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Jul 27, 2012

Japan nationalist dreams of new patriotic party

TOKYO (Reuters) – Former Japanese general Toshio Tamogami has a dream: fed up with bowing to China and the United States, patriotic politicians form a new party that puts national interests first, bolsters the military and rewrites the pacifist constitution.

“In Japan, there are pro-China politicians and there are ‘conservatives’, but almost all of those are pro-American and say ‘let’s do what America tells us to do’,” said Tamogami, a former air force chief of staff who was sacked in 2008 for writing that Japan was ensnared into World War Two by the United States and was not an aggressor in the conflict in Asia.

Jul 25, 2012

Japan PM atomic energy stance on trial in local poll

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s post-Fukushima nuclear energy policy will be on trial in a local governor’s election on Sunday, where an upset victory by a renewable energy candidate would deal Noda’s wobbly administration a new blow.

Energy policy has become a big headache for Noda, who is battling to hold his Democratic Party (DPJ) together ahead of a possible parliamentary election this year.

Jul 25, 2012

Japan PM atomic energy stance on trial in local poll

TOKYO, July 25 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko
Noda’s post-Fukushima nuclear energy policy will be on trial in
a local governor’s election on Sunday, where an upset victory by
a renewable energy candidate would deal Noda’s wobbly
administration a new blow.

Energy policy has become a big headache for Noda, who is
battling to hold his Democratic Party (DPJ) together ahead of a
possible parliamentary election this year.

Jul 20, 2012

Owners of islands in Japan-China feud shun PM Noda’s bid

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s effort to nationalize a chain of disputed islands long a source of friction between Japan and China faced rough going after the isles’ owners said on Friday they would keep negotiating their sale to Tokyo’s governor.

The stance by the Kurihara family, which owns four of the five uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, complicates Noda’s efforts to dampen friction between the two Asian giants over the islands, claimed by China, Taiwan and Japan and located near rich fishing grounds and potential gas and oil fields.

Jul 19, 2012

Japan’s Tepco baffled by criticism of its role in nuclear disaster

TOKYO, July 19 (Reuters) – The new head of the company at
the centre of Japan’s nuclear disaster said on Thursday he was
baffled by fierce criticism of the firm where he has worked
nearly 40 years and hoped to rebuild public trust but offered no
clear idea how to do so.

In a scathing report issued this month, an investigative
panel appointed by parliament concluded that the last year’s
Fukushima disaster was preventable and resulted from “collusion”
among Tokyo Electric Power Co, its regulators and the
government.

Jul 17, 2012

Nuclear issue puts increasing pressure on Japan government

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government came under fire on Tuesday over its handling of public hearings on nuclear energy policy, threatening to dent already sagging support for the ruling party ahead of an election many expect to be this year.

The latest furor follows Monday’s massive rally in Tokyo against nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, an issue now so contentious that lawmakers and analysts say it could trump taxes as the focus of lower house elections, which must be held by September 2013 but could come sooner.

Jul 13, 2012

Japan eyes electricity deregulation to boost competition

TOKYO, July 13 (Reuters) – Japan should overhaul its power
sector, dominated by regional monopolies, to promote competition
and a stable power supply, according to a draft proposal issued
on Friday by a panel of experts set up after the Fukushima
nuclear disaster.

The report advocated sweeping reforms, including
“unbundling” the regional utilities’ grip on the transmission Of
electricity as well as generation, and opening up the retail
power business supplying households and other small-lot users.

Jul 10, 2012

Japan plan to buy disputed isles risks China’s ire

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s prime minister appears to be trying to dampen tensions with China with a proposal to buy islands at the centre of a row with Beijing, instead of letting the nationalist governor of Tokyo proceed with his own provocative plan to purchase them.

The proposal, however, could backfire, risking a replay of the bitter feud that rocked relations two years ago, diplomatic experts say, even as the Asia rivals mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations amid ever-tightening economic ties.

Jul 10, 2012

Analysis: Japan plan to buy disputed isles risks China’s ire

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s prime minister appears to be trying to dampen tensions with China with a proposal to buy islands at the centre of a row with Beijing, instead of letting the nationalist governor of Tokyo proceed with his own provocative plan to purchase them.

The proposal, however, could backfire, risking a replay of the bitter feud that rocked relations two years ago, diplomatic experts say, even as the Asia rivals mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations amid ever-tightening economic ties.

Jul 5, 2012

Japan’s atomic disaster caused by “collusion”: panel report

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Fukushima nuclear crisis was a preventable disaster resulting from “collusion” among the government, regulators and the plant operator, an expert panel said on Thursday, wrapping up an inquiry into the worst nuclear accident in 25 years.

Damage from a big earthquake on March 11 last year, and not just the ensuing tsunami, could not be ruled out as a cause of the accident, the panel said, a finding that could have serious implications as Japan seeks to bring idled reactors back on line.

    • 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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