting the idea for a while now. It looks as though they may be getting more attention in the next few months. So, we'd better know what they're talking about. Ed helps us sort through the issues involved.

Also, we return briefly to the tainted gyoza issue. As of today, it appears that the Chinese side can't continue to cooperate on this one. And that the Japanese side isn't willing to give them a pass. So ... earlier optimism appears misplaced. We'll see, though. It's a while before President Hu is scheduled to visit Tokyo.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions directly to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I do read them all. Though the sharp increase in audience in recent months makes it impossible to respond directly to every one. They're helpful when planning new programs, and for background.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/27RJ930l4kI/080229JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No07.mp3




080222JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No06

Sat, 23 Feb 2008 03:30:00 +0000

February 22, 2008; Volume 04, Number 06

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for dropping by again today to all. Including you new listeners. Sorry to have missed you last week. Day job complications, and a chance to visit my dad in North Carolina. This week, though, we have to consider two gloomy topics. Gloomy both in the specifics of the topics. And gloomy when we consider the Fukuda Cabinet's political response.

The first is the collision earlier this week between the MSDF destroyer, Atago, and a civilian fishing boat. The second is the suspected rape of another Okinawan teenager by a U.S. Serviceman. For both, given limitations of both information and expertise, our focus is on the politics of the issues. Especially the response of the Fukuda Cabinet.

And, one more encouraging topic: continuation of the bilateral investigation of the contaminated gyoza incident. Or incidents. This has been going quite well. Or, at least, it hasn't degenerated into mutual finger-pointing and name-calling. And that's encouraging.

Lots more to consider. But it will have to wait until next week.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/kzgOA7id8vM/080222JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No06.mp3




080208JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No05

Sat, 09 Feb 2008 01:52:00 +0000

February 8, 2008; Volume 04, Number 05

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for tuning in to another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. This week we backtrack a bit, with more information about government funding of Japan's political parties. Then we consider the "tainted gyoza" incident that recently erupted into a major topic of front-page consideration in Japan during the past few days. And move from there to the first part of our consideration of how the LDP and DPJ have handled the gasoline tax surcharge issue in this session of the Diet.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program to me directly at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I'm a bit behind on responses, with the recent increase in listenership. But read them all. And will respond to as many as possible.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/nJ1VUE3YIz8/080208JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No05.mp3




080125JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No04

Sat, 26 Jan 2008 02:47:00 +0000

January 25, 2008; Volume 04, Number 04

Click here for a transcript of this program

Welcome to another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. This week we consider the performance of the LDP and the DPJ in the recently-opened 169th Ordinary Session of the Diet. With focus on Prime Minister Fukuda's policy speech. And the recent performance of the DPJ. Focusing on the Party leadership of Ichiro Ozawa. With Ozawa's talents as a political tactician compared to those of Karl Rove in the United States. I also provide a bit more information about the new political reform group, Sentaku. And discuss briefly the DPJ's promising new national budget proposal.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/dMzDj-qI-WA/080125JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No04.mp3




080118JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No03

Fri, 18 Jan 2008 23:17:00 +0000

January 18, 2008; Volume 04, Number 03

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for joining us for another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. This week we have a special treat. Gregg Rubinstein of GAR Associates in Washington D.C., joins us again. Gregg this week helps us to understand the significance of the Ministry of Defense procurement corruption scandal we've discussed for the past few months. Gregg has been active in U.S.-Japan defense relations for a long time. And knows what's going on. He joined us over the SkypePhone on Thursday afternoon, the 17th.

In addition to Gregg's contribution, this week we examine the spate of public opinion polls released by Japan's media in the wake of Prime Minister Fukuda's visit to China and the Lower House two-thirds over-ride of Upper House opposition to the anti-terror law. It's quite a diverse set of poll results!

We then turn briefly again to the question of significant realignment of Japan's political party system.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/LgSbShKwCi4/080118JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No03.mp3




080111JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No02

Fri, 11 Jan 2008 23:16:00 +0000

January 11, 2008; Volume 04, Number 02

Click here for a transcript of this program

Thanks for dropping by again. This week we consider the Ruling Coalition's decision to over-ride Upper House rejection of the new anti-terror bill, the Constitutional rules for passage of the national budget bill, the long-awaited parliamentary "debate" between Prime Minister Fukuda and DPJ Leader Ichiro Ozawa, and begin our discussion of the future of Japan's political party system. Lots to cover. With certain spill-over into future weeks. So stay tuned.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program directly to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all and answer as many as possible directly.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/zvDnx6ub9tM/080111JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No02.mp3




080104JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No01

Fri, 04 Jan 2008 17:48:00 +0000

January 4 , 2008; Volume 04, Number 01

Click here for a transcript of this program

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first program for 2008 in this series. Brought to you again from the Mobile Studio. This time parked at the beautiful South Carolina beach at Edisto Island State Park. There are a few photos in the transcript. Temperatures here dropped to below freezing last night. But it's much warmer today. And we're expecting temps in the 70s here, beginning over the weekend.

This week I'd hope to focus on the currents of significant change in Japan's domestic politics. But there was just too much that needed to be said about Prime Minister Fukuda's historic visit to Mainland China. And still stay within our promised time frame. So, what went on during the China visit, and its significance, take most of our time this week. Hopefully, little will happen next week which will allow us to dig into these interesting domestic political developments. Or, at least, indications that we may be seeing some interesting domestic political developments before long.

As always, thanks for your attention to the Japan Considered Podcast. And please continue to send your e-mailed comments and suggestions to me directly at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, and respond directly to as many as possible each week. They're a great help.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/K6zXkr2OZq0/080104JapanConsideredPodcastVol04No01.mp3




071221JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number44

Fri, 21 Dec 2007 23:49:00 +0000

December 21, 2007; Volume 03, Number 44

Click here for a transcript of this program

Welcome back to the Japan Considered Podcast. Thanks for dropping by. The production schedule is still muddled. But the Podcast is going strong. No PodFading here.

This week we consider a number of international events of significance. First a follow-up on the "Joint Communique" flap with Mainland China we discussed on the last program. Then preparations for Prime Minister Fukuda's first trip to China as prime minister. Next we consider the longer-term significance of Japan's successful SM-3 missile shoot-down from the Aegis-equipped Kongou destroyer. And finally, on the international side, how the Fukuda Cabinet has handled the DSP inquiry into Government of Japan preparations for the arrival of potentially hostile UFOs.

In conclusion we take a look at the LDP's new YouTube website, and consider its significance for political campaigning in Japan.

As always, send your comments and suggestions for the program directly to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, and respond directly to as many as possible soon after their arrival. End-of-semester flurry has created a back-up there too, I fear. But I'll get through them all, and appreciate the suggestions.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/CjtkfB_PbcA/071221JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No44.mp3




071211JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number43

Wed, 12 Dec 2007 00:41:00 +0000

December 11, 2007; Volume 03, Number 43

Click here for a transcript of this program

Yes, that's right. Tuesday, December 11th. Delayed again by the day job!

This week we take a closer look at one international and one domestic political issue. Both seem to have longer-term significance for our understanding of just how Japan works.

First, we consider the sudden eruption of a flap over Beijing editing the published Chinese version of a "Joint Communique" issued at the end of the cabinet-level bilateral economic talks in Beijing held earlier this month.

Then we consider recent domestic political developments, with focus on debate over extension of the current Diet session. Looking at both ruling coalition and opposition actions and motivations, as well as the longer-term significance of all this.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program directly to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, and respond directly to as many as possible. They're a big help when planning future programs.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/opDnf9fj7wU/071211JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No42.mp3




071123JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number42

Sat, 24 Nov 2007 00:53:00 +0000

November 23, 2007. Volume 03, Number 42

Click here for a transcript of this program.


