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Japan Innovation Party
Rebranding the DPJ: Old Wine in a New Bottle?

On March 27, the Democratic Party of Japan—previously the nation’s number one opposition party—merged with the smaller Japan Innovation Party in a bid to unify Japan’s badly fragmented opposition going into this summer’s House of Councillors election.

Timeline for February 2016

North Korea launches a rocket that passes over Okinawa, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is signed in New Zealand, and national census results show Japan’s population fell by almost a million between 2010 and 2015. These are the leading Japan-related stories of February 2016.

Ambivalent Mandate for the Abe CabinetTakenaka Harukata

Was the ruling coalition’s landslide in the recent general election a sweeping mandate for Prime Minister Abe’s economic policies, as the government has claimed? Political scientist Takenaka Harukata suggests otherwise, arguing that voter support for the status quo rests on disillusionment with the opposition and uncertainty about the long-term success of “Abenomics.”

Timeline for December 2014

Abe Shinzō is reelected as prime minister, Hayabusa 2 sets off on a mission to collect asteroid samples, and Toyota launches the world’s first mass-market fuel cell vehicle. An overview of the key news stories for December 2014.

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