Japanese Politics – Japon Online http://japononline.net/ Sat, 18 Sep 2021 02:41:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://japononline.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1-150x150.png Japanese Politics – Japon Online http://japononline.net/ 32 32 Japan’s “Taiwan card”: a “new normal” in relations with China https://japononline.net/japans-taiwan-card-a-new-normal-in-relations-with-china/ https://japononline.net/japans-taiwan-card-a-new-normal-in-relations-with-china/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 02:41:06 +0000 https://japononline.net/japans-taiwan-card-a-new-normal-in-relations-with-china/ 03:22 Ninety years ago today, on September 18, 1931, Japanese troops bombed Shenyang in northeast China under false pretext, marking the official start of its 14-year invasion of China. From Shenyang to Shenzhen and Nanjing to Beijing, cities across China commemorated the 90th anniversary of the September 18 incident on Saturday with air raid sirens, […]]]>

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Ninety years ago today, on September 18, 1931, Japanese troops bombed Shenyang in northeast China under false pretext, marking the official start of its 14-year invasion of China.

From Shenyang to Shenzhen and Nanjing to Beijing, cities across China commemorated the 90th anniversary of the September 18 incident on Saturday with air raid sirens, a day for the country to collectively revisit this chapter of history. , remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and review the current state of Sino-Japanese relations.

And one problem has emerged as a flashpoint between China and Japan: Taiwan. In a seemingly “new normal”, Tokyo has steadfastly extolled the Taiwan question in recent months, barely hiding its intention to provoke Beijing, which sees the island as a purely domestic problem.

The analysis shows that behind the new approach lies the domestic policy of Japan and its alignment with the inflationary threat of the US administration in China.

Japan plays “little tricks” on Taiwan

In clear departure from previous practice, the Japanese government has loudly proclaimed its so-called “concerns” regarding the Taiwan region in China.

In April, Tokyo and Washington included a direct reference to Taiwan in a joint statement following Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s first face-to-face talks with US President Joe Biden since Biden took office.

It was the first such mention since 1969 and also one of Japan’s biggest challenges to China since 1972, when diplomatic relations were normalized with Tokyo’s recognition of the one-China policy.

Then, in another first, Japan asserted in July in its annual defense white paper that stability in the Taiwan Strait, under “increasing military pressure” from the Chinese mainland, is “more important than never “.

And at the end of August, Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Taiwan-region Progressive Democratic Party (DPP) held their first-ever 2 + 2 “Security Dialogue”.

Although under the pretext of party-to-party exchange, the dialogue initiated by the Japanese has been widely interpreted as de facto official.

Sino-Japanese relations: where are we?

Japan’s repeated flirtation with the Taiwan question has pushed relations with China to their lowest level since 2012, when the Japanese government announced the “nationalization” of the Diaoyu Islands, triggering strong protests from China and plunging ties into a “cold winter”.

In response, China standardized its patrols in the waters off the Diaoyu Islands and established an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea.

Bilateral relations improved and gradually got back on track in 2018, when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid an official visit to Japan, the first by a Chinese premier in eight years, and then Japanese Premier Shinzo. Abe visited China.

“The healthy, steady and long-term development of Sino-Japanese relations serves the fundamental interests of the peoples of both countries and represents the common expectations of the international community,” Chinese President Xi Jinping told Abe in Beijing.

Another sign of improving relations, Xi had accepted an invitation to pay a state visit to Japan in April 2020, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But now, with Tokyo’s proactive measures regarding the Taiwan region, one of China’s core interests, Beijing has taken note and responded accordingly.

Japan’s domestic policy

When he became Prime Minister a year ago, Suga’s top priority was to bring the pandemic under control, to host the postponed Tokyo Olympics and to revive the struggling economy.

However, despite the Tokyo Olympics, a majority of Japanese companies wanted Suga, citing frustrations over his lack of leadership in handling COVID-19, according to an August Reuters poll.

(Left to right) Liberal Democratic Party presidential candidates Taro Kono, Fumio Kishida, Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda pose during a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, September 17, 2021. / CFP

(Left to right) Liberal Democratic Party presidential candidates Taro Kono, Fumio Kishida, Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda pose during a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, September 17, 2021. / CFP

Now, with Suga quitting the upcoming LDP leadership election and effectively relinquishing the post of prime minister, candidates for the post are trying to outdo themselves in China to win the favor of voters.

Fumio Kishida, a moderate who served as foreign minister, said it was necessary to carefully monitor China, although he softened his stance by acknowledging the importance of bilateral trade ties.

Sanae Takaichi, a former communications minister, said if she wins, she will continue to visit the infamous Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 Class A war criminals convicted during World War II and is viewed by China and China. other countries in the region as a symbol of the militarization of Japan. pass.

Immunization chief Taro Kono, who so far tops opinion polls, said Japan would be ready to join the US-led “Five Eyes” alliance and become a ” sixth eye “in July 2020 when he was Minister of Defense.

American factor: a “trap within a trap”

Japan’s high-profile provocation also coincided with Biden’s “long-term strategic competition” with China.

Foreign Policy magazine commented that the US administration’s basic foreign policy is to confront China and warned that Washington’s preoccupation with “the imaginary enemy” is much riskier than it appears to realize.

Japan’s position has changed as it believes the margin for cooperation between China and the United States has narrowed, Da Zhigang, director of the Northeast Asia Research Institute of the United States, told the Global Times. Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences.