Welcome again to this week's post-Thanksgiving Day Japan Considered Podcast. No Podcast next week, November 30th. I'll be traveling and won't have internet access most of the time. So, tune back in on December 7th.

This week has been busy again in Japan. Both domestically and internationally. We'll begin with preliminary discussion of Prime Minister Fukuda's trip to Singapore. And his important summit meetings there.

Then we'll shift to the domestic political scene, and an event that's received little notice. Comparatively. Election of Hideo Hiramatsu as Mayor of Osaka. Quite an interesting election. With important implications for Japan's national politics. Though perhaps not quite the implications we're reading in Japan's political press.

And finally, we'll consider one of the two puzzles I mentioned last week. And the week before! This one continuing -- even intensifying -- discussion of a "snap election." It simply doesn't make sense to me. So, let's discuss it in some detail.

So, until week after next, then. Continue to send your comments and suggestions for the program to me directly at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, and reply to as many as possible. They are a great help when planning the topics for future programs.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/hvTLD5CJ6vI/071123JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No42.mp3




071116JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number 41

Sat, 17 Nov 2007 02:09:00 +0000

November 16, 2007. Volume 03, Number 41

Click here for a transcript of this program.


Thanks for coming by again this week for our second anniversary program. It was November 18, 2005, when I recorded the first program. Just an introduction. With terrible sound. Check the archives for 2005 if you'd like a chuckle. But your continued interest in the program has kept it going.

This week we consider the results of the eleventh bilateral Japan-China expert negotiating session over gas exploitation in the East China Sea. Then we review Prime Minister Fukuda's brief visit to Washington, his summit meeting with President Bush, and how Japan's political press has reported the run-up and outcome. Finally we update the rapidly expanding Ministry of Defense equipment procurement scandal.

Finishing well within our twenty-five minute time limit. Have a listen, or a read, and send your comments to me directly at RobertCAngel@gmail.com.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/WjuxF1TFpSg/071116JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No41.mp3




071109JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number 40

Fri, 09 Nov 2007 21:25:00 +0000

November 9, 2007. Volume 03, Number 40

Click here for a transcript of this program.


Thanks for dropping in again this week. We have another full schedule. Japan's domestic politics continue to surprise. So, we'll focus most of our energies on domestic political issues.

First, an update of the Prosecutors' investigation of suspicions of corruption at the Ministry of Defense. More Diet testimony scheduled; a few arrests; and plenty of media coverage. I also review the traditional pattern of these political financial scandals in Japan. And suggest why this one may have some significance for Japan's domestic politics.

Then we look at the second Fukuda-Ozawa closed-door meeting, and the remarkable media coverage it has generated. Including lots of talk of "Grand Coalition" proposals. If all this hasn't been dramatic enough, DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa decided to submit his resignation as Party president, and then retract the decision. Quite remarkable performances.

In addition to these important domestic political developments, we look in again on the series of bilateral meetings between Japan and China over management of gas exploitation in the East China Sea. Another meeting is scheduled for next week.

As always, send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/MaqjUhyN3Ig/071109JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No40.mp3




071102JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number39

Fri, 02 Nov 2007 21:35:00 +0000

November 2, 2007. Volume 03, Number 39

Click here for a transcript of this program.


(image) Thanks for dropping by. Another full week. Even without being able to access news for today, Friday. I'm in the Mobile Studio again, at Hunting Island State Park, on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. A beautiful site. But a long way from internet access!

This week we'll consider Takemasa Moriya's testimony Monday before the Lower House Committee, and subsequent Japan political press coverage of the event. What was said and what was only hinted.

Then we'll shift to Tuesday's meeting between Prime Minister and LDP President Yasuo Fukuda and DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa. Lots of speculation since about that mostly closed-door meeting. And the decision to cancel the Diet debate between Fukuda and Ozawa the following day.

And finally, we begin our consideration of Fukuda the Man, a brief profile of Yasuo Fukuda. That hopefully will help us interpret his behavior and consider the implications of his premiership for Japan's national political processes.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/4rNoV0T-4gM/071102JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No39.mp3




071026JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number38

Fri, 26 Oct 2007 23:45:00 +0000

October 26, 2007. Volume 03, Number 38

Click here for a transcript of this program.


Thanks for dropping in again this week. We have a full schedule. Though I'll do my best to keep the program to a reasonable length. This week we check in on the Ministry of Defense flaps. Including the "Moriya Golf" issue, and how that issue has been combined with debate over renewal of legislation authorizing Japan to continue refueling U.S. ships, and ships of other nations, engaged in the war on terror.

Then we have an interview with Dr. James Auer, Director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and Cooperation at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Public Policy Studies. Jim helps us unravel the complex parliamentary goings-on concerning Japan's diplo-military relationship with the United States. A real mine field.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/WUUpzbXtQzQ/071026JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No38.mp3




071019JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number37

Fri, 19 Oct 2007 23:58:00 +0000

October 19, 2007. Volume 03, Number 37

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for joining me again today. We have a good program. Featuring an extended interview with Gregg Rubinstein of Washington, D.C. Gregg gives us his latest thinking on the nature of U.S.-Japan relations. All interesting stuff.

Before that we briefly consider the significance of a couple of items in the news this week. First, Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura's comments to the Kantei press corps about negotiations with China over the East China Sea gas exploitation dispute. He clearly said -- again -- that Japan believes this issue requires a "political" resolution. And that Japan expects China to present a more reasonable proposal. Clearly, "dialogue" can mean all sorts of things.

The second issue concerns NHK's reporting today on allegations that recently retired Ministry of Defense Vice Minister, Takemasa Moriya, has been playing golf regularly with representatives of an important defense contractor. For years. This isn't a new issue. Japan's tabloid political press and newsletters have been covering it for months. But NHK's decision to cover it is significant, I think. We'll just have to see how the Fukuda Cabinet responds.

Finally, we have the excellent interview with Gregg Rubinstein I mentioned a moment ago. Full of information and insights. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

And we close with a clip of bluegrass from the Seldom Scene's 1985 album, "Blue Ridge." If you buy only one album of bluegrass for your collection this may well be the one to get. Here's where it's available on-line.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/2dVKO8VwyPU/071019JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No37.mp3




071012JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number36

Sat, 13 Oct 2007 00:21:00 +0000

October 12, 2007. Volume 03, Number 36

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping by again. And for the e-mailed comments and suggestions for the program that you've taken the time to send. They're very helpful, and keep 'em coming! To RobertCAngel@gmail.com.

In response to your suggestions, I've added a trial website search window to the Japan Considered Project website home page. It's at the bottom of the page. Give it a try. It should allow you to search the website's contents for files that contain words and phrases you input. Let me know how it works.

This week we take a look at the latest round of bilateral talks between Japan and China on the East China Sea gas exploitataion dispute. No progress in the talks. But I think they tell us something about Japan's new prime minister and cabinet.

Then we continue our consideration of the first 18 days of Yasuo Fukuda's premiership. With special attention to the implications of the style of his selection for his performance as prime minister.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/Ex4IcAixROs/071012JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No36.mp3




071005JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number35

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 01:53:00 +0000

October 5, 2007. Volume 03; Number 35

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping by. No program last week. But, hopefully, we're back on track now.

This time we return to Japan's international relations, with consideration of Tokyo's reaction to recent events on the Korean peninsula. The second round of the Six Party Talks, and the North-South Korean Summit meeting. Japan has a big stake in developments there.

