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Sep 2, 2014

Japan’s ‘Abenomics’ feared in trouble as challenges build

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan for Japan’s economy to generate self-sustained growth on the back of his three policy “arrows” of massive monetary easing, spending and reform appears to be faltering – but no magic solution is in sight.

Abe’s aides and advisers are promising to forge ahead with painful structural reforms, while spreading the benefits of “Abenomics” to regional areas and drafting a long-term vision for addressing Japan’s shrinking population.

Aug 28, 2014

Japan’s Abe eyes more women in cabinet; ministers may struggle to make mark

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to boost the number of female ministers when he reshuffles his cabinet next week in a show of commitment to promoting women, but the appointees may struggle to convince skeptics they are more than tokens.

Abe has made a push to get more women into the workforce to fill gaps due to an aging, shrinking population a linchpin of his “Abenomics” growth plan. His growth strategy, unveiled in June, set a target of raising the proportion of women corporate managers to 30 percent by 2020 from 7.5 percent last year.

Aug 19, 2014

Japan’s polarising PM Abe learns the long game

TOKYO (Reuters) – Shinzo Abe is one of Japan’s most polarizing prime ministers in decades. He may also have a good shot at becoming that rarity in Japanese politics – a long-serving leader.

Whether that proves to be the case depends on whether Abe, who surged back to power 20 months ago for a second shot at Japan’s top job, can temper his conservative ideology with pragmatism and keep his pledges to end two decades of economic stagnation.

Aug 19, 2014

Insight – Japan’s polarising PM Abe learns the long game

TOKYO (Reuters) – Shinzo Abe is one of Japan’s most polarizing prime ministers in decades. He may also have a good shot at becoming that rarity in Japanese politics – a long-serving leader.

Whether that proves to be the case depends on whether Abe, who surged back to power 20 months ago for a second shot at Japan’s top job, can temper his conservative ideology with pragmatism and keep his pledges to end two decades of economic stagnation.

Jul 18, 2014

Veteran politician Ozawa: Japan PM’s policy shift risks dangerous path

TOKYO (Reuters) – When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe loosened the limits of Japan’s pacifist constitution to drop a ban on its military fighting overseas, many experts said it was a step towards becoming a “normal country” able to do more in its own defence.

But Ichiro Ozawa, a one-time ruling party kingmaker who coined the phrase two decades ago, says Abe’s policy is fundamentally different and risks leading Japan down a path with dangerous echoes of pre-war militarism.

Jul 18, 2014

Japan PM’s policy shift risks dangerous path: Veteran politician Ozawa

TOKYO (Reuters) – When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe loosened the limits of Japan’s pacifist constitution to drop a ban on its military fighting overseas, many experts said it was a step toward becoming a “normal country” able to do more in its own defense.

But Ichiro Ozawa, a one-time ruling party kingmaker who coined the phrase two decades ago, says Abe’s policy is fundamentally different and risks leading Japan down a path with dangerous echoes of pre-war militarism.

Jul 3, 2014

Japan lifts some North Korea sanctions amid report of surviving abductees

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan decided on Thursday to ease some sanctions on North Korea in return for its reopening of a probe into the fate of Japanese citizens abducted by the reclusive state decades ago, as a fresh report emerged that some of them were alive.

“This is just a start,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has made the fate of the abductees a focus of his political career, told reporters. “We will make every effort to achieve a complete resolution of this issue.”

Jul 2, 2014

Japan takes historic step from post-war pacifism, OKs fighting for allies

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan took a historic step away from its post-war pacifism on Tuesday by ending a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since 1945, a victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe but a move that has riled China and worries many Japanese voters.

The change, the most dramatic policy shift since Japan set up its post-war armed forces 60 years ago, will widen Japan’s military options by ending the ban on exercising “collective self-defense”, or aiding a friendly country under attack.

Jul 1, 2014

Japan poised to ease constitution’s limits on military

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s cabinet was poised on Tuesday to end a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since World War Two, a major shift away from post-war pacifism and a victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but a move that will rile China.

The move, seen by some as the biggest shift in defense policy since Japan set up its post-war armed forces exactly 60 years ago, would end a ban on exercising “collective self-defense” or aiding a friendly country under attack.

Jun 30, 2014

Japan poised to ease constitution’s limits on military in landmark shift

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s cabinet is expected on Tuesday to end a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since World War Two, a major shift away from post-war pacifism and a political victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who has pursued the change despite some public opposition.

The move, seen by some as the biggest shift in defense policy since Japan set up its post-war armed forces in 1954, would end a ban on exercising “collective self-defense”, or aiding a friendly country under attack.

    • About Linda

      "I direct a team of reporters responsible for covering politics, diplomacy, social and security policies in the world's second-biggest economy, as well as natural disasters, entertainment and lifestyle trends. I have been in my current position since April 1999 and prior to that was Chief Economics Correspondent, Japan."
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