A strategic report on Sino-Japanese relations published by the Institute for International Studies at Fudan University in February 2021 calls the American factor in Sino-Japanese relations a “trap” within the “Thucydides trap” between established power and rising power.

The annual report, written by Chinese and Japanese academics, suggests that the two countries are working to avoid falling into the trap and promote stable development of the relationship.

However, with the upcoming elections and Japan’s willingness to fall into the “trap,” the “new normal” that Japan is making the Chinese region of Taiwan a problem could last for some time.

(Cover: People cross a street in Tokyo, Japan, July 30, 2021. / CFP)


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Biden to host World Leaders Climate Forum https://japononline.net/biden-to-host-world-leaders-climate-forum/ https://japononline.net/biden-to-host-world-leaders-climate-forum/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 16:43:06 +0000 https://japononline.net/biden-to-host-world-leaders-climate-forum/ WASHINGTON – President Biden announced on Friday that the United States and Europe have pledged to work to reduce global methane emissions by a third over the next decade and urged other countries to join their efforts to combat a powerful greenhouse gas that warms the planet. In a virtual meeting hosted by the White […]]]>

WASHINGTON – President Biden announced on Friday that the United States and Europe have pledged to work to reduce global methane emissions by a third over the next decade and urged other countries to join their efforts to combat a powerful greenhouse gas that warms the planet.

In a virtual meeting hosted by the White House that included nine heads of state, the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and ministers from a handful of other countries, Biden called the methane target an “ambitious but realistic goal” that the United States will help developing countries achieve.

The effort comes less than two months before a United Nations climate change summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where all nations are expected to announce more ambitious efforts over the next decade to reduce emissions resulting primarily from the burning of fossil fuels. Scientists say the world must move away sharply from oil, gas and coal or suffer catastrophic impacts from climate change.

“I have to tell you the consequences of inaction,” Biden said. “Over the past two weeks, I have traveled across the United States to witness the damage and destruction caused by record hurricanes, record flooding and wildfires,” which he noted s ‘worsen due to warming temperatures.

Nodding to the cascade of disasters that have occurred in recent months around the world, from flooding in Germany and Belgium to raging fires in Australia and Russia and a record temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit recorded in the Arctic Circle, M Biden told executives, “We don’t have a lot of time.

But observers noted the absence on Friday of some key leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China sent Xie Zhenhua, the country’s climate envoy. But after Mr Biden announced a new military pact with Australia and Britain as a strategic deterrent against China, experts said Mr Xi’s absence on Friday was a worrying sign. that tensions between Washington and Beijing could undermine climate cooperation.

“It’s problematic,” said Robert N. Stavins, an environmental economist at Harvard University who closely follows international climate negotiations.

He added, “We have moved from cooperation during the Obama years to confrontation – on trade, democracy in Hong Kong, security in the South China Sea and intellectual property. “

China and the United States are the two biggest climate polluters in the world, in that order. Mr Biden has pledged to cut US emissions 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Achieving that goal, however, depends largely on passing a US budget bill. 3.5 trillion dollars that faces headwinds in Congress.

China, meanwhile, has pledged to achieve net zero emissions by 2060, but has so far not announced new emission reduction targets over the next decade.

“Unless China commits next month to peaking its global emissions by 2025, it risks being isolated as Glasgow approaches, and perhaps held responsible if global negotiations fail.” , said Paul Bledsoe, strategic advisor at the Progressive Policy Institute. .

Brazil, another major transmitter, also did not participate, according to the White House.

Participants included leaders from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Great Britain. The Presidents of the EU Council and Commission were present and India, Russia and Germany sent envoys.

John Kerry, Biden’s climate envoy, and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken also attended the meeting.

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency is currently preparing strict new regulations for the oil and gas sector, which is the largest industrial source of the pollutant.

Carbon dioxide makes up most of the greenhouse gases in the United States and stays in the atmosphere for centuries. Methane only lasts in the atmosphere for about a decade, but during this time it is much more powerful at warming the Earth.

“Reducing methane pollution is the fastest and most effective strategy we have to slow the rate of warming. The benefits will be almost immediate, ”said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, in a statement.

Adam Bernstein, managing director of North Sky Capital, a cleantech investment firm, called the global goal “doable”.

“There is no real technological leap to be taken. The technology exists today, it’s just a matter of putting in place national and local policies to support this goal, ”he said.


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Why AOC’s Met Gala Dress Drove People Crazy https://japononline.net/why-aocs-met-gala-dress-drove-people-crazy/ https://japononline.net/why-aocs-met-gala-dress-drove-people-crazy/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 20:07:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/why-aocs-met-gala-dress-drove-people-crazy/ Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York arrived at the Met Gala on Monday night wearing an ivory Brother Vellies wool jacket personalized with an organza ruffle and the message “Tax the Rich” emblazoned in red on her back. In video footage shot before her arrival, she can be seen walking towards the vehicle that brought […]]]>

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York arrived at the Met Gala on Monday night wearing an ivory Brother Vellies wool jacket personalized with an organza ruffle and the message “Tax the Rich” emblazoned in red on her back.

In video footage shot before her arrival, she can be seen walking towards the vehicle that brought her to the gala, a masked assistant holding the train of her dress as she smiles brightly and waves to her fans.

