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Dec 2, 2012

Nationalist strains echo on Japan campaign trail

TOKYO (Reuters) – Be careful what you wish for. U.S. officials have long urged Japan to loosen limits on its military, bear more of the burden of its own defence and play a more prominent global role.

Now, Japanese politicians gearing up for a December 16 parliamentary election are promising to do just that – but with a strain of strident nationalism that could give not only Asian neighbours but also Washington cause for concern.

Dec 2, 2012

Analysis: Nationalist strains echo on Japan campaign trail

TOKYO (Reuters) – Be careful what you wish for. U.S. officials have long urged Japan to loosen limits on its military, bear more of the burden of its own defense and play a more prominent global role.

Now, Japanese politicians gearing up for a December 16 parliamentary election are promising to do just that – but with a strain of strident nationalism that could give not only Asian neighbors but also Washington cause for concern.

Nov 27, 2012

Despite 2011 disaster, pro-nuclear party could win power in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese voters look likely to hand victory to a party that favours nuclear power in the first election since the March 2011 Fukushima radiation disaster – a result a baffled Greenpeace activist likens to one of the “wonders of the world”.

But even if the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wins the December 16 election, it will not reflect any groundswell of popular support for nuclear power.

Nov 27, 2012

Analysis: Despite 2011 disaster, pro-nuclear party could win power in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese voters look likely to hand victory to a party that favors nuclear power in the first election since the March 2011 Fukushima radiation disaster – a result a baffled Greenpeace activist likens to one of the “wonders of the world”.

But even if the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wins the December 16 election, it will not reflect any groundswell of popular support for nuclear power.

Nov 19, 2012

Japan politics could fragment further on road to 2-party system

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn’t just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month’s election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country’s past policy ills.

Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament’s lower house. That would put LDP leader Shinzo Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007.

Nov 18, 2012

Analysis: Japan politics could fragment further on road to two-party system

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan ruling party lawmaker Mieko Nakabayashi isn’t just worried that her Democratic Party will lose power in next month’s election; she fears a comeback by rival conservative Liberal Democrats will spell a return to the prolonged one-party rule that critics blame for many of the country’s past policy ills.

Three years after the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ended more than half a century of nearly non-stop Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule, surveys suggest disappointed voters will hand the LDP the most seats in a December 16 poll for parliament’s lower house. That would put LDP leader Shinzo Abe in pole position to form the next government and regain a job he quit in 2007.

Nov 16, 2012

Japan sets course for December 16 election and seventh PM in six years

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is set to dissolve parliament’s lower house on Friday for a December 16 election that is likely to return the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to power with a conservative former prime minister at the helm.

However, few expect the poll, three years after a historic victory swept the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to power for the first time, will fix a policy stalemate that has plagued the economy as it struggles with an ageing population and security challenges due to China’s rapid rise.

Nov 15, 2012

Japan to set course for Dec. 16 election and seventh PM in six years

TOKYO, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Japan is set to dissolve
parliament’s lower house on Friday for a Dec. 16 election that
is likely to return the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP) to power with a conservative former prime minister at the
helm.

However few expect the poll, three years after a historic
victory swept the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to power for
the first time, will fix a policy stalemate that has plagued the
economy as it struggles with an ageing population and security
challenges due to China’s rapid rise.

Nov 15, 2012

Ex-Japan PM in line for old job; will pragmatism top nationalism?

TOKYO (Reuters) – Five years after ending a brief tenure marked by nationalist rhetoric tempered with pragmatic diplomacy, scandals in his cabinet and a devastating election loss, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is poised for another shot at Japan’s top job.

That prospect is raising concerns that the 58-year-old grandson of a prime minister would worsen already chilly ties with China, while at home pressuring Japan’s central bank to take extraordinary steps such as negative interest rates to rescue the economy from recession, a policy prescription that on Thursday sent the yen tumbling.

Nov 15, 2012

Critics ask if Japan ex-PM learnt from mistakes as eyes top job again

TOKYO, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Five years after ending a brief
tenure marked by nationalist rhetoric tempered with pragmatic
diplomacy, scandals in his cabinet and a devastating election
loss, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is poised for another
shot at Japan’s top job.

That prospect is raising concerns that the 58-year-old
grandson of a prime minister would worsen already chilly ties
with China, while at home pressuring Japan’s central bank to
take extraordinary steps such as negative interest rates to
rescue the economy from recession, a policy prescription that on
Thursday sent the yen tumbling.

    • 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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