Fri, 27 January 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006. Volume 02, Number 03
Special welcome to first-time listeners, and welcome back to returning listeners. This week again has been busy for political and diplomatic Japan. But, following advice from faithful listener and mentor on things Asian and the communications media, Sol Sanders, I've kept the program to just over 20 minutes.
Responding to another listener suggestion, you now can read or download transcripts of this and the previous three programs by clicking on the transcript link below, or by going to the podcast page of the Japan Considered Project webpage at www.JapanConsidered.org.
We begin with an update on the Livedoor Company/Horie scandal [last week it was just a 'fracas'; this week it became a full-blown 'scandal'] that includes comments by Dr. Edward Lincoln of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Then we review the eruption of another incident in the long-running saga of the export of American beef to Japan. We review the background of that bilateral issue as a key feature of the "gai-atsu," or foreign pressure, pattern in U.S.-Japan relations.
We then consider how Japan's political Opposition is combining the beef export issue with the condominium earthquake resistance data falsification scandal and the Livedoor stock manipulation scandal to create a three-pronged trident with which to torment Prime Minister Koizumi's reform plans for the current Diet session.
For several weeks we have been thwarted by a lack of time in our efforts to take a more comprehensive look at problems and opportunities facing Japan's leading opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan. This week we made it. In the main segment of today's podcast we consider the challenges facing DPJ President Seiji Maehara, as he tries to lead his Party to adapt to changes in Japan's electoral environment. Divisions in Party ideology and policy orientation combine with the self-interest and traditional orientations of older Party leaders to challenge his popular, or even populist approach. An approach that brings Junichiro Koizumi's strategy to mind.
Then, as usual, we close with some inspiring bluegrass music from North Carolina's Wind Riders, a great band.
Here are a few links to individuals and organizations mentioned in today's podcast.
Council on Foreign Relations
Dr. Edward Lincoln
Interview with Dr. Lincoln on Japan Considered
United States Embassy, Tokyo
United States Department of Agriculture
The U.S. Cattlemen's Beef Board
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture
The Democratic Party of Japan
The North Carolina Wind Riders
Remember to continue to send me your comments and suggestions for the program at firstname.lastname@example.org. And click through the other sections of the Japan Considered Project website at www.JapanConsidered.ORG.