Creators and corporate sponsors typically pay the hefty admission price – $ 35,000 a ticket, or $ 200,000 to $ 300,000 a table – for gala guests, which typically include a quorum of Kardashians, stars from Hollywood and models. The star-studded event is often referred to as the Fashion Oscars.

Many New York City elected officials are also invited, as “museum guests” who do not pay to attend.

Regardless, the presence – and dress – of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez provided easy fodder for her most trusted critics. On Twitter, Donald Trump Jr., the eldest son of the former president, called her a fraud for sending a message about taxing the rich “while hanging out with a group of rich left elites.”

Rep. Jim Banks, Republican of Indiana, tweeted that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is the “gift that keeps on giving.”

But more surprising than the rote judgments of her political opponents was the criticism Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, drew from the left – a chorus of dissatisfaction of progressives and self-proclaimed socialists disappointed with a gesture they were saying. caricaturing a progressive cause and stressed their feeling that it is not maximizing its ability to fight for congressional workers.

Briahna Gray, the former national press secretary for Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign and co-host of the “Bad Faith” podcast, said Ms Ocasio-Cortez is “subject to a single standard exactly because people expect more. of her “. She said part of the gradual backlash for the dress resulted from a more general disappointment with some of her political positions.

“People are disappointed with his behavior outside of this context, and it seems to reflect a lack of commitment that has been shown in a purely political context,” said Ms. Gray.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez was first invited to the Met Ball in 2019, the year after her victory over former Rep Joe Crowley – the most significant upheaval for a Democratic incumbent in more than a decade. She did not attend and the following year’s gala was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, Ms Ocasio-Cortez sat at the table of Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast, who is the longtime co-host of the gala.

Some supporters had a simple and negative gut reaction to his decision to attend. “The Met Gala is an event sincere socialists should avoid,” wrote John Ganz, a columnist for Gawker.com who described himself as a supporter who at other times viewed Ms. Ocasio-Cortez as a ” light of hope “.

Danny Haiphong, a socialist activist and writer, said what had offended him was not the dissonance of a self-proclaimed democratic socialist hanging out with the elite, but that “AOC and the Squad are not taking advantage of their huge base. of support for demanding the very thing that she put on her dress.

Many progressives still credit Ms. Ocasio-Cortez for being a steadfast advocate for progressive causes. She was the only Democrat to oppose the $ 484 billion coronavirus relief package last year, saying she found it too generous to business without providing enough help to working class people .

Along with Mr Sanders, she lobbied to triple the amount of money President Biden is proposing to improve the country’s aging public housing system.

Recently, she joined the marathon protests on the Capitol steps against the expiration of a federal moratorium on pandemic-era evictions that neither the White House nor Congress had until then acted to stop.

“She’s generally happy to spark people’s enthusiasm for a different view of America,” said Faiz Shakir, director of Mr. Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign. “It’s an art: politics is theater. You are looking for ways to animate it.

Indeed, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has used the slogan “Tax the Rich” on campaign products before, which Republicans have criticized in the past.

But a group of more left-wing activists tried to push the party further and became increasingly critical of Ms Ocasio-Cortez.

Some had demanded that Ms Ocasio-Cortez and others withhold their votes for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unless she agreed to subject the Medicare for All bill to a floor vote. They also urged Ms Ocasio-Cortez to use her position to force a vote on a $ 15 minimum wage and to come up with sharper criticisms of the Biden administration for pushing back calls for blanket student debt cancellation. .

Ms Ocasio-Cortez is seen as a supposed stranger in Congress, Ms Gray said, but “doesn’t really do the kinds of things that might actually attract the real backlash and hardship that some people expected her to do. do, given the way she presented herself. in. ” The image of her “rubbing shoulders with these people” on Monday night angered some on the left, she said.

The slogan on the dress was also a problem, according to Ms Gray – not because it was too radical but because it was too innocuous; According to a 2020 Reuters / Ipsos poll, a majority of American voters are in favor of a wealth tax for the very rich.

“If she had chosen to highlight a message that had not already been so well received, then her act would have been seen as more subversive, as opposed to a pageantry comparable to Cara Delevingne’s ‘Peg the Patriarchy’ shirt.” , said Ms Gray. – another Met Gala outfit that caught attention for the message it carried.

Other New York politicians were at the gala this year, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who represents Manhattan’s former Silk Stocking neighborhood, and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio jumped the ball for years before breaking his streak on Monday night, in the final months of his mayoralty.

“It’s not my cup of tea,” de Blasio said during an appearance on NY1 in 2019 when asked about his absence. “It’s an elite rally, I’m not an elite guy. It really is – let’s simplify it, it’s just not my thing. It’s the kind of place where the elite go and like to be together, and I have a different approach.

Among Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s supporters was Maya Wiley, the former New York mayoral candidate whose campaign Ms Ocasio-Cortez supported earlier this year. Ms Wiley said the Met Gala is part of the fabric of New York City, and identifying as a Democratic Socialist doesn’t mean hating or avoiding the wealthy who show up.

“We are turning everything into a purity contest,” Ms. Wiley said. “Politics shouldn’t be about purity. She did the right thing by not avoiding it, saying it’s part of who we are, and let’s have a conversation that includes the Met Gala.

