I suppose one might call this the "Japan-U.S. News Report."
- Tobias Harris has a pair of highly readable posts, one on the Democratic Party of Japan's possibly pointless attempts to wrestle the bureaucracy to the ground through control of the recruitment and placement of personnel and the other on the increasingly weird union of fiscal restraint and unbridled nationalism that is "Stand Up, Japan!"
- David Fedman offers a first glance at the executive summary of this year's Diplomatic Blue Book.
- Political campaign strategist Doug Turner, the 2005-06 Hitachi Fellow who spent a year inside DPJ headquarters being largely ignored by the folks there* has switched roles and is running for the Republican nomination for Governor of New Mexico.
When one looks at the historical list of Hitachi's International Affairs Fellowships recipients, the program seems to have a pretty significant hit rate. Michael Schiffer is now Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia & Pacific Security Affairs. Robert Dujarric is the head of the Center for Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University, Japan. Frank Januzzi is the principal staff member for East Asian affairs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and said to be on the short list for a number of U.S. Administration posts...and that is just the folks I know.
* Doug Turner's spouse, Dr. Mala Htun, was a 2006-2007 Hitachi Fellow, studying the Government of Japan's changing approaches to the needs of women.