Rocket launched; Japan breathes again

The Aso government got its wish: North Korea launched its rocket, with the first stage said to have landed off the coast of Akita prefecture and the second said to have landed in the Pacific Ocean.

The legal issues of firing at North Korea’s “rocket”

As tensions mount and there is increasing talk of shooting down the “debris” from a pending North Korean rocket launch, there has been little discussion of what would happen if Japan shot down the rocket instead.

The electoral consequences of Mr. Ozawa

Chiba's gubernatorial election, held Sunday, was viewed by some DPJ members going into the election as a critical test for Ozawa Ichiro's fragile leadership of the party...

The end of the beginning

Ozawa Ichiro indicated, in a tearful press conference Tuesday evening, that he will stay on as DPJ president despite the indictment of his chief public secretary — but Ozawa's statement may have only been the end of the beginning of the final act of Ozawa's long career...

Will he stay or will he go?

Okubo Takanori, Ozawa Ichiro's chief secretary, has as expected been indicted by the Tokyo district public prosecutor's office for violating the political funds control law...

Ozawa is due to announce whether he will remain as DPJ president today.

For the Western press, Japan is always rising

Forbes and AP have run nearly simultaneous articles reviving the "Japan rising" meme that I thought had died with Abe Shinzo's government.

The people lose hope

Jun Okumura notes that while the political world waits to find out whether Ichiro Ozada will survive the scandal in his political organization, the DPJ has revived an approach pursued in the earlier half of this decade...

Butter over guns

In the Asahi survey of political attitudes discussed in this post, respondents were asked to pick which portions of the budget that would like to see enhanced and which portions they would like to see cut...

The LDP agrees on something

While the Nishimatsu scandal continues to ripple through both the LDP and the DPJ and while all wonder whether next week will see Ozawa Ichiro's resignation as DPJ president, LDP members of all stripe

Sailing to Somalia

Two Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) destroyers, the Sazanami, last mentioned on this blog when she paid a visit to China last year, and the Samidare, have departed from Kure naval base in Hiroshima prefecture...


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