Chief Correspondent, Political and General News
Linda's Feed
Feb 12, 2014

Japan on backfoot in global PR war with China after Abe shrine visit

TOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) – Japan risks losing a global PR battle with China after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to a controversial shrine for war dead and comments by other prominent figures on the wartime past helped Beijing try to paint Tokyo as the villain of Asia.

Sino-Japanese ties have long been plagued by territorial rows, regional rivalry and disputes stemming from China’s bitter memories of Japan’s occupation of parts of the country before and during World War Two. Relations chilled markedly after a feud over disputed East China Sea isles flared in 2012.

Feb 9, 2014

Japan ruling party candidate elected Tokyo governor, aiding Abe

TOKYO, Feb 9 (Reuters) – A candidate backed by Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe won Sunday’s election for governor of Tokyo,
frustrating a rival’s efforts to make the vote a referendum on
the Japanese leader’s pro-nuclear energy policy nearly three
years after the Fukushima disaster

The widely-expected victory by former health minister Yoichi
Masuzoe comes as a relief for Abe, who had suffered a rare
setback in another local election last month.

Feb 8, 2014

Japan PM-backed candidate seen ahead as Tokyo voters go to polls

TOKYO (Reuters) – Voters in Japan’s capital go to the polls on Sunday with a candidate backed by the ruling party likely to win the race to become governor, frustrating rivals’ efforts to make the vote a referendum on the prime minister’s pro-nuclear energy policy.

Media surveys have shown a former health minister, Yoichi Masuzoe, backed by ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), far ahead of ex-prime minister Morihiro Hosokawa, who has made opposition to nuclear power the top of his platform.

Feb 4, 2014

Insight: Japan unease over U.S. alliance adds fuel to Abe’s security shift

TOKYO (Reuters) – In public, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government lists a more assertive China and a volatile North Korea as its top security concerns.

Behind the scenes, though, another concern is growing: that the United States may one day be unable or unwilling to defend Japan, interviews with Abe advisers, politicians and security experts show. The worries are adding momentum to Abe’s drive to beef up Japan’s air and naval forces while loosening constitutional limits on action its military can take abroad.

Feb 4, 2014

Japan unease over U.S. alliance adds fuel to Abe’s security shift

TOKYO, Feb 5 (Reuters) – In public, Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe’s government lists a more assertive China and a
volatile North Korea as its top security concerns.

Behind the scenes, though, another concern is growing: that
the United States may one day be unable or unwilling to defend
Japan, interviews with Abe advisers, politicians and security
experts show. The worries are adding momentum to Abe’s drive to
beef up Japan’s air and naval forces while loosening
constitutional limits on action its military can take abroad.

Jan 22, 2014

Japan’s former PM challenges Abe’s energy policy in Tokyo race

TOKYO (Reuters) – Former Japanese premier Morihiro Hosokawa pledged on Wednesday to push the nation to abandon nuclear power if elected governor of Tokyo next month in a race that could affect Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s energy policy and political clout.

Hosokawa, 76, backed by charismatic former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, is billing the February 9 vote as a referendum on Abe’s efforts to restart reactors taken offline after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and to make atomic energy a key power source.

Jan 20, 2014

Japan’s Abe suffers setback with Okinawa election loss

TOKYO (Reuters) – A city mayor opposed to a plan to relocate a controversial U.S. airbase on Japan’s Okinawa island was re-elected on Sunday, creating a political headache for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and threatening friction with Washington.

Delays in relocating the U.S. Marines’ Futenma air base, a move first agreed between Tokyo and Washington in 1996, have long been an irritant in U.S.-Japan ties and Abe is keen to make progress on the project as he seeks tighter ties with the United States in the face of an assertive China.

Jan 14, 2014

Japan’s Koizumi backs fellow ex-PM in opposing nuclear power

TOKYO, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Two former Japanese prime
ministers challenged incumbent Shinzo Abe’s pro-nuclear power
policy on Tuesday, with charismatic Junichiro Koizumi backing
ex-premier Morihiro Hosokawa’s bid to become Tokyo governor on a
platform opposing atomic energy.

Hosokawa’s candidacy could turn the local election into a
referendum on Abe’s energy policies and boost the anti-nuclear
movement, which has lost momentum after a surge following the
March 2011 Fukushima disaster, the world’s worst nuclear
accident in 25 years.

Jan 14, 2014

Japan’s charismatic Koizumi backs fellow ex-PM in targeting Abe’s nuclear policy

TOKYO, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Two former Japanese prime
ministers challenged incumbent Shinzo Abe’s pro-nuclear power
policy on Tuesday, with charismatic Junichiro Koizumi backing
ex-premier Morihiro Hosokawa’s bid to become Tokyo governor on a
platform opposing atomic energy.

Hosokawa’s candidacy could turn the local election into a
referendum on Abe’s energy policies and boost the anti-nuclear
movement, which has lost momentum after a surge following the
March 2011 Fukushima disaster, the world’s worst nuclear
accident in 25 years.

Dec 27, 2013

Japan’s Abe bets U.S. alliance, ratings can weather shrine visit

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to a shrine for war dead outraged China and South Korea, and also upset Washington and his government coalition partner – but he appears confident the alliances and his popularity will not be affected.

On Thursday, Abe became the first Japanese premier in seven years to pay his respects at Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after World War Two are honoured along with those who died in battle.

    • 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."
    • Follow Linda