Then we consider selection of Yasuo Fukuda as LDP president, and prime minister of Japan. How he was selected. What was expected; what was unexpected.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. And click on over to the Japan Considered Project website for past podcast transcripts and audio files. And, links to useful English language web-based resources on Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/rp5iogNCI0w/071005JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No35.mp3




070921JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number34

Sat, 22 Sep 2007 00:18:00 +0000

September 21, 2007. Volume 03; Number 34

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping by again. This week coming to you from the Mobile Studio camped on the shore of Lake Thurmond.

Our program is a bit longer. But we've got a lot to consider! We take a careful look at the "campaign" for the LDP presidency waged all week by Yasuo Fukuda and Taro Aso. What's happening, and the significance of this important event for Japan's domestic politics overall.

Then we consider the "scandal scandal" that I've been discussing for the past few week. And the importance of genuine political reform for the credibility of Japan's electoral politics.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/jscq2Rte_rA/070921JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No34.mp3




070914JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number33

Fri, 14 Sep 2007 23:46:00 +0000

September 14, 2007. Volume 03; Number 33

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping by again this week. Last week I said we'd continue to consider the significance of the cabinet reshuffle on Japan's politics unless we had any surprising developments. Well, we had one.

On Wednesday at 2PM, Tokyo time, Prime Minister Abe held a press conference and announced his decision to resign. Tokyo's political world has been wild since.

So, this week, we consider the causes of that surprise announcement, its significance for Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations.

As of today, former Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yasuo Fukuda, seems Abe's likely successor. A successor selected by the LDP's faction leaders, in the traditional Factionist pattern. What will this mean for Japan's domestic politics, economic policy, and conduct of international relations?

All considered this week. With more to come next week.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/ueiHR4GI7JQ/070914JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No33.mp3




070907JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number32

Fri, 07 Sep 2007 22:07:00 +0000

September 7, 2007. Volume 03. Number 32

Click here for a full transcript of the program.

Thanks for dropping by. As we continue our consideration of post-Upper House election domestic politics in Japan.

This week our focus is on an effort to address the question: "Why is Shinzo Abe still Japan's prime minister?" It's a reasonable question, I think, given the difficulty he has had with public approval of his cabinet. And the disastrous results of the July 29th Upper House election. I don't have a definitive answer. But do have several alternative explanations.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. And click on over to the Japan Considered Project website at www.JapanConsidered.com. It's slowly beginning to take shape.



Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/kWiKR_BcrLw/070907JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No32.mp3




070831JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number31

Fri, 31 Aug 2007 15:05:00 +0000

August 31, 2007. Volume 03, Number 31

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Welcome again to the Japan Considered Podcast. This week our focus is on the reshuffle of the Abe Cabinet. and the significance of that reshuffle for Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations.

I've been able to persuade three specialists in the field to join us today as commentators. First Mr. Gregg Rubinstein gives his thoughts on the significance of all this for the Ministry of Defense, and its conduct of its mission.

Then Dr. Edward Lincoln provides his thoughts on the economic appointments -- both domestic and international.

And Dr. Dennis Yasutomo discusses the implications of the reshuffle for Japan's conduct of foreign relations, in broader perspective.

I'd planned to add my own commentary on the effect of the reshuffle on Japan's domestic politics. But the contributions of our guest commentators went a bit longer than expected. All good material, so I didn't feel comfortable cutting it. You'll hear from me next week.

Keep in mind, this just happened. So these are only preliminary thoughts on the subject. We may well see dramatic changes in the near future.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/1cVJPxB8w8o/070831JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No31.mp3




070824JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number30

Sat, 25 Aug 2007 00:57:00 +0000

Click here for a transcript of this program.

We begin this week with some discussion of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Indonesia, India, and Malaysia. He left on Sunday and is expected back in Tokyo tomorrow, Saturday.

Then we turn to domestic politics, with consideration of developments in the appointment of the second Abe Cabinet. Some of those developments quite surprising.

And finally we look at Prime Minister Abe's political style, in search of explanations of the problems he has faced since his selection last September. I suggest that he may simply be conflict-adverse. Or that he's relying on individuals for advice who are out of touch with the current political situation in Japan.

Included in all this is consideration of the continued unusual situation in Japan's Ministry of Defense. With the outgoing administrative vice minister openly criticizing his minister. And Japan's communications media not saying much at all about it. Which calls into question their concern over political control of Japan's military!


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/DsvqZNac9Uk/070824JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No29.mp3




070817JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number29

Fri, 17 Aug 2007 22:43:00 +0000

August 17, 2007. Volume 03, Number 29

Click here for a Transcript of This Week's Program

Thanks for tuning in again. This week I'd hoped to continue the post mortem of the October 29th Upper House election. But as so often happens, pressing events intervened. So that will have to wait until next week.

This week we consider the longer-term significance of the eruption of conflict between Defense Minister Yuriko Koike and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihisa Shiozaki. Not pretty! And another blot on the Abe Administration's management of Japan's national government.

We must go into some detail, since Japanese and English language news reports of these events from Japan have been somewhat misleading. For the most part.

In addition, click on over and have a look at the Japan Considered Project interview with Gregg Rubinstein. It's another interesting addition to the collection on the Japan Considered website. Gregg has had an interesting career that spans government service and the life of a busy consultant in Washington. You can go directly to the interview by clicking here.

Also note some more progress on migrating the website to its current home from the University servers. I hope it's easier to navigate. Go have a look at www.JapanConsidered.com.



Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/UWuHwyJmj0w/070817JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No29.mp3




070810JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number28

Sat, 11 Aug 2007 00:07:00 +0000

August 10, 2007, Volume 03, Number 28

Click here for a transcript of this program.


Back home at last from a 24-day Grand Northern Sojourn. This program coming to you from the home studio. Hopefully with a little better sound quality. Thanks for tuning in.

This week we begin by considering a couple of important international developments. The first, how the North Korean government's abduction and imprisonment of Japanese citizens has become a political football in Japan's domestic politics. Then evidence of a subtle change in the tone of Japan's relationship with Mainland China.

The remainder of our program this week is devoted to continuation of the July 29th election postmortem. This time focusing on the response of the Abe Kantei to the shocking defeat.

And we close with a clip of Tony Rice's "Changes" that I hope you enjoy.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/N8FeSwuea3g/070810JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No28.mp3




070803JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number27

Fri, 03 Aug 2007 23:26:00 +0000

August 3, 2007. Volume 03, Number 27
For a transcript of this program, click:
http://www.japanconsidered.com/Podcasts/Scripts/070803JapanConsideredPodcastTranscript.html

Greetings again from the Mobile Studio. Still on the road, and finally about to get another WiFi uplink. Hope all works.

This week we focus on the results of the Sunday election for the Upper House. As predicted, the LDP lost, and Lost Big! This is quite an event. For the first time since formation of the party in 1955, the LDP is not the largest Party in both houses. So, it's important.

This week, we'll try to sort through what actually happened, and why it happened. I'd hoped to include the significance and consequences, but that'll have to wait until next week.

Continue to send your comments and suggestions to Robert C Angel @ Gmail.com. I read them all, and respond directly to as many as possible.

RCA


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/tudmctINWF0/070803JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No27.mp3




070727JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number26

Fri, 27 Jul 2007 23:37:00 +0000

July 27, 2007. Volume 03, Number 26
For a transcript of this program, click:
http://www.japanconsidered.com/Podcasts/Scripts/070713JapanConsideredPodcastTranscript.html

Greetings from the Finger Lakes Region of New York State's Southern Tier. Coming to you today, Friday the 27th, from the Mobile Studio. The northernmost point on my long trip with the Mobile Studio. Great fun. Though internet access has been spotty, at best. I"ve finally found a WiFi connection strong enough to allow me to upload the audio file and web pages.

