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Jun 26, 2013

Big poll win for Japan PM Abe’s party could defeat bold econ reform

TOKYO (Reuters) – Will the real Shinzo Abe please stand up?

Abe, back as Japan’s premier in a rare second term, is expected to lead his ruling bloc to victory in a July upper house election, but what he will do with the mandate is a puzzle.

Pessimists fear too decisive a win will weaken commitment to reforms needed to end the stagnation that has long plagued the economy.

Jun 26, 2013

Analysis: Big poll win for Japan PM Abe’s party could defeat bold economic reform

TOKYO (Reuters) – Will the real Shinzo Abe please stand up?

Abe, back as Japan’s premier in a rare second term, is expected to lead his ruling bloc to victory in a July upper house election, but what he will do with the mandate is a puzzle.

Pessimists fear too decisive a win will weaken commitment to reforms needed to end the stagnation that has long plagued the economy.

Jun 23, 2013

Japan ruling bloc sweeps Tokyo poll, on track for upper house win

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc swept to victory in a weekend Tokyo election, a sign it’s on track for a hefty win in a July national vote that could strengthen Abe’s hand as he aims to end economic stagnation and bolster defence.

Politicians and pundits have been eyeing the outcome of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election for clues to how well Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, the New Komeito, will fare in a July 21 election for parliament’s upper house that opinion polls suggest they will win handily.

Jun 19, 2013

“No, we can’t”-Japan’s conservative values collide with plan to mobilise women for economy

TOKYO, June 20 (Reuters) – Days after Kaoru Shimada and
other Japanese mothers rallied in Tokyo this year to press for
more public daycare, she was shocked to read a local
politician’s blog blasting their “shameless” demands and
asserting kids should be raised at home.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to take steps, including
expanding daycare, to help mobilise women power as part of his
“Abenomics” plan to end economic stagnation and engineer growth
in a country beset by an ageing, shrinking population.

May 29, 2013

Japan must show path to fiscal reform: coalition partner

TOKYO (Reuters) – A recent rise in Japan’s long-term interest rates to around 1 percent is within a tolerable range, but it is necessary to avoid a marked further rise in bond yields, the secretary-general of Japan’s junior ruling coalition party said on Wednesday.

Yoshihisa Inoue, secretary-general of the New Komeito party, also said that it was necessary for Japan to show a clear path for fixing its tattered state finances. Japan’s public debt is more than twice the value of its 500 trillion yen ($5 trillion) economy.

May 27, 2013

Japan’s Mayor Hashimoto denies he meant to excuse wartime brothels

TOKYO (Reuters) – Outspoken Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, seeking to quell an international furor, denied on Monday that he had ever meant to excuse Japan’s wartime military brothels and said Japan should apologize to the Asian and other women forced to work there.

Still, in comments likely to keep the controversy alive, Hashimoto said historical research was needed to determine whether Japan “as a state” was directly involved in human trafficking of the “comfort women”, as those who worked in the brothels are euphemistically known in Japan.

May 24, 2013

Special Report: The deeper agenda behind ‘Abenomics’

TOKYO (Reuters) – When ill health and political gridlock forced Shinzo Abe to quit after one dismal year as Japan’s prime minister, his pride was dented and his self-confidence battered.

One thing, however, was intact: his commitment to a controversial conservative agenda centered on rewriting Japan’s constitution. Conservatives see the 1947 pacifist charter, never once altered, as embodying a liberal social order imposed by the U.S. Occupation after Japan’s defeat in World War Two.

May 24, 2013

The deeper agenda behind “Abenomics”

TOKYO, May 24 (Reuters) – When ill health and political
gridlock forced Shinzo Abe to quit after one dismal year as
Japan’s prime minister, his pride was dented and his
self-confidence battered.

One thing, however, was intact: his commitment to a
controversial conservative agenda centered on rewriting Japan’s
constitution. Conservatives see the 1947 pacifist charter,
never once altered, as embodying a liberal social order imposed
by the U.S. Occupation after Japan’s defeat in World War Two.

May 23, 2013

Japan’s wartime brothels were wrong, says 91-year-old veteran

SAGAMIHARA, Japan (Reuters) – When Masayoshi Matsumoto joined the Japanese army in 1943 and was sent to occupied China as a medic, he thought he was taking part in a righteous war to free Asia from the yoke of Western imperialism.

Seven decades later, the 91-year-old retired Christian pastor says it’s his mission to speak out about the injustice of the war and the sufferings of women, mostly Asian and many Korean, forced to work in Japanese wartime military brothels.

May 16, 2013

U.S. stresses coordination after Japan PM’s aide visits North Korea

TOKYO (Reuters) – A U.S. envoy for North Korea sidestepped questions on Thursday on the nature of a surprise visit to Pyongyang by an aide to Japan’s prime minister, but said all sides tackling North Korea’s nuclear ambitions should coordinate closely.

Isao Iijima’s trip to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, and his talks with senior officials there have irritated South Korea and analysts said possibly the United States as well, although China has been more positive about it.

    • 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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