“Enter a space devoted to art, fashion, luxury and wealth and say, ‘This is the conversation we have to face, but I will face it in the vernacular of the event”, c ‘is awesome, ”Ms. Wiley said.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez may have managed to highlight an issue at the heart of what Democrats are pushing for in the reconciliation bill they are trying to push through by the end of the month. Most importantly, the dress served as Rorschach’s final test on Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, and whether she is seen as fighting for the people or aligning with the elites.

“I don’t envy him,” said Sumathy Kumar, president of the New York branch of the Democratic Socialists of America. “Faced with this question, ‘Do I go to this event and use it as an opportunity to spread the message, or do I boycott it?’, She usually chooses to broadcast this message.”

Ms Kumar added, “Whether you agree with a tactic or not, more and more people are talking about taxes on the rich and at least this conversation is taking place. We’ll take what we can get.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who declined to comment for this article, defended herself against criticism in a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday. “Me and my body have been so heavily and relentlessly monitored politically from all sides since the moment I won my election,” she wrote.

In the end, she said, “we all had a conversation about taxing the rich in front of the same people who are pushing against it and broke through the 4th wall of excess and spectacle.” In a follow-up fundraising email, she asked supporters to purchase their own “Tax the Rich” outfit. A t-shirt costs $ 27 and the hoodie costs $ 58.


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Former Minister of Women’s Empowerment to Run for Prime Minister of Japan https://japononline.net/former-minister-of-womens-empowerment-to-run-for-prime-minister-of-japan/ https://japononline.net/former-minister-of-womens-empowerment-to-run-for-prime-minister-of-japan/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 16:07:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/former-minister-of-womens-empowerment-to-run-for-prime-minister-of-japan/ Seiko Noda Former Japanese Minister for Women’s Empowerment Seiko Noda announced her last-minute bid for the ruling party’s leadership on Thursday, the day before the campaign began. The winner of the September 29 vote will become Prime Minister a few days later and lead the Liberal Democratic Party to the general election at the end […]]]>

Seiko Noda

Former Japanese Minister for Women’s Empowerment Seiko Noda announced her last-minute bid for the ruling party’s leadership on Thursday, the day before the campaign began.

The winner of the September 29 vote will become Prime Minister a few days later and lead the Liberal Democratic Party to the general election at the end of November.

Noda, 61, served as home affairs minister as well as minister for gender equality and women’s empowerment, and was at one time considered Japan’s most likely first female prime minister.

But she is seen as a long shot to be won, and her late candidacy indicates that she may have struggled to gain the necessary support from her fellow PLD lawmakers.

She joins vaccine chief Taro Kono, moderate Fumio Kishida and the right wing who divides Sanae Takaichi – another rare woman at the top of Japanese politics – in the race.

Announcing her candidacy for the LDP headquarters in Tokyo, the seasoned lawmaker outlined her vision for a more inclusive Japan.

“I want to create a conservative policy in which those who could not take center stage before, such as women, children, the elderly and the disabled, can live comfortably in this society,” she said. declared.

Noda highlighted her long experience despite her relative lack of political clout, saying she would give details of her manifesto on Friday.

“Each candidate’s policies are brilliant, but I can hardly find policies that can encourage the vulnerable, whom I have tackled as a politician,” she said.

“Although I don’t have a lot of power, I promise to work hard with my colleagues.”

Noda has long advocated for greater gender equality, including allowing married couples to have separate surnames.

She gave birth at the age of 50 after undergoing fertility treatment involving an American egg donor and lobbied to make fertility treatment more accessible in Japan.

The success of the general election is very likely for the PLD, which has held power in Japan almost continuously for decades.

But the outcome of the leadership vote is less predictable than usual as most of the major factions have not endorsed a candidate, turning what is often a stereotypical event into a rare fray.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was scheduled to run for re-election, but said earlier this month he was stepping down in a shocking announcement.


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Generous feline: Cat lovers in Japan donate $ 2 million for kidney research https://japononline.net/generous-feline-cat-lovers-in-japan-donate-2-million-for-kidney-research/ https://japononline.net/generous-feline-cat-lovers-in-japan-donate-2-million-for-kidney-research/#respond Tue, 14 Sep 2021 10:02:23 +0000 https://japononline.net/generous-feline-cat-lovers-in-japan-donate-2-million-for-kidney-research/ Cats may have nine lives, but their time on Earth is often cut short by kidney problems. For example, the Japanese who want their feline friends to live longer have donated nearly $ 2 million to the search for a cure. As the coronavirus pandemic hit the economy last year, scientists at the University of […]]]>

Cats may have nine lives, but their time on Earth is often cut short by kidney problems. For example, the Japanese who want their feline friends to live longer have donated nearly $ 2 million to the search for a cure.

As the coronavirus pandemic hit the economy last year, scientists at the University of Tokyo lost corporate funding for a study on preventing kidney disease in cats.

But thousands of Japanese cat lovers have rallied online to donate to researchers after an article on their plight by the Jiji Press news agency went viral.

“I lost my beloved cat to kidney disease last December … I hope this research will progress and help many cats live without this disease,” a woman wrote in a message to next to his $ 20 donation.

Another donor, who gave $ 90, said, “I recently received a kitten. I’m making a donation in the hope that it will arrive in time for this cat.

Domesticated cats and their larger cousins ​​in the wild are very prone to kidney problems due to a genetic inability to activate a key protein discovered by researchers in Tokyo.

The protein called AIM helps clean out dead cells and other wastes in the body, preventing the kidneys from becoming clogged.