This week we take a final look at the run-up to the Upper House election on Sunday. With a focus on the two issues I think are most critical: the government's failure to correct problems of SIA"s mismanagement of public pension records, and public resentment over enduring, pervasive problems with political funding.

No bluegrass this week. Sorry. And the sound quality of this program may not be quite what it should be. The Mobile Studio is very much a work in progress.

But thanks for tuning in. And, as always, continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. And click on over to the Japan Considered Project website for a transcript of this, and past, programs. As well as other resources related to Japan’s domestic politics and conduct of international relations.




Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/ievZHbLp0wA/070727JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No26.mp3




070713JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number25

Fri, 13 Jul 2007 17:34:00 +0000

July 13, 2007. Volume 03, Number 25

Click here for a transcript of this program.


Greetings again from Spring Valley in the Midlands of South Carolina. I will be traveling for the next few weeks. So, Japan Considered Podcast postings until mid-August will depend entirely upon my access to WiFi connections to the Internet. Both to collect political and international news from Japan, and to upload the programs produced from the information collected. I hope you keep checking back, though. I haven't "Pod-Faded," as Scott Fletcher used to say.

This week we look briefly at a couple of significant international issues. First, Japan's role in the international effort to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons development. Then at publication of the Ministry of Defense's first Defense White Paper. With focus on the section devoted to analysis of China's military development.

Then we return to the national political scene, and consider the run-up to the July 29th Upper House election. The official campaign period began yesterday, Thursday the 12th. How will Japan's potential voters respond. There is near-unanimous agreement among Japan's political press, Punditocracy, and Tenurate that the LDP under Shinzo Abe's leadership is headed for a loss. A big loss. As one important issue, we consider the origins and significance of SIA's lost pension payments, and what is to be done.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/pbwNQAPDk9k/070713JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No25.mp3




070706JapanConsideredPodcastVolume 03Number24

Sat, 07 Jul 2007 02:18:00 +0000

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Greetings Again From the Japan Considered Podcast Mobile Studio. Parked here on the shore of Lake Thurmond. Enjoying the view, in spite of the heat. Thanks for dropping by.

This week we focus almost entirely on the significance of the resignation of Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma. After the negative publicity his comment on U.S. atomic bombing of Japanese cities at the end of World War Two incited.

After describing what happened, we consider the significance of Kyuma's resignation, given the options, and what it tells us about Shinzo Abe's management of the Japanese premiership. My conclusions are somewhat different than those of most of Japan's political media.

Finally we consider what I believe to be the most long-term significant aspect of the Kyuma Affair: Appointment of Yuriko Koike as his successor. And why.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/u4Adggdv5g4/070706JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No24.mp3




070622JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number23

Fri, 22 Jun 2007 19:36:00 +0000

June 22, 2007. Volume 03, Number 23

Click here for a transcript of this program.

This week our focus is almost entirely domestic. After brief mention of the flurry of activity related to the North Korean nuclear issue, and Secretary Hill's visit to Pyongyang.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has forced an extension of the current Diet session. A 12-day extension. That will change the date of the Upper House election next month. So, it's important. We consider the significance of this change. And the significance of Prime Minister Abe's role in the decision.

As always, send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, respond directly to as many as time permits, and consider all when preparing future programs.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/5-Tok6BTuYA/070622JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No23.mp3




070615JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number22

Fri, 15 Jun 2007 17:45:00 +0000

June 15, 2007. Volume 03, Number 22

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping by again for another Japan Considered Podcast. Each week at this time we consider events of longer-term significance in the news from Japan. Those with the potential for telling us more about how Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations actually works.

This week we focus on the upcoming Upper House election. Its timing, how the election is conducted, and the likely effect on Japan's domestic politics should the Ruling Coalition lose its Upper House majority. That's not a prediction, now. Just a "what-if" sort of exercise.

Please continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all and take each one into consideration when planning future programs.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/AFcpDiGYkCQ/070615JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No22.mp3




070608JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number21

Fri, 08 Jun 2007 21:24:00 +0000

Click here for a transcript of this program.

A hearty South Carolina welcome to one and all. Thanks for dropping by this week. Special welcome to those of you who haven't been with us before. I hope the program meets your expectations.

Each week we consider events in the news from Japan with longer-term significance for Japan's domestic politics and/or conduct of international relations. Not a news show, now. Nothing that fancy. Or comprehensive. Just interpretation and analysis of what others tell us.

This week our focus is international. First, the significance of creation of an annual 2+2 diplo-military consultation framework with Australia, and the first annual meeting.

Then we take what must be a preliminary look at Japan's participation in the G-8 Summit being held in Germany. How does Prime Minister Abe's performance compare with those of his predecessors.

Click on over too the G-8 Summit website maintained by the G-8 Research Group at Trinity College. The University of Toronto hosts the website. Here's the link. Well worth saving.

And finally we break tradition and conclude with a non-bluegrass clip today. It's close, though. Hope you like it.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/135-VIUx4sg/070608JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No21.mp3




070601JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number20

Fri, 01 Jun 2007 22:43:00 +0000

Volume 03, Number 20Click here for a transcript of this program.Thanks for dropping by again to the Japan Considered Podcast. Each week at this time we consider recent events in the news with longer-term significance for Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations. The mobile studio is home this week, making production just a little easier. Hopefully, improving the quality of the sound.Another busy week in Japan. We begin the program with an interview with Dr. James Auer, Director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and Cooperation at Vanderbilt University. A number of you asked for more information about the current debate over collective security, and Jim provides that. Great information and analysis from one of best on this subject. See a copy of Jim's interview on the Japan Considered Project Interviews page by clicking here. Then we turn to the unfortunate death on Monday of Agriculture Minister, Toshikatsu Matsuoka. Japan's political news has been full of articles on this subject. Most of them focused on the effect of Matsuoka's suicide on the Abe Cabinet and next month's Upper House election. While all that is undoubtedly important, I think there is broader, longer-term significance of Matsuoka's death that we should consider. So we do!Finally, we have that bluegrass clip I promised you last week. From The Man, John Duffey. Hope you enjoy it. If you don't yet have your own copy off "Always in Style," click here to go over to the Country Sales site to buy one. Or, it's also available for download from iTunes. Just enter "Always in Style" in the search window, or even "John Duffey." Though I warn you, results from the latter search string may cost you more than you expected to spend![...]


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/1m3EO-4BQ1I/070601JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No20.mp3




070525JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number19

Fri, 25 May 2007 15:41:00 +0000

May 25, 2007. Volume 03, Number 19

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Welcome again to the Japan Considered Podcast. Coming to you this week from Iron Station in the beautiful Piedmont region of our Northern neighboring state.

This week our focus from beginning to end is international. First, a look at Japan's response to the latest North Korean missile initiative. This one conducted early this morning, Japan time. Then we consider recent events in Japan's relationship with Mainland China. Including the latest round of bilateral negotiations over the East China Sea gas exploitation issue. And other issues of significance.

I forgot to load the bluegrass clip I'd prepared for you this week when setting up the mobile studio at home. But I'll be sure to remember it next week. Sorry about that. You will find podcast subscription information at the top of this page, should you want an easier method of accessing the program. It's just a click away.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/CjWuTL4hUcM/070525JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No19.mp3




070518JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No18

Sat, 19 May 2007 02:52:00 +0000

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Greetings from Norris Dam State Park in Eastern Tennessee. A beautiful site to create a Podcast. Listen to this week's program, or read the transcript, for more details on this area.

