Senior Correspondent, Japan Political and General News
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Aug 30, 2010

Japan’s Ozawa may drop from ruling party race-Jiji

TOKYO, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Japanese powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa
may withdraw his challenge to Prime Minister Naoto Kan in a
party leadership race, Jiji news agency said on Monday, as
Kan’s predecessor sought to avert a clash that could split the

But big questions would remain about how the two rivals
would resolve differences over Kan’s drive to rein in Japan’s
huge public debt even if an overt confrontation was avoided.

Aug 27, 2010

Japan panel urges defence changes, wary of China

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan should revise the exclusively defensive policy adopted after its defeat in World War Two, relax an arms export ban and consider lifting a prohibition on aiding allies under attack, a government advisory panel said on Friday.

It voiced concern about China’s military buildup and urged improvement of Japan’s ability cope with multiple threats.

Aug 26, 2010

Japan DPJ powerbroker to bid for PM in party vote

TOKYO, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Japanese ruling party powerbroker
Ichiro Ozawa said on Thursday he would challenge Prime Minister
Naoto Kan for the leadership next month, a battle analysts say
could create a policy vacuum and push a surging yen higher.

Kan, who took over in June as Japan’s fifth prime minister
in three years, is fighting for his job after an election loss
last month deprived the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) of a
majority in the upper house.

Aug 25, 2010

Japan keeps intervention option open to curb yen

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is not ruling out market intervention to curb the yen’s rise, government sources said on Wednesday, sending the strongest signal yet that the currency’s march toward all-time highs may spur Tokyo into action.

Japanese officials have repeatedly tried to talk the yen down recently amid concern that it could cripple an export-driven recovery, but markets have doubted they would risk going solo and all but ruled out a coordinated intervention with other Group of Seven countries.

Aug 20, 2010

Q+A – How does yen’s rise affect Japan’s forex account?

TOKYO (Reuters) – The yen’s surge to a 15-year high against the dollar is deepening paper losses in an account that holds Japan’s foreign currency assets, threatening to shrink a source the government hopes to tap to fill gaps in its budget.

Japan has vowed to cap new bond issuance for the year from April 2011, but a fragile economic recovery is hurting tax revenue, making the heavily indebted government desperate to find other sources of funds to fill the budget hole.

Aug 9, 2010

Japan PM picks up support as party wins local poll

TOKYO (Reuters) – Support for Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s government picked up slightly, surveys showed on Monday, as a local election victory gave temporary relief to the struggling premier ahead of a party leadership vote next month.

Kan, under pressure to deal with risks of policy gridlock in Japan’s hung parliament, is fighting for his political life as he faces a potential challenge in the Sept. 14 election for the head of the Democratic Party.

Aug 6, 2010

Hung Japan parliament enacts bill but risks remain

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s hung parliament enacted a bill on lawmakers’ pay on Friday, showing that embattled Prime Minister Naoto Kan can steer proposals through the deadlocked body.

But policy stalemate still looms as a major risk.

Kan’s Democratic Party and its tiny ally lost their upper house majority in a July election, leaving them vulnerable and in need of new allies to help enact bills as they struggle to curb debt and engineer sustainable economic growth.

Aug 4, 2010

U.S. urges Japan follow EU with more Iran sanctions

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. officials urged on Wednesday Japan to follow the European Union in adopting additional strong sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, saying such measures should not harm Japan’s oil imports from Iran.

Japan approved on Tuesday new sanctions against Iran in line with a U.N. Security Council resolution in June, including adding 40 companies and an individual to a blacklist targeted for a freezing of assets.

Jul 30, 2010

Japan PM says still committed to fiscal reform

TOKYO, July 30 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Naoto
Kan said on Friday he remained committed to fiscal reform
despite his ruling party’s defeat in this month’s election,
adding that he will focus on creating jobs and growth in a
budget for next year.

Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and its tiny ally
lost their upper house majority in a July 11 election after
Kan, who has made fiscal reform a priority, floated a possible
doubling of the 5 percent sales tax to rein in Japan’s huge
public debt.

Jul 30, 2010
via Global News Journal

Japan PM under fire — from his wife


Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan faces plenty of grilling from the opposition camp but his toughest critic might be the one he calls “the opposition party within his own household” —┬áhis wife.

“Since I know him very well, I wonder — is it okay that this person is prime minister?” Nobuko Kan, Naoto’s wife of 40 years, writes in her new book titled “What on earth will change in Japan now you are prime minister?”

    • About Yoko

      "I am based in Tokyo, covering Japan's political and general news, ranging from politics, diplomacy/defence to cultural and social issues. Before moving to my current position, I specialised in Japan's economic policy and macroeconomic news for about 10 years, with a concentration in reporting daily policy developments at Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Japan and other economic agencies."
      Joined Reuters:
      English, Japanese
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