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Japanese Prime Minister engaged in delicate balancing act

Let's Japan has been lucky in the past to have others share their stories here. For 2010, LJ introduces the Kotatsu Commentator, who will be adding his voice here.

The Japanese government is in the middle of a delicate balancing act. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his coalition government are busy making inroads in a rising tide of Asian power, while preserving the close diplomatic relations with the empire that has helped provide their current prosperity.

More on Judgment Day

Here's some video to show you what I'm talking about when I wrote about Fuji TV using The Terminator as their election theme this year:

Election 2009: Judgment Day

Flipping through the channels this evening, I nearly spat my dinner out as I landed on Fuji TV and caught one of their commercials for their coverage of the upcoming election. This is undoubtedly a historic election for Japan as all indications point to a major defeat of the LDP. So, how would you go about marking this momentous changing of the guard? Some sort of historical retrospective put to martial music? Something more somber with subdued trumpets in the background?

How about The Terminator?

Japan's Missing Pension Accounts

If you were thinking, "Wasn't the biggest story in Japan something to do with education reform and changing the constitution?" you'd be correct, but the recent pension scandal has completely eclipsed the Abe administration's agenda and reduced Abe to having to repeatedly say he's going to get to the bottom of it if it's the last thing he does. There is an outstanding roundup of the whole mess by Chris Salzberg on Global Voices Online. It's a must read.


Abe's Utsukushii Kuni

So Kumamoto's "konotori no yurikago" (stork cradle) hatch at Jikei Hospital has opened. It's sad that this kind of thing has to exist, but if it does some good, I think it's worth it. Prime Minister Abe, however, isn't crazy about the idea:

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe remained critical of the baby hatch and said he wants parents to consult the government or local administrative authorities before giving up on their babies.

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