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Jan 29, 2013

Japan government to review statements on history

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government will review statements by previous administrations about wartime history including a landmark 1995 apology, Japan’s education minister said, but added that any changes would not mean rejecting those statements but making them more “forward-looking”.

Any moves to renege on the 1995 apology by then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama – now in Beijing on a mission aimed at soothing tension over a territorial row – would raise hackles in both China and South Korea, where bitter memories of Japan’s military aggression and colonization run deep.

Jan 23, 2013

Japan’s Abe treads warily around military shift after Algeria deaths

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Algeria hostage crisis has given ammunition to Japanese conservatives keen to ease limits on military actions abroad, but Japan’s post-World War Two pacifist legacy is forcing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to tread carefully.

Abe, already labeled a right-wing nationalist, seems wary of upsetting volatile voters – whose top priority is reviving a stagnant economy – by appearing to use the deaths of seven Japanese to push his broader, hawkish security agenda.

Jan 18, 2013

Japan, China need “rules of game” to avoid clash: Abe adviser

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan and China need “rules of the game” to keep a feud over tiny islands from escalating into a military clash, an adviser to Japan’s prime minister said on Friday, as a ruling coalition partner prepared to visit Beijing in search of better ties.

Sino-Japanese ties chilled sharply after Japan bought the disputed islands in the East China Sea from a private Japanese citizen last September.

Jan 16, 2013

Japan must avoid vacuum without BOJ governor: opposition leader

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan must not allow a leadership vacuum at the Bank of Japan when its governor’s term ends in April, said the leader of Japan’s main opposition party, which delayed the appointment of a new governor at the last leadership change five years ago.

But Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leader Banri Kaieda also told Reuters on Wednesday that the next Bank of Japan (BOJ) governor should not be a mere “yes man” to the government.

Jan 16, 2013

Japan’s Abe turns to SE Asia to counter China

TOKYO/JAKARTA, Jan 16 (Reuters) – The last time he was prime
minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe’s inaugural foreign trip was to
China. In the job again 7 years later and relations with Beijing
now chilly, Abe is turning first this time to the rising
economic stars of Southeast Asia.

A hawkish Abe wants them to help counterbalance the growing
economic and military might of China at a time when Japan needs
new sources of growth for its languishing economy and is
debating whether to make its own military more muscular.

Jan 15, 2013

Japan’s Abe turns to South East Asia to counter China

TOKYO/JAKARTA (Reuters) – The last time he was prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe’s inaugural foreign trip was to China. In the job again 7 years later and relations with Beijing now chilly, Abe is turning first this time to the rising economic stars of Southeast Asia.

A hawkish Abe wants them to help counterbalance the growing economic and military might of China at a time when Japan needs new sources of growth for its languishing economy and is debating whether to make its own military more muscular.

Jan 14, 2013

Japan’s Abe rolls out strategic PR, policy campaign

TOKYO (Reuters) – Buoyed by a December election landslide, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is rolling out a comprehensive PR strategy mixing Facebook, public appearances and policy announcements to prop up voter ratings ahead of a crucial July poll in an effort to avoid becoming just the latest of the country’s short-term leaders.

Backed by media-savvy advisers, Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) hope to stay in power long enough to implement a broader agenda going well beyond reviving a stagnant economy to altering a pacifist constitution, seeking a bigger global security role and revising Japan’s take on its wartime history.

Jan 13, 2013

Analysis: Japan’s Abe rolls out strategic PR, policy campaign

TOKYO (Reuters) – Buoyed by a December election landslide, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is rolling out a comprehensive PR strategy mixing Facebook, public appearances and policy announcements to prop up voter ratings ahead of a crucial July poll in an effort to avoid becoming just the latest of the country’s short-term leaders.

Backed by media-savvy advisers, Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) hope to stay in power long enough to implement a broader agenda going well beyond reviving a stagnant economy to altering a pacifist constitution, seeking a bigger global security role and revising Japan’s take on its wartime history.

Jan 11, 2013

Analysis: Glimmer of Japan reform hope among clouds of skepticism

TOKYO (Reuters) – Doubting politicians’ commitment to economic reform is a tough habit for Japan experts to kick, so the air of cautious optimism around the appointments of dynamic CEOs to advise on boosting industrial competitiveness comes as a bit of a surprise.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who returned to power last month after his business-friendly Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) big election win, has prescribed a potent mix of government spending and easy money to revive a stagnant economy. But critics question whether he will also tackle the more painful structural reforms needed for longer-term growth.

Jan 11, 2013

Glimmer of Japan reform hope among clouds of scepticism

TOKYO (Reuters) – Doubting politicians’ commitment to economic reform is a tough habit for Japan experts to kick, so the air of cautious optimism around the appointments of dynamic CEOs to advise on boosting industrial competitiveness comes as a bit of a surprise.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who returned to power last month after his business-friendly Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) big election win, has prescribed a potent mix of government spending and easy money to revive a stagnant economy. But critics question whether he will also tackle the more painful structural reforms needed for longer-term growth.

    • 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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