This week a lot was going on in Tokyo. We begin with consideration of the longer-term significance of the Diet's passage of the Constitution Revision Referendum Law. Then we look at the ticklish issue of collective security, or collective self defense. And finally we continue our survey of the environment within which Japan's domestic political competition occurs.

As usual, please continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, and consider each one when creating new programs. The mail increases each week. As the number of listeners and subscribers increases. And that's a good thing, as they say.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/RxbnwFgJxpY/070518JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No18.mp3




070511JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No17

Sat, 12 May 2007 01:26:00 +0000

May 11, 2007. Volume 03, Number 17

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Welcome back to you long-time listeners, and a hearty South Carolina welcome to those of you who've found the program for the first time. I'm Robert Angel, creator and maintainer of the Japan Considered Project. And creator and host of this podcast.

Each week at this time we consider a few recent events that seem to have the greatest longer-term significance for Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations. Click on over to the Japan Considered website where you'll find all sorts of useful information. Including interviews with well-known contributors to American scholarship on political Japan. And an archive of sound files and transcripts of these podcasts. Which goes clear back to November of 2005.

This week we begin with an interview with Dr. Ed Lincoln, Director of the Japan-U.S. Center at New York University's Stern School of Business. Ed helps us sort through the significance of the recent spate of FTA agreements Japan and other countries have been negotiating of late.

Then we turn to Japan's domestic politics. I set the stage for more in-depth consideration of the changes in Japan's domestic political environment during the past fifteen or twenty years. We'll continue on this theme next week as well, and then consider the current state of the major competitors in Japan's Diet: the LDP and DPJ.

Don't miss the incredible bluegrass clip at the end. It'll warm your heart all week!


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/ok4CopgHfbg/070511JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No17.mp3




070504JapanConsideredPodcastVolume03Number16

Fri, 04 May 2007 20:10:00 +0000

May 4, 2007; Volume 03, Number 16

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for tuning in again this week. We have an interesting program. First, an important correction, thanks to a sharp-eared listener. Then a Skype-line interview with Gregg Rubinstein during which he explains the substance and significance of the recently concluded U.S.-Japan "2+2" consultations. Then, at last we look at the Abe Cabinet's recent energy diplomacy initiative, including the Prime Minister's recently concluded trip to five countries in the Middle East, and METI Minister Amari's visit to Kazakhstan. Both visits including huge delegations of senior Japanese business leaders.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/mSgFsusGGO0/070504JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No16.mp3




070427JapanConsideredPodcastVol03Number15

Fri, 27 Apr 2007 22:25:00 +0000

April 27, 2007. Volume 03, Number 15

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Welcome back, after a two-week absence. Good to be behind the microphone again for another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. This one from our South Carolina home. No traveling this week!

A lot's happened since our last program. So let's get right to it. We'll begin this week with review of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's first trip to Washington as prime minister. Lots to consider there, including the diverse interpretations of the bilateral relationship now coming from Washington.

Then, as promised on the last program, we'll consider the second round of unified prefectural and local elections that Japan held on Sunday, the 22nd. What they tell us about the current state of domestic politics in Japan. Talk about diverse interpretations!

I'd hoped to include a section on developments concerning collective security, and Japan's participation, this week. But ran out of time. Next week! Along with developments this week and next in the field of energy diplomacy. Both very important topics.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/2KSXRc3QFEQ/070427JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No15.mp3




070413JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No14

Fri, 13 Apr 2007 20:22:00 +0000

April 13, 2007. Volume 03, Number 14

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Welcome to another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. I'm here again at Sesquicentennial State Park, "narrow-casting" from our Little Tin House, Aliner. Which has become something of a mobile studio. Hopefully, the sound this week will be better. Since we have several important topics to cover.

First, we'll consider passage of a Constitutional Referendum Bill through the Lower House, and its significance. Then we'll shift to post-election assessment of the prefectural and local unified elections held Sunday. What they tell us about Japan's political future. If anything. And finally, we'll consider the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Japan. What was accomplished. And what remains.

As always, send me your comments and suggestions for the program at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, and try to respond to each one. Visit the Japan Considered Project website at www.JapanConsidered.com. Not much progress this week. But I was able to record an excellent interview with Gregg Rubinstein earlier in the week that will go up as soon as time permits.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/9sDhiarGRYw/070413JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No14.mp3




070406JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No13

Fri, 06 Apr 2007 22:03:00 +0000

April 6, 2006 Volume 03, Number 13


Click here for a transcript of this program.

Thanks for dropping by again this week. Especially after the terrible sound quality of last week's program. Sorry about that. I'll try to do better next time I produce a program out in the wild, in Our Little Tin House.

This week I provide some comments in response to e-mail feedback on last week's program concerning administrative reform. And also include more recent developments in that important area. The English language press has yet to discover the issue, or to recognize its importance. But there's plenty in Japanese to keep us busy.

I'd hoped to provide more background information about Japan's prefectural and local elections. But, there's little information of interest in Japan's political press. Even in Japanese. So we'll have to wait until next week when we have the election results, and some preliminary analysis of their significance.

In conclusion we look again at preparations for Chinese Premier Wen's visit to Tokyo next week, and what those preparations tell us about the current state of relations between the two countries. And close with an inspiring clip from Patsy Cline that's sure to stay with you through most of next week.

Continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. They're very helpful, and I enjoy hearing what you think.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/3gPO_B6VNVM/070406JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No13.mp3




070330JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No12

Fri, 30 Mar 2007 21:22:00 +0000

March 30, 2007. Volume 03, Number 12

Click here for a transcript of this program.

It's Friday again, and welcome back. This time from a remote site. Well, not really very remote. Just the Sesquicentennial State Park in the Midlands of South Carolina. But the program is being produced and recorded here among the beautifully blooming dogwood. In our Aliner Little Tin House. So, you'll probably hear a difference in the audio sound. Especially at the beginning. Hopefully not too bad.

This week, as promised last Friday, we focus on only one topic. The politics of the Abe Kantei's "Administrative Reform" proposal. This is potentially a very important issue. And, we've seen very little coverage of it, even in the Japanese political media. At least, compared to its significance.

So, we'll do that here. Beginning with the history and overall significance of the issue. Then how the Abe Kantei has presented their proposals, and the specific content of those proposals. And finally something on the politics of the whole issue.

Thanks for all of the e-mail messages. They are helpful. You don't have to agree with the analysis here to write in. Just address your e-mail to RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I look forward to reading them. And will respond to all I can. Also, click on over to the new Japan Considered website. Slowly, slowly, I'm getting materials migrated over.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/i9XsAfmfKnw/070330JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No12.mp3




070323JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No11

Sat, 24 Mar 2007 23:36:00 +0000

March 23, 2007. Volume 03, Number 11

Click here for a transcript of this program.

Welcome back again this week. To all of you who regularly listen to and/or read the show. Another busy week in political and international Japan.

We begin with good news about modification of the "Sushi Police" scheme by the Ministry of Agriculture. But then look at the collapse of the Six-Party Talks held this week in Beijing, as a counter-balance.

The balance of the program is all about the upcoming prefectural and local elections. And what they actually mean for Japan's domestic politics. A number of you have written in asking for clarification. So, here it is.

I'd hoped to consider the administrative reforms the Abe Cabinet announced earlier this week. They are important. Far more important than their footprint in Japan's political press would suggest. But it will have to wait until next week.