Immunology professor Toru Miyazaki and his team are working on ways to produce the protein in stable quantity and quality.

They hope to develop a new remedy that they believe could double the current feline life expectancy by around 15 years.

“I hope that ultimately vets will give bites (to cats) every year like vaccines,” Miyazaki told AFP-affiliated AFPBB News.

“It would be nice to give them a dose or two every year,” from AIM, he said.

About 3,000 unsolicited donations were sent to the team within hours of the article’s publication in July.

That number rose to 10,000 in a matter of days, more than the total number of donations the university usually receives in a year.

And by mid-September, the donation amount had reached 207 million yen ($ 1.9 million).

“It was the first time that I understood first-hand how much my research was expected,” said Miyazaki.

His team’s research into how AIM – short for the inhibitor of macrophage apoptosis – works in the body was published in 2016 in the journal Nature Medicine.

They are also developing animal feed containing a substance that could help activate non-functioning AIM in feline blood.

Check out the latest DH videos here:


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Kono embarks on race to lead Japanese LDP https://japononline.net/kono-embarks-on-race-to-lead-japanese-ldp/ https://japononline.net/kono-embarks-on-race-to-lead-japanese-ldp/#respond Fri, 10 Sep 2021 16:00:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/kono-embarks-on-race-to-lead-japanese-ldp/ Japanese Minister of Administrative Reform and Regulatory Reform Taro Kono, who is responsible for overseeing the national COVID-19 vaccination program, yesterday officially announced his candidacy for the ruling party and, by extension, to become the next prime minister. Kono said at a press conference that he would be an empathetic leader who “laughs and cries […]]]>

Japanese Minister of Administrative Reform and Regulatory Reform Taro Kono, who is responsible for overseeing the national COVID-19 vaccination program, yesterday officially announced his candidacy for the ruling party and, by extension, to become the next prime minister.

Kono said at a press conference that he would be an empathetic leader who “laughs and cries together” with the Japanese people.

Kono becomes the third candidate to throw his hat into the ring for the leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which opened last week when Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced he would step down.

Photo: AFP

Kono appears to have an advantage over former Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and former Japanese Home and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi in the race.

Almost a third of those polled in a poll by national media last week said Kono, 58, a graduate of Georgetown University, was the most suitable to succeed Suga.

Kono said he informed Suga of his intention to show up several hours before the press conference in which he made the official announcement.

The winner of the September 29 vote of grassroots members of the party and its lawmakers is virtually guaranteed to be prime minister because the LDP has a majority in the lower house of parliament.

The new leader would then lead the party in a lower house election due to take place by November 28.

Lawmakers are counting on the new leader to bolster party support after Suga’s ratings hit record highs.

Kishida is reasonably popular and can count on the support of her party faction, while Takaichi, who hopes to become the first female prime minister of Japan, enjoys the support of the party’s conservative flank, including that of the influential former Japanese prime minister. Shinzo Abe.

One open question is whether former Japanese Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, who is also highly regarded by party members, would stand alone or support Kono.

While Suga’s support has been undermined by his haphazard handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kono, who has been in charge of a difficult vaccination rollout, has remained popular, especially among younger voters.

That’s in part thanks to his ability to reach audiences via Twitter, where he has 2.3 million followers – a rarity in heavily scripted Japanese politics dominated by older men less adept with social media.

Some PLD members believe Kono is too young, and their concerns include his lone wolf style in a system that works on consensus and a straightforward streak that can sometimes see him defy the party line.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Comments containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. The final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.


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End of summer: Events that can shake the markets in September https://japononline.net/end-of-summer-events-that-can-shake-the-markets-in-september/ https://japononline.net/end-of-summer-events-that-can-shake-the-markets-in-september/#respond Tue, 07 Sep 2021 12:36:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/end-of-summer-events-that-can-shake-the-markets-in-september/ LONDON (Reuters) – After a summer in which stocks hit seemingly endless highs, September brings a series of monetary and political events that could lift investors out of their complacency. FILE PHOTO: People are reflected in an electrical panel showing the Nikkei Index and its graph outside a brokerage house in a business district in […]]]>

LONDON (Reuters) – After a summer in which stocks hit seemingly endless highs, September brings a series of monetary and political events that could lift investors out of their complacency.

FILE PHOTO: People are reflected in an electrical panel showing the Nikkei Index and its graph outside a brokerage house in a business district in Tokyo, Japan June 21, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung -Hoon / File Photo

The debate over whether to cut stimulus in a pandemic era is aired with several G10 central banks holding meetings – Australia’s central bank confirmed on Tuesday its intention to mitigate. A showdown over the US national debt as well as crucial elections in Japan and Germany add to the risks.

Here are eight events, in chronological order, that investors will be watching in September:

CONICAL UNDER SEPT. 7

The Reserve Bank of Australia confirmed on Tuesday that it was cutting its bond buying program during the first test this month of central banks’ resolve to stick to plans to cut stimulus.

The central bank surprised some by reducing its bond purchases from A $ 1 billion ($ 745.20 million) per week to A $ 4 billion, although it also extended the program until mid – at least February, which was considered an accommodating concession.

The rapid spread of the Delta variant, door-to-door orders in major cities and the slowing economy had prompted expectations that the RBA would delay the cut altogether.

But RBA Governor Philip Lowe has predicted an economic rebound once vaccination rates rise and restrictions are relaxed.

