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Jul 29, 2015

Japan shouldn’t cave to foreign pressure on PM war anniversary remarks: aide

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan should not let foreign countries make diplomatic capital out of its wartime past, an aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday, as the author of a landmark 1995 apology urged Abe not to backtrack as it marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

The conservative Abe has said he upholds past statements including then-premier Tomiichi Murayama’s “heartfelt apology” for the suffering caused by Japanese military aggression during the war.

Jul 23, 2015

Cartoon capers: Japan PM uses offbeat PR blitz to rescue ratings

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is using ‘anime’ cartoons, Internet chats and even an unusual show-and-tell TV appearance, complete with a mockup of burning buildings, in an effort to persuade wary voters that his bolder defense policy makes sense.

So far, it isn’t working.

Abe’s popularity rating, once as high as 60 percent, has slumped as he makes changes to Japan’s post-war security stance, such as legislation enabling its armed forces to defend a friendly nation under attack. His disapproval rating topped 50 percent after the bills passed the lower house last week.

Jul 16, 2015

Japan’s Abe pushes security bills through lower house, despite protests

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s coalition on Thursday approved legislation in the lower house of parliament that could see troops sent to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two, despite thousands of protesters overnight chanting and holding up placards reading “No War, No Killing”.

A lower house panel approval on Wednesday of the unpopular bills, which would drop a ban on collective self-defence or fighting to defend a friendly country like the United States, sparked a huge demonstration and more are planned.

Jul 16, 2015

Japan’s Abe pushes security bills, sparks protests in summer of discontent

TOKYO (Reuters) – Legislation for a dramatic change in Japan’s defence policy that could allow troops to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two was approved by a lower house panel on Wednesday, sparking large protests from ordinary voters against the change.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says a bolder security stance, welcomed by key ally Washington, is vital to meet new challenges, such as those from a rising China.

Jul 16, 2015

Abe to push Japan security bills through lower house, despite protests

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s coalition was set on Thursday to approve legislation in the lower house of parliament that could see troops sent to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two, despite thousands of protesters overnight chanting and holding up placards reading “No War, No Killing”.

A lower house panel approval on Wednesday of the unpopular bills, which would drop a ban on collective self-defense or fighting to defend a friendly country like the United States, sparked a huge demonstration and more are planned.

Jul 15, 2015

Japan’s security council chief to visit China amid talk of Sept. summit

TOKYO (Reuters) – The head of Japan’s National Security Council, a close ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will visit Beijing this week, China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday, fuelling speculation of a full-scale leaders’ summit as early as September.

Sino-Japanese ties, long bedevilled by China’s bitter memories of Japan’s wartime aggression and a row over tiny islands in the East China Sea, have improved since Abe met Chinese President Xi Jinping in November at an Asia-Pacific summit in Beijing.

Jul 15, 2015

Japan’s Abe pushes security bills in summer of discontent

TOKYO (Reuters) – Legislation for a dramatic change in Japan’s defence policy that could allow troops to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two was approved by a lower house panel on Wednesday, despite opposition from a majority of ordinary voters.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says a bolder security stance, welcomed by key ally Washington, is vital to meet new challenges, such as those from a rising China.

Jul 15, 2015

Japan’s Abe set to push through security bills in summer of discontent

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces his toughest challenge since taking office in 2012 as his ruling bloc prepares to force unpopular security bills through the lower house despite voter doubts about the legislation and a slew of other policies.

The legislation, based on a July 2014 cabinet resolution, would implement a dramatic change in defense policy allowing Japanese troops to fight abroad for the first time since Tokyo’s defeat in World War Two.

Jul 14, 2015

Japan security debate masks clash of views on pacifist constitution

TOKYO (Reuters) – Is Japan’s constitution a symbol of peace and respect for universal values or a reminder of humiliating defeat?

As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rushes to push through unpopular legislation allowing broader use of Japan’s military, the heated security debate masks a deeper divide over the pacifist charter, drafted by U.S. Occupation officials after Japan’s World War Two defeat.

Jul 7, 2015

Japan’s Abe faces growing risk on security shift: opposition leader

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be taking a big risk if he pushes through a dramatic change in security policy despite objections from most citizens, who want a better explanation why the change is needed, a top opposition figure said on Tuesday.

Abe’s ratings have slipped over the security policy shift, which could let Japanese troops fight abroad for the first time since Tokyo’s defeat in World War Two, and which he hopes to enact into law in a parliament session that runs until Sept. 27.

    • 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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