At the end of the program we have another nice clip from Nashville's "Infamous Stringdusters." From "A Poor Boy's Dream." You can order the album from Sugar Hill by clicking on this link.

Until next week, then, continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. Especially anything you might have on the conduct of the prefectural and local elections. That news is darn hard to come by!


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/PUeVPM7IUl0/070323JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No11.mp3




070316JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No10

Fri, 16 Mar 2007 22:32:00 +0000

March 16, 2007. Volume 03, Number 10 Click here for a transcript of this program. Thanks for dropping in again. It's good to be back at the microphone. After nearly a two-week absence. Not "pod-fading," now. Just a planned short spring vacation. Thanks for all of your e-mails. I'll have gotten through them by the end of the weekend, hopefully. And they're all appreciated. We've had quite an increase in regular subscribers to the program since the last program. A hearty South Carolina welcome to you all. I hope the programs you receive will meet your expectations. Drop me an e-mail at RobertCAngel@gmail.com to let me know what you think. I'll do my best to write back.We’ll begin this week with a quick review of developments in the North Korean situation. Because of its overall importance. Then a comment on the Abe Cabinet’s discussion of defense relations with Australia, Indonesia, and France, and its significance. Next, we’ll consider recent developments in the relationship with Mainland China, including the run-up to Premier Wen’s visit to Japan early next month. And we’ll conclude with further consideration of the Abe Cabinet’s management of public communications, both domestic and international. And I've prepared an excellent bluegrass clip for you at the end. From the "Infamous Stringdusters." You can pick up a copy of their album, "Fork in the Road," from Sugar Hill Records by clicking here. You also can reach the Japan Press Weekly by clicking here. [...]


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/P1ZFkJ94KNk/070316JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No10.mp3




070303JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No09

Sun, 04 Mar 2007 02:34:00 +0000

Thanks for dropping by again this week. Sorry the program is late going up. And, there won't be a program on Friday, March 9. Not podfading, just traveling for a few days. But I'll be back and at it the following Friday, March 16th. So stay tuned.

This week we take a look at the passage of Japan's FY 2007 budget through the Lower House Budget Committee and the Lower House plenary session. With special emphasis on what this process can tell us about Ichiro Ozawa's DPJ.

Then we consider Japan's management of relations with China, and how that has changed during the past decade or so. Using the Yasukuni Shrine Visit fracas of last year as an example.

And, of course, we close with a refreshing clip of bluegrass, just to brighten your week. This the Original Seldom Scene's rendition of James Taylor's "Sweet Baby James." Incredible music. You can find Act I by clicking on this link.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/DkokPZn-TI8/070303JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No09.mp3




070223JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No08

Sat, 24 Feb 2007 03:20:00 +0000

Click the link below to read a full transcript of today's program
http://www.japanconsidered.com/Podcasts/Scripts/070223JapanConsideredPodcastTranscript.html

Thanks for stopping in again this week. We've made some progress on migration of the Japan Considered Project website to new, hopefully more reliable, commercial servers. The process isn't done yet. But at least the audio files are up. And the link above takes you to the first page on the new website server. Nothing much else there yet, however. Coming soon, as they say.

This week I've devoted the whole program to more detailed consideration of the political significance of the continued decline in the public approval ratings of the Abe Cabinet. It is, I believe, the most important domestic political topic for Japan at the moment. With widespread implications. We explore a few of them, focusing on how the significance of public approval of Japan's central political executive has changed over the past few decades.

Thanks for your continued attention. As always, send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all with interest. And soon you will be able to reach the Japan Considered Project website at www.JapanConsidered.com.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/JaXSChaTxoc/070223JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No08.mp3




070216JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No07.mp3

Sat, 17 Feb 2007 17:33:00 +0000

February 16, 2007. Volume 03, Number 07

Thanks for tuning in again this week. We're still in transition. Migrating the audio files from this and all previous programs to a commercial server. And setting up a new commercial server for the Website. Sorry for the confusion. But we should have more reliable service as soon as the migration is complete.

This week we focus on two topics. The first is a non-event, the decision to delay launch of Japan's fourth surveillance satellite again. I provide some background on the program, and intend it to illustrate changes in how Japan's attentive public views such issues.

We then consider the results and aftermath of the Six-Party Talks in Beijing, including the substance of the agreement announced and the reaction from around the world.

As always, continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all and take each one into consideration when planning future programs.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/tlGc1U7BsGM/070216JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No07.mp3




070209JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No06.mp3

Fri, 09 Feb 2007 18:53:00 +0000

February 9, 2007 . Volume 03, Number 06.

Sorry about the delayed posting of this transcript. Things are back to normal. You can find both the link to the program audio file and to the full transcript in their normal place on the Japan Considered Project website. Just go to www.JapanConsidered.org, and click on the big podcast button. In the meantime, I hope you found the audio file and the transcript text right here. The problems with the University's servers, or whatever it was, seem to be fixed now. I'm hoping to have a better solution for you in a few weeks.

This week we have a full agenda, beginning with some comments on the on-going Six-Party Talks being held in Bejing on North Korea's nuclear efforts.

We then consider the significance of the results of Sunday's elections for the LDP and Opposition parties, and Prime Minister Abe's approval ratings.

Finally we consider the outcome of the Opposition parties' decision to boycott Lower House debate on the supplementary budget bill. In protest of Health Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa's offensive remark during a speech the week before. The boycott is over, but the results have longer-term significance for Japan's parliament, I think.

We close, of course, with an inspiring clip of bluegrass, this one sure to brighten your day


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/vFaj0i07B2c/070209JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No06.mp3




070202JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No05.mp3

Fri, 02 Feb 2007 18:56:00 +0000

February 2 , 2007 . Volume 03, Number 05.

Thanks for dropping by again this week for another Japan Considered Podcast. This week we continue to consider the problems the Abe Cabinet seems to be having with public approval ratings. And the various causes of those problems.

We also consider DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa's decision to organize an opposition party boycott of Lower House supplementary budget debate over Health and Welfare Minister Yanagisawa's description of Japan's mothers as baby-making machines.

Then Dr. Kristina Troost of Duke University joins us to describe the excellent website she has created to provide convenient access to all kinds of on-line resources on Japan. This is one of the very best Japan-related websites on the net.

And, as usual, we close with a heart-warming bluegrass clip, this from the Original Seldom Scene.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/DoU0OgZMkeY/070202JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No05.mp3




070126JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No04.mp3

Fri, 26 Jan 2007 18:58:00 +0000

January 26, 2007 . Volume 03, Number 04.

Welcome again this week to another edition of the Japan Considered Podcast. Click on over to www.JapanConsidered.org to directly download the audio file to your own computer, or to read the text transcript of the program. And continue sending your comments and suggestions to me at RobertCAngel@gmail.com. I read them all, though it sometimes takes a while to get out a response. The more the better, though. Lots of good ideas for future programs comes through that route. Thanks.

This week we focus on the policy speeches given to the Diet today, January 26, by Prime Minister Abe and Foreign Minister Aso. Not just the content of the speech. You can read that most anywhere. But the significance of the items they chose to highlight in their speeches.

We also look at the results of the Miyazaki Prefectural gubernatorial election, and the surprise win of a comedian known as Sonommama Higashi. With no organized political party support. What does that tell us about the evolution of Japan's electoral politics?

And we close with a splendid bluegrass clip from the Wind Riders of North Carolina. They really do -- I'll admit! -- know how to play bluegrass up there.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/HwIIt20PXXs/070126JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No04.mp3




070119JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No03.mp3

Fri, 19 Jan 2007 19:01:00 +0000

January 19, 2007 . Volume 03, Number 03.

