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Nov 11, 2014

Momentum building for Japan PM to call early snap poll

TOKYO (Reuters) – Momentum appears to be building for Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to call an early general election, as speculation swirled that he would also postpone an unpopular sales tax hike and his coalition partner urged his party to prepare for a poll.

Media reports on Tuesday said Abe might call a snap election before the end of the year if he decides to delay a planned hike in the sales tax to 10 percent from next October. No election for parliament’s lower house need be held until 2016.

Nov 7, 2014

Will Japan and China leaders take a seat for talks, or standing room only?

TOKYO (Reuters) – Expectations are high in Tokyo that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold an ice-breaking chat in Beijing next week but, with little hope of a major breakthrough, attention has focused on format.

A one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific leaders summit would signal a thaw in ties between the world’s second- and third-biggest economies, which have chilled in the past two years over a territorial row, regional rivalry and the bitter legacy of Japan’s wartime occupation of China.

Nov 2, 2014

Wounded Japan PM grapples with tax jinx after BOJ eases

TOKYO (Reuters) – When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raised Japan’s sales tax from April, he was betting he could break a jinx that has doomed leaders who raised the levy to losing their jobs.

Now, wounded by cabinet scandals and growing doubts about his radical “Abenomics” prescription to revive an economy scarred by years of deflation, Abe must decide whether to roll the dice again.

Oct 28, 2014

Japan opposition DPJ takes aim at Abe govt scandals, Abenomics

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s main opposition party vowed on Tuesday to pursue Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over a string of cabinet funding scandals that have dented his popularity ratings, and attacked his signature “Abenomics” economic revival recipe as a failure.

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Yukio Edano also said his party might have further revelations to make, but acknowledged it was too soon to say if fallout from the serial scandals would prove fatal for Abe’s administration.

Oct 28, 2014

Japan opposition DPJ takes aim at Abe government scandals, Abenomics

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s main opposition party vowed on Tuesday to pursue Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over a string of cabinet funding scandals that have dented his popularity ratings, and attacked his signature “Abenomics” economic revival recipe as a failure.

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Yukio Edano also said his party might have further revelations to make, but acknowledged it was too soon to say if fallout from the serial scandals would prove fatal for Abe’s administration.

Oct 21, 2014

Japan PM’s woes may not end despite resignations of two ministers

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is facing increased pressure from a newly energized opposition over potential scandals within his cabinet even though he swiftly jettisoned two ministers this week in a bid to calm the storm.

Three other cabinet members – Defense Minister Akinori Eto, Agriculture Minister Koya Nishikawa and Health Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki – have already publicly faced questions over alleged influence peddling, improper donations or problems in reporting on political funds. All three have denied wrongdoing.

Oct 20, 2014

Japan PM Abe suffers setback as two ministers quit

TOKYO, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Japan’s new trade and industry
minister quit over a funding scandal on Monday and the justice
minister resigned after being accused of violating electoral
laws, dealing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe his biggest setback
since taking office in 2012.

The resignations of the two women could complicate tough
decisions on key policies, including whether to go ahead with an
unpopular plan to raise the national sales tax and planned
restarts of nuclear reactors that were shut down after the 2011
Fukushima disaster.

Oct 20, 2014

Setback for Japan PM as trade minister quits, media say another resign

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suffered his biggest setback since taking office in 2012 on Monday as his new trade and industry minister resigned over questionable political spending and media said the justice minister had also decided to quit.

The blows could complicate tough decisions on key policies, including whether to go ahead with an unpopular plan to raise the national sales tax and planned restarts of nuclear reactors that were shut down after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Oct 19, 2014

Japan METI minister expected to resign in blow to PM Abe: media

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s new trade and industry minister was expected to resign on Monday, domestic media said, over allegations that her support groups misused political funds, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he faces tough policy decisions including whether to raise an already unpopular sales tax.

Yuko Obuchi, 40, the daughter of a prime minister and tipped as a future contender to become Japan’s first female premier, was one of five women appointed by Abe in a cabinet reshuffle less than two months ago. The appointments were intended to boost his popularity and show his commitment to promoting women as part of his “Abenomics” strategy to revive the economy.

Oct 19, 2014

Resignation of Japan minister over scandal seen imminent -media

TOKYO, Oct 19 (Reuters) – In a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe, Japan’s new trade and industry minister will resign as soon
as Sunday over allegations that groups backing her misused
political funds, Japanese media said.

Yuko Obuchi, the 40-year-old daughter of a former prime
minister, plans to report on her investigation of the
questionable funding on Monday and then submit her resignation
to Abe, the Nikkei and Sankei newspapers said on Sunday.

    • 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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