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Nov 2, 2012

Japan’s parties seek to end playing chicken on fiscal cliff edge

TOKYO, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Japan looks poised to avoid falling
off its own version of a ‘fiscal cliff’ after the main
opposition party signalled it will no longer hold a critical
deficit financing bill hostage to its push for an early
election.

The government has warned that without the bill needed to
borrow nearly $480 billion and cover some 40 percent of budget
spending, it will run out of cash by the end of this month just
as the economy stands at risk of sliding into recession.

Sep 19, 2012

Analysis: Mistrust, rivalry and bad timing fan Japan-China row

TOKYO (Reuters) – When Japan’s central government confirmed a media leak on July 7 that it was considering buying islands at the core of a feud with Beijing, the timing could hardly have been worse given the symbolism in China, where a 1937 incident on that date is seen as the start of Tokyo’s full-fledged invasion of the country.

“To China, it looked as if Japan had done this on purpose with evil intentions,” said a Japanese source familiar with Tokyo’s stance on the row, adding the timing was accidental.

Sep 14, 2012

China surveillance ships near islands disputed with Japan

BEIJING/TOKYO (Reuters) – Six Chinese surveillance ships briefly entered waters near disputed islands claimed by Tokyo and Beijing on Friday, raising tensions between Asia’s two biggest economies to their highest level since 2010.

Japan protested to China and urged that the situation not be allowed to escalate – an outcome neither side would welcome given the two countries’ tight economic links.

Sep 14, 2012

Japan seen exiting nuclear power by 2030s

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is expected on Friday to propose abandoning nuclear power by the 2030s, a major shift from policy goals set before last year’s Fukushima disaster that aimed to increase the share of atomic energy to more than half of electricity supply.

But Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s unpopular government, which could face an election this year, also looks set to call in the meantime for the restart of reactors idled after the 2011 disaster if they are deemed safe by a new atomic regulator.

Sep 14, 2012

Japan seen exiting nuclear by 2030s under new policy

TOKYO, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Japan is expected on Friday to
propose abandoning nuclear power by the 2030s, a major shift
from policy goals set before last year’s Fukushima disaster that
aimed to increase the share of atomic energy to more than half
of electricity supply.

But Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s unpopular government,
which could face an election this year, also looks set to call
in the meantime for the restart of reactors idled after the 2011
disaster if they are deemed safe by a new atomic regulator.

Sep 12, 2012

Japan Osaka mayor seeks national power with new party

TOKYO (Reuters) – Popular Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto formally launches a bid for national power on Wednesday with a new political party that critics say taps simmering nationalist sentiment just as Japan faces increasingly strained ties with China and South Korea.

That tension has been growing in recent weeks as Beijing and Seoul both clash with Tokyo over rival claims to islands in the region, disputes that trace back to lingering resentment over Japan’s wartime rule in the region.

Sep 10, 2012

Japan energy deadlock deepens; government fails to announce policy mix

TOKYO (Reuters) – Deadlock in Japan between anti-nuclear activists and advocates of atomic power deepened on Monday as the government failed to produce an expected proposal to reduce the role of nuclear power in the country’s energy porfolio after the Fukushima disaster.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s government had been widely expected to announce a decision on energy policy and a reduction of the share of nuclear power to 15 percent or less by 2030.

Sep 7, 2012

Japan risks angering both sides with energy mix plan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Efforts by Japan’s government to craft an energy mix that will respond to growing anti-nuclear sentiment among voters after the Fukushima crisis without alienating powerful pro-atomic energy interests look in danger of satisfying neither side.

The government is expected to announce as early as Monday an energy portfolio plan to replace a 2010 program that had called for boosting nuclear power’s share of electricity supply to more than half from nearly 30 percent before the crisis.

Aug 14, 2012

Nearly seven decades later, Northeast Asia still haunted by war

TOKYO, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Bitter memories and current
rivalries are straining Japan’s ties with China and South Korea
nearly seven decades after Tokyo’s defeat in World War Two,
raising the risk of ruptures as all three nations head for
leadership changes.

The three countries are linked by deep economic ties, while
Japan and South Korea are close allies of the United States.

Aug 3, 2012

Nuclear energy wild card in Japan poll which Democrats likely to lose

TOKYO (Reuters) – Growing Japanese opposition to nuclear energy after the Fukushima disaster will be a wild card in a general election many expect within months, but politicians on both sides of the aisle agree on one thing: the Democratic Party is likely to fall from power just three years after its historic landslide win.

A mix of conservatives, centre-left lawmakers and ex-socialists, the Democrats swept to power on a groundswell of hope for change in August 2009, promising to change how Japan is governed after more than 50 years of almost non-stop rule by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

    • 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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