Thanks for dropping in again to the Japan Considered Podcast. Lots happening in Japan of significance to domestic politics and the conduct of international relations. We have to be even more selective than usual this week, however, since we have an excellent interview with Dr. James Auer, director of Vanderbilt University's Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and Cooperation.

We'll also consider encouraging events related to political funds reporting revelations we've discussed during the past few weeks. And I introduce another excellent source of English language information on Japan's politics. This one unapologetically from the Left. It is the "Japan Press Weekly," produced by the Japan Communist Party. You can find it on the web at http://www.japan-press.co.jp/

And we close with a remarkable bluegrass clip. This one from a 1972 album by the Seldom Scene featuring John Starling on "Raised by the Railroad Line." You can buy the album at Rebel Records by clicking here. Or, just go to iTunes, click on the iTunes store, and punch in Seldom Scene. All of Act I is there, or you can buy the individual songs. Enjoy


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/fnD52tzg730/070119JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No03.mp3




070111JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No02.mp3

Thu, 11 Jan 2007 19:04:00 +0000

January 11, 2007 . Volume 03, Number 02.

Welcome again to the Japan Considered Podcast. And a day early this week. I leave for a conference early tomorrow morning. So it's today or never for this week's program. And we have material that just can't wait.

After considering continuing reports of LDP political "sloppy bookkeeping" and what it means for Japan's electoral politics, we take a preliminary look at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's tour of Europe and NATO. More on that next week after we have better information.

The biggest treat,however -- well, other than the bluegrass -- this week is an interview with Mr. Gregg Rubinstein, Director of GAR Associates in Washington, D.C. Gregg joined us via the SkypePhone yesterday, and discusses the significance of the elevation of Japan's Defense Agency to ministerial status. As before, Gregg provides us with lots of useful information and interpretation.

And we close with an instrumental that features John Duffey's incomparable mandolin playing. This again from the Seldom Scene's "Live at the Cellar Door," recorded back in the 1970s.

Enjoy, and I hope you join me next week when we will again consider the longer-term significance of events in the news for Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/ebQD2-u6fvk/070111JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No02.mp3




070105JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No01.mp3

Fri, 05 Jan 2007 19:06:00 +0000

January 5, 2007 . Volume 03, Number 01.

A somewhat belated Happy New Year to all of you. Thanks for tuning again to the Japan Considered Podcast for another program. Each week at this time we select a few items from Japan's news and consider their longer-term significance for Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations. Also, from time to time, we are joined on the program by another specialist on Japan, who shares their interpretation of events and prospects.

This week we begin with consideration of the significance of continuing disclosure in Japan's political press of campaign financing scandals for LDP politicians. Following that we are joined by Francis A. Moyer, Director of North Carolina's Japan Center, in Raleigh, North Carolina. He discusses developments in Japan's stock market since he worked there throughout much of the 1980s as a stock analyst.

We conclude the program with a short clip from a Virginia-based bluegrass band, Lakeside Junction. This band no longer exists, unfortunately. But their sound has been preserved, thanks to banjoist, Mr. Bill Krumpter.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/Rw_edXym05U/070105JapanConsideredPodcastVol03No01.mp3




061229JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No46

Tue, 26 Dec 2006 22:35:00 +0000

December 29, 2006. Volume 02, Number 46.

Good Morning, again, for the final Japan Considered Podcast of 2006. Thanks for dropping by. And special thanks to you long-time listeners. It doesn't work without you. So I appreciate your attention. And look forward to continuing these weekly programs of commentary and analysis concerning Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations in 2007.

This week we return to the problems the Abe Kantei seems to be having communicating with Japan's attentive public. Resolution of the Professor Homma fiasco we mentioned last week, eruption of a new political funding scandal, this time within the Cabinet itself, and its more rapid resolution. And then consideration of the significance of Yoshimi Watanabe's appointment to succeed Genichiro Sata as Minister of State responsible for administrative reform and regional revitalization.

Happy New Year to all.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/0ctm1gSOY8M/061229JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No46.mp3




061222JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No45

Fri, 22 Dec 2006 22:38:00 +0000

December 22, 2006. Volume 02, Number 45.
Good Morning, from beautiful Spring Valley in the Midlands of South Carolina. Thanks for dropping in again. This week we consider developments related to LDP factions. Specifically, Taro Aso's creation of his own faction, that appears to be a traditional LDP faction. Then Tsutomu Takebe's organization of what we might call an "anti-faction-faction" composed of younger LDP members who have yet to join factions. Then we continue consideration of the Abe Cabinet's continuing difficulty with its relationship to Japan's attentive public, and speculate on some possible explanations.

Professor Dennis Yasutomo then joins us to provide some balance to my Kantei commentary with information about some Kantei initiatives that seem to be working as they were intended to work. Especially the Asia Gateway Project.

And we conclude with a clip from the Infamous Stringdusters' "My destination."


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/gNR6O_ov7-o/061222JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No45.mp3




061215JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No44

Fri, 15 Dec 2006 22:41:00 +0000

Friday, December 15, 2006

Good Morning, again from the University of South Carolina. Thanks for tuning in. I've got a terrific program for you this week, though it's a little long. After a preliminary discussion of the continuing decline in the public approval ratings for the Abe Cabinet, Dr. Edward Lincoln joins us for his comments on Japan's current economy, and on the economic policies of the Abe Administration. Great material.

Dr. Lincoln is the director of the Center for Japan-U.S. Business and Economic Studies at NYU's Stern School of Business in New York, and a professor of economics there. Click here to visit the Center's new Website, which includes a page of valuable links for economic information about Japan.

The SkypePhone interview with Ed was so full of useful information that I've run the whole thing. So, no time once again for bluegrass. Next week fer shur, as we'd say OverHome.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/ZmdcIJQuZ20/061215JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No44.mp3




061208JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No43

Fri, 08 Dec 2006 22:43:00 +0000

December 8, 2006. Volume 02, Number 43.

Good Morning again from the Midlands of South Carolina. Thanks for dropping by. Sorry to have missed last week. Again, the day job seemed to get in the way. End-of-semester tasks such as research papers, grading, and writing exams. Those of you who teach for a living will understand.

This week, though, we will continue to consider the internal workings of Japan's major opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan. And how interaction there among the diverse interests represented will affect political and legislative outcomes in Japan.

We also take a look at the sharp drop in public approval of the Abe Cabinet. Its determinants, and its significance for short- and medium-term politics in Japan. Key here is a closer look at the Party's decision to allow eleven of the former "Postal Rebels" to return to full Party membership.

Then we turn to pending legislation of significance for the Abe Administration. First the efforts to revise the Basic Education Law, and then legislation that would upgrade Japan's Defense Agency to full ministerial status.

A warning: No time for bluegrass this week. But I'll try to have something nice next week as partial compensation.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/I1_VC3KxgC8/061208JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No43.mp3




061124JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No42

Fri, 24 Nov 2006 22:46:00 +0000

November 24, 2006. Volume 02, Number 42.

Thanks for tuning in again today. Without your interest there's little incentive to prepare these programs and to continue to talk into the microphone. Listenership and subscriptions are up all over the world. Well beyond anything I imagined last year when the project began. But we're still a "narrow-cast," rather than a "broadcast" program, and will remain so. Given our specific topic and approach.

This week is all about the gubernatorial election in Okinawa last Sunday. And the significance of that election for Japan overall, the Abe Cabinet, and most important, the Democratic Party of Japan. It's a complex subject and took all of the time available.

