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Timeline for February 2014

Japanese athletes experience success and disappointment in Sochi; a new governor defeats antinuclear candidates to win election in Tokyo; and record snowfall brings chaos to parts of Japan. Look back on the top Japanese news stories of February 2014.
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The Zombification of Japanese FarmingGōdo Yoshihisa

Japan’s current infatuation with farming ignores the ongoing decline in cultivation skills. The government has made agriculture one of the pillars of its new growth strategy, but the reforms it has proposed lack substance. Meiji Gakuin University Professor Gōdo Yoshihisa focuses on the dire state of Japanese agriculture.
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Peruvians Struggling to Find a Place in Japanese Society

Peruvians make up one of the largest expatriate communities in Japan. Nippon.com spoke with Elard Escala, Peru's ambassador to Japan, to find out more about these Peruvian expatriates and the ties between the two countries.
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China’s Summit Diplomacy and the Geopolitics of the “Indo-Pacific” RegionShiraishi Takashi

October was a busy month for top-level diplomacy in Asia. Bali was the site of the October 7–8 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and of the October 8 meeting of leaders from the countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. These APEC and TPP meetings were followed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Brunei (October 9–10), which was accompanied…
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What Japan’s Farmers Really Need Is FreedomAsakawa Yoshihiro

While welcoming Prime Minister Abe’s decision for Japan to participate in the TPP free trade talks, agricultural journalist Asakawa Yoshihiro takes issue with the Abe administration’s farming policy, calling for bold moves to free Japan’s farmers and food producers.
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Japan Must Engage China, Freeze the Senkaku Debate

We talk with Niwa Uichirō, Japan’s first ambassador to China from the private sector, about China’s economy and the deterioration of Japan-China relations over the Senkaku Islands. Niwa, who returned to Japan in December 2012, calls for the leaders of both countries to meet soon and put a freeze on the Senkaku issue.
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A More Confident Japan in a Strong Alliance: Michael Green Speaks

The international scene in East Asia remains fluid, but the new government in place in Tokyo is showing an energetic approach to economic policy and a more stable hand on the tiller of diplomacy. We spoke to the international affairs expert Michael Green about his views on Japanese politics and the country’s place in the regional and global picture.
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Behind the New Abe Diplomacy: An Interview with Cabinet Advisor Yachi Shōtarō (Part Two)

In the second half of our interview with Special Cabinet Advisor Yachi Shōtarō, the veteran diplomat speaks out about key foreign-policy challenges facing the Abe cabinet, including controversial plans for the relocation of US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, resolution of the Northern Territories dispute with Russia, and the negotiation of multiple free trade agreements.
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Understanding the Japan Agricultural CooperativesYamashita Kazuhito

The Japan Agricultural Cooperatives group, or the JA, continues to command power and influence despite the decline of Japanese agriculture. Yamashita Kazuhito explains how this has come to pass and looks at the implications of JA opposition to Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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Tokyo Election; Xi-Obama Meeting; G8 SummitShiraishi Takashi

In the June 23 election for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, all 59 of the Liberal Democratic Party’s candidates won. This is the biggest number of seats the LDP has taken in the past 10 elections for the 127-member chamber, topping the 56 it won in 1977 and 1985. The New Kōmeitō, the LDP’s partner in the ruling coalition at the national level, came in second; it fielded 23 candidates, and as wi…
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