Australian unemployment and interest rates

WHO LEAVES THE HAWKS? ECB MEETING – SEPT. 9

Thursday’s meeting of the European Central Bank could be a heated affair. The ECB’s political hawks came out in force, arguing that now is the time to start debating the end of a stimulus package.

The ECB could choose to slow down the pace of purchases, but CEO Christine Lagarde will probably point out that this is not the same as tapering.

Communicating this will not be easy. The risk is that the markets will interpret such a move as hawkish – the rise in the euro and sovereign borrowing costs.

ECB hawks put markets on alert

CANADIAN ELECTIONS – SEPT. 20

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for an early vote two years earlier and now faces a close race.

Trudeau is hoping his handling of the pandemic and vaccine rollout will give him a majority, but polls show his Liberals are statistically tied with Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives.

Canadian elections are rarely taped for world markets, but with the Liberals proposing tax hikes for the big banks and the two candidates proposing spending increases, this one will be closely watched.

Elections Canada: Follow-up on Polls Elections Canada: Follow-up on Polls

CALENDAR OF THE CNE FED – SEPT. 21-22

The weak August payroll in the United States did not entirely derail expectations that the Federal Reserve could announce a cutback schedule at its September meeting. But with a start to the year of the cut mostly taken into account, the focus is on when interest rates can rise.

Fed boss Jerome Powell could re-emphasize that tapering and rate hikes are separate and that he sees current inflation spikes as transient.

Federal funds futures forecast the first hike in early 2023. And we should also know by the meeting whether Powell will be pushing that hike – his term expires in February 2022. Ninety percent of economists polled by Reuters expect the mandate to be extended.

Fed balance sheet

NORWAY FOR HIKING – SEPT. 23

Norway is set to increase interest by 0%, becoming the first in the group of developed G10 economies to do so.

A rate hike will demonstrate its willingness to look beyond the rise in COVID-19 infections and focus on a rapidly recovering economy.

Investors expect a hike, but confirmation that a major central bank is in fact tightening rather than talking about it – especially after New Zealand unexpectedly hesitated to rise in August – would still mark a moment. important for markets addicted to cheap liquidity.

German Social Democrats lead the polls

VOTES IN GERMANY – SEPT. 26

Western Europe’s longest-serving outgoing leader Angela Merkel is stepping down as German Chancellor after 16 years in office and four consecutive electoral victories.

The election has a wider range of possible outcomes than usual, especially as the center-left Social Democrats lead the opinion polls, beating Merkel’s Tories for the first time in 15 years .

Two key questions for the markets: what will a new government mean for national and European fiscal policy? And what does this mean for European integration?

NEXT PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN – SEPT. 29

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s decision to step down has given Japanese politics a surprise turn.

Amid a wave of COVID-19 infections, Suga’s popularity had plummeted, but there is no leader in the race to succeed him as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Among the possible candidates are former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and the popular minister responsible for the deployment of immunization in Japan, Taro Kono. Whoever triumphs is guaranteed to become prime minister given the party majority in the lower house of parliament.

The contest is scheduled for September 29 and the winner must call the general election by November 28.

The acceleration of COVID-19 cases in Japan

TO DATE X

The US Treasury technically hit its $ 28 trillion debt “ceiling” a month ago, but by dipping into its bank accounts, it postponed the day it would run out of borrowing room. Yet the day will soon come – probably in October – when he will run out of money to pay his obligations.

To avoid a government shutdown or worse, a technical defect, Congress must increase or suspend that limit this month. Republican senators, opposed to the Democrats’ $ 3.5 trillion infrastructure plan, have pledged to vote against raising the cap.

In 2011, the debt ceiling squabbles prompted S&P Global to downgrade US credit ratings from AAA to AA +. Fitch could do the same this time around, leaving the United States only an AAA rating from Moody’s.

While there is no sign that bond markets are incorporating default risk, that could change. In the words of NatWest analysts, this “establishes an unforgettable September in Washington.”

Debt ceiling

Reporting by Tommy Wilkes, Sujata Rao and Dhara Ranasinghe; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Raissa Kasolowsky


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Suga to support Vaccines Minister Taro Kono in LDP leadership race, report says https://japononline.net/suga-to-support-vaccines-minister-taro-kono-in-ldp-leadership-race-report-says/ https://japononline.net/suga-to-support-vaccines-minister-taro-kono-in-ldp-leadership-race-report-says/#respond Sat, 04 Sep 2021 02:30:11 +0000 https://japononline.net/suga-to-support-vaccines-minister-taro-kono-in-ldp-leadership-race-report-says/ Outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga intends to back the People’s Minister responsible for the deployment of immunization in Japan, Taro Kono, in the leadership race of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) later this month, broadcaster Nippon New Network reported on Saturday. The report comes after Suga’s surprise announcement on Friday that he would step […]]]>

Outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga intends to back the People’s Minister responsible for the deployment of immunization in Japan, Taro Kono, in the leadership race of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) later this month, broadcaster Nippon New Network reported on Saturday.

The report comes after Suga’s surprise announcement on Friday that he would step down, paving the way for a new leader to become prime minister.

Suga is expected to stay until his successor is chosen in the party election slated for September 29.

Hours after Suga’s announcement, sources close to Kono said on Friday that he intended to run for the leadership. Kono himself did not declare his candidacy, telling reporters that he wanted to consult with his party colleagues first.

