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Japan’s LDP Extends Max Presidential Term to Nine Years (News)

Tokyo, March 5 (Jiji Press)—Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Sunday extended the maximum party presidential tenure, allowing Prime Minister Abe Shinzō to run in the next LDP leadership election for a term ending in 2021. At its eighty-fourth regular party convention, the LDP revised party rules to extend the maximum presidential tenure to three consecutive three-year terms for a total…
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Japan’s Ordinary Diet Session to Open on January 20: Abe (News)

Ise, Mie Pref., Jan. 4 (Jiji Press)—The Diet, Japan's parliament, will convene in an ordinary session on January 20, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō said Wednesday. Abe unveiled the schedule during a press conference held after his New Year's visit to Ise Jingū, a major Shinto shrine in Ise in the central prefecture of Mie. He said, "The economy will remain my top policy priority this year." "T…
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Koizumi Jr.’s Quixotic Quest for Agricultural ReformYamashita Kazuhito

Koizumi Shinjirō, director of the LDP agriculture and forestry division, is pushing for agricultural reform to rectify the high price of supplies and other issues confronting the industry. The scion of a former maverick prime minister faces fierce resistance, however, from the country’s powerful farm lobby.
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Japan’s Parliament Enacts Casino, Pension Reform Bills (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 15 (Jiji Press)—The Diet enacted a so-called integrated resort promotion bill to legalize casinos in Japan in the small hours of Thursday, after another controversial bill, on reforming the country's pension system, cleared the Japanese parliament the previous day. The casino bill, which was modified by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday, was approved at a plenary meetin…
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Landslide Victory for LDP in 2016 Upper House Election

The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Kōmeitō won comfortably in the House of Councillors election on July 10, 2016. The LDP nonetheless ended one seat short of its first simple majority in 27 years.
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Two Decades Behind: How to Give Women a Bigger Voice in Japanese PoliticsMiura Mari

Japan has one of the lowest rates of female representation in politics of any country in the world. What are the reasons for Japan’s lack of progress in this area, and what can be done to improve the gender balance in Japanese politics?
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The Difficult Role of the Top Opposition PartyMachidori Satoshi

The Democratic Party of Japan, which governed from 2009 to 2012, failed in its quixotic attempt to block the government’s national security legislation by joining forces with protesters outside the Diet. The DPJ must return to a textbook approach to its role as the top opposition party if it hopes to regain power.
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Timeline for September 2015

Security legislation is passed in the House of Councillors, record-breaking rain causes major flooding in the Kantō and Tōhoku regions, and Japan wins a historic victory over South Africa at the Rugby World Cup. An overview of the key news stories for September 2015.
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Thinking about Okinawa (1): A Historical Perspective on the US Military Presence

Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi’s staunch opposition to the Futenma relocation plan has deepened the rift between the local and central governments. In the first of a three-part series, political experts shed light on the issues involving US bases in Okinawa, host to 74% of American military installations in Japan.
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Okinawan Identity and the Struggle for Self-DeterminationShimabukuro Jun

Since Onaga Takeshi’s successful campaign for governorship of Okinawa last fall, “Okinawan identity” has emerged as a rallying cry for unified opposition to plans for a replacement facility for US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma inside Okinawa Prefecture. Okinawan political scientist and activist Shimabukuro Jun explores the meaning of Okinawan identity in a historical context, focusing on the postwar experience of “structural discrimination.”
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