Featured Articles and Analysis in Partnership with Nippon.com
Sasakawa USA has partnered with Nippon Communications Foundation to share articles and research for publication on both organizations’ websites. Nippon.com provides in-depth analysis from Japanese and other perspectives on the politics, economy and culture of Japan, as well as on U.S.-Japan relations and international affairs.
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On September 28, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō dissolved the Diet and announced a snap general election to be held on October 22. The sudden appearance of Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko’s new party, Kibō no Tō, or the Party of Hope, has established an entirely new chessboard, with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s pieces arrayed across from the newcomer’s.
Prime Minister Abe is aiming to amend the Constitution of Japan by 2020. But support for his administration has declined sharply, and if he insists on pushing ahead with the amendment process according to his intended schedule, he runs the risk of failing both at revising the Constitution and at holding on to power.
Toshiba was one of Japan’s best-known electronics and machinery companies, with operations all over the world. But in addition to accounting irregularities that came to light two years ago, the company’s sudden December 2016 announcement of huge losses has left its reputation in tatters. The company is in danger of being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange and its plunge into negative net worth puts it at risk of bankruptcy.
Japan’s ties with ASEAN over the past 40-plus years have been through various changes and have been affected by the major growth of China’s presence in the region. But Japan continues to be a key partner for the association and its members. Formerly focused on economic affairs, Japan-ASEAN cooperation now extends to the political and security spheres as well.
In Japan, debate over constitutional revision tends to focus narrowly on such hot-button issues as Article 9 and the status of the emperor. Constitutional scholar Inoue Takeshi argues for a broader conversation—encompassing such issues as environmental rights, gender parity, and intergenerational equity—to pave the way for reforms needed to strengthen and modernize Japan’s democracy.