Fri, 30 December 2005
Friday, December 30, 2005, Vol 01, No 07
Best wishes to you and yours for a Happy and Productive New Year. This is the last podcast in the Japan Considered series for this year. Thanks for listening. Check in at www.JapanConsidered.ORG for well annotated links to additional English language information on political and diplomatic Japan. Click the "Interviews" link in the navigation bar to go to a steadily increasing number of interviews with noted Japan specialists. Two more informative interviews are coming in the near future, for a total of 12 this year.
This week most of Japan is on vacation. But a lot still was going on. We consider the nature of news coverage and public relations during slow-news periods in Japan, the publication of census data that showed an earlier-than-expected beginning of the decline of Japan's population, and government efforts to demonstrate that they are trying to take counter-measures, report of the suicide last year of an official of Japan's Consulate in Shanghai who left notes suggesting he was being blackmailed by a Chinese intelligence official, and a tour of the website maintained by the Office of Japan's Prime Minister. We close the show with a few more bars of The Dirty River Band's "Crooked Smile," progressive bluegrass that's bound to brighten your day.
Links to individuals and organizations mentioned in today's show follow:
The Japan Considered Project
The Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo
Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare
National Institute of Population and Social Security Research
Minister Kuniko Inoguchi
Kantei Meeting of the Council for Gender Equality
Discussion of Japan's Press Clubs from Japan Media Review
People's Republic of China Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Kantei Website Main Page
The Dirty River Band of Washington, D.C.
Thu, 22 December 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005Volume 01, No 06 of the Japan Considered Podcast.
Prepared a day early this week due to power outages planned for Gambrell Hall, here at the University of South Carolina, home of the Japan Considered Project. Point your browser at www.JapanConsidered.ORG for more details about the program and the other information resources of the Japan Considered website. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments and suggestions.
Today we consider press reaction to the annual convention of the Democratic Party of Japan, and the performance of the DPJ's chairman, Seiji Maehara, looking for hints about what electoral politics in Japan will be for the next few years.
Then we consider the Ministry of Finance's draft of next year's budget, which came in just below 80 trillion yen, down from last year. Budget cuts, however, are not without specific victims, and we focus on medical expenditures and Japan's overseas development aid.
The leading academic expert on Japan's ODA, Professor Dennis Yasutomo of Smith College, Massachusetts, joins us this week for a brief commentary that provides background and sophisticated commentary on their political implications.
Links to individuals and organizations mentioned on today's program:
University of South Carolina
Democratic Party of Japan
The Japan Medical Association
Rengo, The Japanese Trade Union Confederation
Ministry of Finance Budget Page
Japan Considered Interview with Professor Dennis Yasutomo
The Dirty River Band of Washington D.C.
Fri, 16 December 2005
December 16, 2005
Drop me an e-mail at email@example.com. I look forward to your comments and suggestions. And in the meantime, visit www.JapanConsidered.ORG.
Fri, 9 December 2005
December 9, 2005. Volume 01, Number 04
Welcome to the fourth program in the Japan Considered Podcast series.
Go to the Japan Considered Project website for more English language information on Japanese politics and diplomacy.
Today, we consider the following topics:
Significance of the Continuing condominium earthquake-resistance date falsification for Japan's national and local bureaucracies.
Creation of a Prime Ministerial advisory body charged with review of the yen-based loan element of Japan's overseas development assistance.
Democratic Party of Japan President, Seiji Maehara's efforts to develop his Party into a more effective alternative to the LDP with a visit to Washington, D.C.
Continued Yasukuni Shrine-related public relations friction with China during preparations for the APEC+3 meetings in Kuala Lumpur.
And dampened expectations for the success of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa space mission.
Links to organizations and individuals mentioned in today's Podcast:
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Democratic Party of Japan
Liberal Democratic Party
Seiji Maehara Visits CSIS in Washington, D.C.
Text of Foreign Minister Taro Aso's December 7, 2005 Speech
APEC Home page
The Wind Riders Home Page
Sun, 4 December 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
This is the third program in the Japan Considered Podcast series. Today we discuss the following topics:
A proposal to change the Imperial House Law to allow female succession to the throne;
The political implications of the construction inspection scandal and discovery of earthquake-prone condominiums and hotels;
The arrest of Democratic Party of Japan Lower House Member, Shingo Nishimura, on suspicion of profiting from irregularities at his law firm;
The landing of the Hayabusa space exploration craft on the asteroid Itokawa and collection of soil samples to bring back home;
And we close with music from North Carolina's progressive bluegrass band, The Wind Riders.
Links related to the program:
The Imperial Household Agency
Prime Minister Koizumi Receives Yoshikawa Report
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport
The Democratic Party of Japan
Shingo Nishimura's Web Page [in Japanese]
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
North Carolina's Progressive Bluegrass Band, "The Wind Riders"