We close with another brief selection from North Carolina's Wind Riders. This one from their recent CD, entitled "You Can Share My Blanket." Another great sound from this remarkable group.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/LQjQR_LcFRM/061124JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No42.mp3




061117JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No41

Fri, 17 Nov 2006 22:52:00 +0000

November 17, 2006. Volume 02, Number 41.

This is it! Our First Anniversary Program. Thanks for tuning in again. Or, for those of you who have found us for the first time, a hearty South Carolina welcome. Each week on this program we consider the longer-term significance of events in the news for Japan's domestic politics or conduct of international relations.

This week, we hear the very beginning of the first program from last year's November 18th program. Then we follow up on last week's consideration of the Town Meeting flap that continues to give the public relations officials in the Kantei fits.

From there we move to consideration of the recent prefectural gubernatorial races, and what they can tell us about change in Japan's domestic politics. We note the DPJ's win in Fukushima, and then look at the arrests of prefectural governors under suspicion of bribery and bid-fixing.

Finally we return to the DPJ's decision to boycott Diet debates over the revision of Japan's basic education bill. Why did they do it? What did they gain? Or lose?

And we close with a stirring clip from a new bluegrass band, the Infamous Stringdusters. You can listen to more of their remarkable sound on their My Space page. Just click here to go there.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/LM4BOmbjEjo/061117JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No41.mp3




060428JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No16

Sat, 29 Apr 2006 01:18:00 +0000

April 28, 2006. Volume 02, Number 16.


Thanks for tuning in again. No program last week. I was in Washington, D.C., visiting old friends and attending a meeting of the Washington and Southeast Regional Japan Seminar. Current Chair, Professor Tomoka Hamada, arranged a splendid program, the best one in years.

This week I've focused on the outcome of the Chiba # 7 district by-election in which DPJ candidate, Kazumi Ota, bested LDP candidate, Ken Saito. And the significance of that election outcome for Japan's politics in the short and medium-term. My interpretation differs somewhat from that of most of Japan's political journalists and commentators. Or, at least, differs from what they were writing during the week following the election.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/BxMejzUnlKc/060428JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No16.mp3




060414JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No15

Sat, 15 Apr 2006 01:16:00 +0000

Friday, April 14, 2006

Volume 02, Number 15.


Thanks for tuning in again, and for subscribing. I have to spend the latter half of next week in Washington, D.C. So there will be no Podcast on Friday, April 21. But I'll be back the Friday after that, April 28th. So stay subscribed.

This week we take a closer look at Ichiro Ozawa's first week as President of the Democratic Party of Japan. I focus on what his selection and presidency can tell us about the distinction between factionist and populist party leaders. Then we consider a surprising development in the North Korean abduction issues. And finally we take a web audio tour of this site, www.Japan Considered.org.

Best wishes for the Easter weekend, and drop back by on Friday, the 28th.


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/kYo3pG2tuCY/060414JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No15.mp3




060407JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No14

Sat, 08 Apr 2006 01:13:00 +0000

Friday, April 07, 2006, Volume 02, Number 14Thanks for tuning in again this week. Click on over to the Japan Considered Project, sponsor of this podcast, at www.JapanConsidered.org, and have a look around. The interviews with other specialists on Japan's domestic politics and international relations have been especially popular of late. And send your comments and suggestions to me at JapanConsidered@gmail.com. News of the Democratic Party of Japan's efforts to select a new president has dominated Japan's media for the past week. We begin with a look at the selection of Ichiro Ozawa to succeed outgoing president Seiji Maehara. I apply the "factionist" versus "populist" categories introduced week before last to the leadership change.Then we consider recent developments in Japan's management of relations with North Korea. Nothing exciting has happened this week. But I believe the accumulation of actions taken by the Government of Japan are worth considering together. Finally we take a very short web sound tour of the ITV-Japan streaming video site. This is another useful resource available to us all free of charge. As usual, we close out with a clip of bluegrass music, this time featuring John Starling and the late John Duffy. From their two-CD 20th anniversary album recorded for Sugar Hill Records. [...]


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/0MzzxGllpq4/060407JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No14.mp3




060331JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No13

Sat, 01 Apr 2006 03:15:00 +0000

Friday March 31, 2006. Volume 02, Number 13Thanks for tuning in again this week. Our subscriptions numbers still are climbing steadily. But many more of you are downloading the audio file and/or the transcripts directly. That's unusual for a podcast. But, I guess, the result is the same. Glad to have you listening. Please continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at JapanConsidered@gmail.com. I'm looking into adding a resource that will allow you to submit short audio comments as mp3 files. But that will take a while. This week's events tended to pile up toward the end of the week. With important developments today, in fact. We consider first the background of Seiji Maehara's resignation today from the DPJ presidency, and its implications for national politics in Japan. Then we look at positive and less positive developments in Japan's relationship with China. And finally we consider the current legislative agenda. I'd hoped to cover recent developments in the relationship with North Korea, but that will have to wait. Last week I ran across a podcast that those of you studying Japanese language should find useful. It is called Japanesepod101. You can find it by searching on iTunes, or through a Google search. Here is their website, which, I understand, is about to go through major revisions. A group of four language specialists produce a daily program. Quite an accomplishment. So have a look at:Japanesepod101[...]


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/i0ncelq_LSU/060331JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No13.mp3




060324JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No12

Sat, 25 Mar 2006 03:13:00 +0000

March 24, 2006. Volume 02, Number 12Thanks for dropping by again this week. Send your comments and suggestions for the program to me at japanconsidered@gmail.com.And check the Japan Considered Project website for additional information related to Japan's domestic politics and international relations. I have added an interview with Professor John Campbell of the University of Michigan to the Interviews page. That makes a total of thirteen interviews, so far. John also has contributed an Occasional Paper to the collection.This week we complete our consideration of the race to succeed Junichiro Koizumi as president of the Liberal Democratic Party, and prime minister. I describe how two groups, that I call the "Factionists" and the "Populists," are pursuing their agendas through the LDP presidential succession race, and then consider the significance of this for Japan's domestic politics and international relations.Next week we will return to the regular program format, with commentary and analysis that focuses on three or four events of importance from the past week's news.Here are links to individuals and organizations mentioned during today's program:Liberal Democratic PartyJapan Considered ProjectRounder Records[...]


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/4WrIdXOx-JU/060324JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No12.mp3




060317JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No11

Sat, 18 Mar 2006 03:10:00 +0000

March 17, 2006. Volume 02, No. 11Welcome back for another week of the Japan Considered Podcast. Thanks again for subscribing, or for downloading the audio file. E-mail your suggestions and comments to me at japanconsidered@gmail.com.This week we begin with response to a listener's question. Why all the coverage of the Democratic Party of Japan when they appear to be going nowhere.After discussion of what we can learn from observing the DPJ, we shift to the first part of a two-week consideration of the race within the LDP to succeed Junichiro Koizumi as Party President. This includes profiles of the two leading candidates, and review of the April 2001 election that put Koizumi into office.We conclude with a short clip from "Big Spike Hammer" from Volume Three of the Bluegrass Album: California Connection. You can order a copy of the CD from Rounder Records at the link below.Some Links to individuals and organizations mentioned this week:The Democratic Party of JapanThe Liberal Democratic PartyShinzo AbeYasuo FukudaYasuhiro NakasoneRounder Records[...]


Media Files:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JapanConsideredPodcast/~5/x2lwNfmoMLg/060317JapanConsideredPodcastVol02No11.mp3