Japan Politics

Goshi Hosono challenges Shinzo Abe to protect the elderly, small business

Goshi Hosono

The leader of Japan's biggest opposition party challenged the government to better protect the elderly and small companies, charging Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies with ignoring the risks of monetary easing and a weakened currency.

Tuesday, 4 June, 2013, 2:27am

Outspoken Toru Hashimoto may have to quit as Japan Restoration Party leader

Illustration: Craig Stephens

Rumours have constantly swirled around the life of Toru Hashimoto, the colourful mayor of Osaka and the founder of the nationalist Nippon Ishin no Kai, or the Japan Restoration Party (JRP).

2 Jun 2013 - 7:36am

Japanese minister rejects 'comfort women' remark

 Itsunori Onodera, Minister of Defense of Japan speaks at the International Institute for Strategic Studies 12th Asia Security Summit in central Singapore. Photo: EPA

Japan's defence minister yesterday disowned remarks by an outspoken mayor who said "comfort women" forced to provide sex during the second world war were a military necessity.

2 Jun 2013 - 7:34am 1 comment

How they see it

Yasukuni shrine

We have to wonder what the Shinzo Abe administration has in mind when it comes to Japan's strained relations with its neighbours. Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and two cabinet members visited war-related Yasukuni Shrine.

28 Apr 2013 - 5:02am

Shinzo Abe should stay away from Yasukuni shrine

Yasukuni Shrine

Japanese politicians have a simple enough calculation when deciding whether to honour the country's war dead at the Yasukuni Shrine. To go is an act of nationalism that will win points with right-wing voters, but it is guaranteed to further damage already inflamed relations with China. The more than 170 cabinet ministers and members of parliament who in recent days have made the visit showed how little they regard good ties with Beijing. Amid fresh tensions over the Diaoyu Islands, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would be foolish indeed to follow their lead.

24 Apr 2013 - 3:14am 2 comments

Godmother of powerful Japanese political clan dies at 90

Yasuko Hatoyama with her son Yukio in the 1940s. Photo: AFP

Yasuko Hatoyama, the daughter of the founder of tyremaker Bridgestone, married into the Hatoyamas, a powerful political family sometimes dubbed "Japan's Kennedys".

13 Feb 2013 - 3:01am

Hawkish Abe elected as Japan’s next prime minister

The leader of Liberal Democratic Party Shinzo Abe is applauded by his party members after being elected as Japan's prime minister at the Lower House of the Parliament in Tokyo. Photo: Reuters

Shinzo Abe was elected Japan’s prime minister on Wednesday after he swept to power on a hawkish platform of getting tough on diplomacy while fixing the economy.

26 Dec 2012 - 2:53pm

Daunting tasks await Tokyo's new governor

Naoki Inose was vice-governor. Photo: AFP

He may have been elected with a record vote and may be only days into his new job, but the knives already appear to be out for Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose.

21 Dec 2012 - 2:58am

Economy will still be Japan's No 1 priority

Illustration: Craig Stephens

So the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), led by Yoshihiko Noda, was defeated by a landslide only three years after it had won by a landslide over the Liberal Democratic Party. When presidents of other countries usually emerge as heroes in the face of disaster, you may well wonder how, in Japan, incumbent leaders often end up total losers.

21 Dec 2012 - 2:22am

Japan's next premier Shinzo Abe refers to Obama as 'Bush'

Shinzo Abe. Photo: AFP

Japan's presumptive premier Shinzo Abe got his US leaders mixed up yesterday, when he told business chiefs he had been speaking to "President Bush" after a phone call from Barack Obama.

The blunder came in one of Abe's first speeches since his landslide victory in weekend polls that saw his Liberal Democratic Party returned to power.

19 Dec 2012 - 4:26am

New Green party faces an uphill battle in Japanese election

Yukiko Kada's Tomorrow Party of Japan aims to phase out nuclear power plants in the country by the end of 2030. Photo: AFP

Six years ago, academic Yukiko Kada was elected governor of Shiga prefecture on a platform of environmental protection.

Now, as Japan struggles with the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, her new party's green doctrine is being put to the test on the national stage.

14 Dec 2012 - 4:22am

Five years on, Shinzo Abe prepares for second chance in Japan

Shinzo Abe. Photo: AFP

In the dying days of his first spell as prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe was clearly in a lot of discomfort. Officially, a chronic stomach ailment was cited as the main reason for his resignation on September 12, 2007, but Abe's grimaces could just as easily have been attributed to external afflictions.

13 Dec 2012 - 4:26am

Outgoing Yoshihiko Noda a victim of events beyond his control

An election poster of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (right) is pasted on a Tokyo wall, next to that of a parliamentary candidate. Photo: AP

It is difficult not to feel a degree of sympathy for Yoshihiko Noda, who will be unceremoniously removed as Japan's prime minister in Sunday's general election, if the opinion polls are to be believed.

12 Dec 2012 - 2:20am

Japanese voters could turn to right over China islands dispute

Japan Restoration Party leaders campaign in Tokyo. Photo: EPA

Minivans plastered with slogans and the smiling faces of candidates are cruising the streets of towns and cities across Japan while the leaders of the largest parties are appealing to the electorate in the key districts through loudspeakers.

11 Dec 2012 - 3:12am

Despite flaws, democracy is here to stay

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who is also leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), announces DPJ campaign pledges at the party's headquarters. Photo: AFP

Japan's post-war democracy has often been termed phoney, a charge arising from the long-maintained single-party rule by the Liberal Democratic Party.

4 Dec 2012 - 1:59am