Former Foreign and Defense Minister Kono, 58, is popular among young voters, after gaining support via Twitter, where he has 2.3 million followers – a rarity in male-dominated Japanese politics older and less social media savvy.

Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has already thrown his hat in the ring, while several others, including former Home Affairs Minister Sanae Takaichi, have expressed interest in participating in the race, making the outcome even more unpredictable. .

According to party rules, candidates must first collect 20 candidacies from members of his Diet to stand for the presidential election.

Kono, who is also minister of administrative and regulatory reform, belongs to one of the main factions of the party led by former Prime Minister Taro Aso, current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

Kishida and Takaichi reiterated their intention to run for leadership.

Kishida said his intention to run was “unchanged”.

Takaichi, who would be the first woman president of the PLD if elected, said she “would fight to the end”. She also said she was “appalled” by Suga’s about-face during his candidacy, as he had repeatedly said he would run again.

Former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba told reporters whether he would run for office was “a blank slate”, adding: “I will consult with my like-minded colleagues and come to a conclusion at the appropriate time.” .

Kishida and Ishiba lost to Suga in last year’s LDP presidential race.

In addition, Hakubun Shimomura, who withdrew from the September 29 elections after being urged by Suga to prioritize his work as the political leader of the PLD to respond to the pandemic, said he may return to the country. race.

Japan had seen six prime ministers in as many years, before the record eight-year tenure of Shinzo Abe, Suga’s predecessor.

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A case of political déjà vu https://japononline.net/a-case-of-political-deja-vu/ https://japononline.net/a-case-of-political-deja-vu/#respond Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:30:11 +0000 https://japononline.net/a-case-of-political-deja-vu/ The past few months have been tumultuous for the nation, as the country has seen widespread deaths from Covid-19 coupled with political dead ends. Since early 2020, former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has been the target of Kathmandu’s neo-elites, be it Twitter or print and digital media. One of the important reasons was his […]]]>

The past few months have been tumultuous for the nation, as the country has seen widespread deaths from Covid-19 coupled with political dead ends. Since early 2020, former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has been the target of Kathmandu’s neo-elites, be it Twitter or print and digital media. One of the important reasons was his mannerism at the head of the business. Oli would not have been consultative and democratic within the party. He was accused of rendering parliament unimportant, and was blamed for destroying state institutions such as concentration of power with the prime minister’s office, resistance to devolution of power to provinces, etc.

The reasons, as mentioned earlier, combined with growing dissatisfaction among the nation’s ruling elites and a few catalysts, turned out to be the final nail in the coffin. With Oli’s ouster, there was a general hope that the situation would stabilize if not improve. But, rather than stepping away from the perils of the Oli regime, the current government appears to be trapped in the vicious cycle of derailment of democratic institutions. Hence the déjà vu.

While this vicious cycle is not something new in Nepal, the nation has fallen victim to an extraction-oriented ruling class since the inception of the nation-state. The Ranas and the Shahs being the torchbearers of this extractive regime. Rather than building inclusive institutions that promoted the interests of the people, regimes were interested in extracting maximum resources for themselves and their loved ones. This extractive tendency is contrary to inclusive institutions, which strengthen democracy and pluralism. The vicious circle, although not inevitable, once in place is difficult to break.

History has many anecdotes of how this circle works, but right now the current scenario provides us with a clear path to the nation’s future. Unfortunately, for the people of Nepal, we are trapped in a maze of instability. One of the most controversial issues of the past two years has been the amendment of the party division provision in the Law on Political Parties (PPA). There were two main reasons: first, the law on political parties was aimed at safeguarding the institutions of democracy and the weakening of the provision risked eroding democratic principles. Second, an amendment to such a provision will have a long term impact on the political regime of the nation, and therefore it would be done by the legislature and not by ordinance. But the current government has lowered the provision by lowering the threshold to 20 percent of the parliamentary party or central committee. The legislative intent behind said provision of the LPP came against the backdrop of unstable governments of the past. It is interesting to note that the big five parties broke up at one point or another. It was also against the New Nepalese culture of bargaining and opportunism. But as always, realpolitik took precedence over all the others The factors.

The other allegation against Oli was to render the legislature without business, and indeed. Oli had issued 25 ordinances in one year, of which seven were promulgated twice. It was his ace in the hole to get around the legislature. When all of this was done, there were fierce debates on television, in the newspapers and in the streets regarding the derailment of institutions by the communist regime. There was a silver lining that the new change of government would curb such perversions. But here we are; after only one month in government, the prime minister recommended to the president to prorogue the parliamentary session and to promulgate an ordinance hostile to parliamentary democracy just like Oli. The Prime Minister has been busy with public relations campaigns at the expense of strengthening democracy. He has been unable to expand his cabinet over the past month due to a lack of consensus within the electricity brokers union led by his coalition partners. At this point we need to ask ourselves if this is the change we want.

