Fri, 26 January 2007
January 26, 2007 . Volume 03, Number 04.
This week we focus on the policy speeches given to the Diet today, January 26, by Prime Minister Abe and Foreign Minister Aso. Not just the content of the speech. You can read that most anywhere. But the significance of the items they chose to highlight in their speeches.
We also look at the results of the Miyazaki Prefectural gubernatorial election, and the surprise win of a comedian known as Sonommama Higashi. With no organized political party support. What does that tell us about the evolution of Japan's electoral politics?
And we close with a splendid bluegrass clip from the Wind Riders of North Carolina. They really do -- I'll admit! -- know how to play bluegrass up there.
Fri, 19 January 2007
January 19, 2007 . Volume 03, Number 03.
We'll also consider encouraging events related to political funds reporting revelations we've discussed during the past few weeks. And I introduce another excellent source of English language information on Japan's politics. This one unapologetically from the Left. It is the "Japan Press Weekly," produced by the Japan Communist Party. You can find it on the web at http://www.japan-press.co.jp/
And we close with a remarkable bluegrass clip. This one from a 1972 album by the Seldom Scene featuring John Starling on "Raised by the Railroad Line." You can buy the album at Rebel Records by clicking here. Or, just go to iTunes, click on the iTunes store, and punch in Seldom Scene. All of Act I is there, or you can buy the individual songs. Enjoy
Thu, 11 January 2007
January 11, 2007 . Volume 03, Number 02.
Welcome again to the Japan Considered Podcast. And a day early this week. I leave for a conference early tomorrow morning. So it's today or never for this week's program. And we have material that just can't wait.
After considering continuing reports of LDP political "sloppy bookkeeping" and what it means for Japan's electoral politics, we take a preliminary look at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's tour of Europe and NATO. More on that next week after we have better information.
The biggest treat,however -- well, other than the bluegrass -- this week is an interview with Mr. Gregg Rubinstein, Director of GAR Associates in Washington, D.C. Gregg joined us via the SkypePhone yesterday, and discusses the significance of the elevation of Japan's Defense Agency to ministerial status. As before, Gregg provides us with lots of useful information and interpretation.
And we close with an instrumental that features John Duffey's incomparable mandolin playing. This again from the Seldom Scene's "Live at the Cellar Door," recorded back in the 1970s.
Enjoy, and I hope you join me next week when we will again consider the longer-term significance of events in the news for Japan's domestic politics and conduct of international relations.
Fri, 5 January 2007
January 5, 2007 . Volume 03, Number 01.
This week we begin with consideration of the significance of continuing disclosure in Japan's political press of campaign financing scandals for LDP politicians. Following that we are joined by Francis A. Moyer, Director of North Carolina's Japan Center, in Raleigh, North Carolina. He discusses developments in Japan's stock market since he worked there throughout much of the 1980s as a stock analyst.
We conclude the program with a short clip from a Virginia-based bluegrass band, Lakeside Junction. This band no longer exists, unfortunately. But their sound has been preserved, thanks to banjoist, Mr. Bill Krumpter.