Correspondent, Political and General News
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Aug 27, 2010

Japan opens up “sterile” gallows to media

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan opened up its gallows to local media for the first time on Friday, a move that could spark debate in a country where the majority supports the death penalty.

Justice Minister Keiko Chiba has called for more disclosure and discussion on executions in light of a lay judge system introduced last year under which ordinary citizens, along with professional judges, can hand down death sentences.

Aug 27, 2010

Japan opens up gallows to media, may spark debate

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan opened up its gallows for the first time to domestic media on Friday, a move that could spark public debate over executions in a country where a hefty majority supports retaining the death penalty.

Justice Minister Keiko Chiba, a known opponent of capital punishment, signed off on the executions of two convicted killers and attended their hangings last month. She set up a group within the ministry to study the death penalty.

Aug 26, 2010

Japan DPJ powerbroker to bid for PM in party vote

TOKYO, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Japanese ruling party powerbroker
Ichiro Ozawa said on Thursday he would challenge Prime Minister
Naoto Kan for the leadership next month, a battle analysts say
could create a policy vacuum and push a surging yen higher.

Kan, who took over in June as Japan’s fifth prime minister
in three years, is fighting for his job after an election loss
last month deprived the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) of a
majority in the upper house.

Aug 23, 2010

Japan PM, BOJ head discuss yen; mum on policy response

TOKYO, Aug 23 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan
and Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa discussed the yen
and agreed to work closely in a phone conversation on Monday,
but Kan did not ask the central bank to make any monetary
policy changes.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku also said the talks
did not touch on currency intervention, after the yen recently
hit 15-year highs, but declined to comment on whether the two
men discussed the possibility of additional monetary easing.

Aug 10, 2010

Japan PM renews apology over Korea rule

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan apologized on Tuesday for Korea’s suffering under colonization, despite concern the gesture could reignite calls for wartime compensation.

Kan is seeking to prevent ties with major trading partner South Korea from being dragged back into periodic disputes stemming from Japan’s often-brutal 1910-1945 colonization of the peninsula and a territorial row over nearby islets.

Jul 12, 2010

Fate of Japan climate bill uncertain after election

TOKYO, July 12 (Reuters) – Japan’s climate bill, which
backs the creation of an emissions trading scheme, faces an
uncertain fate after the ruling Democratic Party and its ally
lost their majority in a weekend election for parliament’s
upper house.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
stays in power because it controls the more powerful lower
house, but will need to seek new partners to control the upper
chamber and pass bills smoothly.

Jul 11, 2010

Japan ruling party reels after vote, PM job in danger

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s ruling party, mauled in Sunday’s upper house election, faces an uphill struggle to win new allies to back its policies to cut back huge public debt and probably bitter infighting over whether the premier should quit.

Voters dealt Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan a stinging rebuke in the election, depriving the DPJ and its tiny ally of a majority less than a year after the Democrats swept to power with promises of change.

Jul 11, 2010

Japan government mauled in election, policy at risk

TOKYO (Reuters) – Voters dealt Japan’s government a stinging blow in upper house elections on Sunday, a reverse that could thwart its ambitions to curb the country’s massive public debt and threatens Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s job.

Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) were set to win just 47 seats and its tiny partner, the People’s New Party, none, losing their combined majority in parliament’s upper house, exit polls showed.

Jul 9, 2010
via Global News Journal

Japan’s not-so-hot election


Candidates on the campaign trail in Japan are sweating through the summer heat but voters have been cool towards this Sunday’s upper house election.

Sure, the government won’t change because the ruling Democratic Party will still control the more powerful lower house.

Jul 7, 2010

Small Japan parties vie for big role after election

TOKYO (Reuters) – Kouta Matsuda is new at politics but hopes his experience managing a popular chain of coffee stores in Japan will give him and his small party an edge over rivals in a national election on Sunday.

“I’m going to first work on making the economy better,” the lean, floppy-haired Matsuda shouted from on top of a van in Tokyo’s busy Shinjuku district last weekend.

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