In my opinion, a change at the helm is unimportant for the nation at this point. In the life of a country, there are few opportunities to break the vicious circle. These opportunities can be seen as being at a crossroads in the life of a nation, towards a virtuous circle where inclusive democratic institutions work for an equitable distribution of resources. Then there is the vicious circle, where although a usurper brings about a change at the helm without major policy changes to facilitate the proper functioning of the government apparatus. Nepal has had many appointments with critical moments. But instead of learning from the mistakes of the past and moving towards building and strengthening institutions, medieval extractive and exclusive methods continue to dominate politics. The English learned their lessons from the Glorious Revolution, and the French pulled up their socks after the French Revolution; the Japanese improved after the Honorable Restoration, these were the critical moments of their journey, after which they set out on the path of creating inclusive political institutions that prevented the usurpation of power. They developed inclusive economic institutions, strengthening the continuity of inclusive political institutions. It seems that the Democratic Movement of 1950, the Popular Movement of 1990 and the Popular Movement II of 2006 could not have assumed the role of a critical turning point. In this case, are we waiting for the “divine fight”?

In his essay “The Eighteenth Brumaire by Louis Bonaparte”, Karl Marx asserted that historical entities appear twice, “first as a tragedy, then as a farce”. Hopefully this government action is just a joke and not a tragedy. Anyway, it is a textbook case of déjà vu for the Nepalese people.


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Japan’s evacuation from Afghanistan foiled by drag https://japononline.net/japans-evacuation-from-afghanistan-foiled-by-drag/ https://japononline.net/japans-evacuation-from-afghanistan-foiled-by-drag/#respond Fri, 27 Aug 2021 21:07:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/japans-evacuation-from-afghanistan-foiled-by-drag/ TOKYO – On Friday, a C-130 evacuation plane sent by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, bound for neighboring Pakistan. There was only one Japanese evacuee on board. The passenger informed the government of his intention to leave Afghanistan. Several other Japanese in the country have said […]]]>

TOKYO – On Friday, a C-130 evacuation plane sent by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, bound for neighboring Pakistan. There was only one Japanese evacuee on board.

The passenger informed the government of his intention to leave Afghanistan. Several other Japanese in the country have said they are unwilling to leave at this point. With that, members of the Foreign Ministry and the SDF who had been sent to Kabul also packed their bags and settled in a neighboring country.

The empty plane was symbolic of the failed evacuation effort by the Japanese government, which initially planned to move up to 500 people to safety.

Japan ended its official evacuation operation on Friday, in the aftermath of two bombings near Kabul airport that left at least 170 dead, although Tokyo said it would continue to try to get the people out of the country.

Japan’s efforts are paltry compared to American and European efforts that have brought tens of thousands of people to safety. Critics say the government lacked a sense of urgency and awareness of the importance of helping locals who worked with Japanese employees.

The decision to send SDF planes for evacuations came on Monday, a week after the United States and European countries sent military planes to Afghanistan after Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15. During this period, the situation on the ground worsened. per day.

On August 17, the government evacuated Japanese Embassy staff, Japan International Cooperation Agency employees, and other Japanese nationals to a third country, in coordination with US forces and with transportation provided by the United Kingdom. the last two decades have been left behind.

Compare that with the response from the UK, whose ambassador has remained in the country to continue processing visas for Afghan applicants.

The SDF-led evacuation was supposed to be on a larger scale. The Japanese Foreign Ministry estimated that less than a dozen Japanese nationals were to be repatriated as part of the operation, while the number of Afghan employees and their family members to be rescued numbered in the hundreds.

The C-130 transport plane did not arrive until Thursday at Kabul airport from Islamabad, the day of the attacks. Most of those who wanted to leave could not make it to the airport at that time, and Japanese planes made several unsuccessful trips.

European countries, for their part, have made steady progress. Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have all announced the completion of their evacuations of their citizens and foreign partners. Germany transported around 5,000 people by plane.

Kazuto Suzuki, professor at the University of Tokyo, argued that the government did not view the situation with the urgency required. “They were too hasty to withdraw the staff from the embassy without deciding how to treat the Afghans who worked there,” and elsewhere, Suzuki said.

“Japan is not doing enough contingency planning,” he said.

There were also logistical challenges unique to Japan and its pacifist constitution.

The evacuation operation consisted of five stages: transporting the evacuees to Kabul airport, confirming their identity, leaving Afghanistan, transporting them to Japan and passing through the immigration process. He faltered at the first hurdle.

Tokyo has interpreted Japan’s constitution to allow only the minimum necessary use of force for self-defense, and the law also places strict restrictions on SDF activities. Particularly risky scenarios such as the withdrawal of Afghan troops create limits to the SDF response.

The United States and some European countries sent military helicopters to extract the residents of the city. The SDF, however, was legally prevented from operating outside the airport area which had been secured by US forces.

People “have no choice but to secure their own transportation,” Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said on Monday.

The evacuation was carried out under article 84 of Article 4 of the Self-Defense Forces Act, which allows the SDF to transport Japanese citizens abroad in the event of unrest, but only if it does. can be done safely.

The government authorized the SDF to operate at the airport with US forces providing security. But that did not extend to areas of Kabul outside of US control, where conditions were deteriorating.

Invoking Article 3, which gives greater flexibility to use force if necessary, would allow the SDF to protect Japanese nationals whose lives are in danger. But the consent of the country involved is strictly required – this is not a realistic option with Afghanistan under Taliban control.

In previous overseas deployments, such as in Iraq, Japan has overcome the gap between the constraints on the SDF and the reality on the ground by adjusting its interpretation of the constitution.

The evacuation of Afghanistan, illustrating the challenges the SDF faces even in protecting Japanese citizens – part of the role of a nation-state – highlighted the contradictions of this system.


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