JPN Education Reform Watch - D. McNeill article on Shinto organizations shows the fastest route to moral power is through being certifiably nuts http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/11/23/national/politics-diplomacy/back-to-the-future-shintos-growing-influence-in-politics/#.VHPU64uUe30So the father of the current Shinto Seiji Renmei chair was the chief priest at Yasukuni. I had no idea. Kind of undermines the excuse sampai apologists always toss out that Yasukuni is an independent religious corporation unconnected to the national management organizations for the shrines.
Trying this again - check out Rikki Kersten's sharp look at the Dec 14 JPN House of Reps election http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2014/11/21/Shinzo-Abe-risks-ire-of-disaffected-voters.aspx via @LowyInstitutePuts the matter more succintly and acidly than anyone else so far
Japan Diplomacy Watch - I cannot wait to read actual texts of the query put to the Abe Cabinet and the Cabinet's reply on the non-agreement with China http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-11/22/c_133807413.htm
Japanese voters see no way of expressing disastifaction with Abe gov't (J) http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXLASFS23H1W_T21C14A1PE8000/ but you knew that…
In Japan's one bastion of mildly violent feudal obesity, a Mongolian giant now shares record with a half-Ukranian giant http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001741205
Japan Nuclear - Why must it take until next summer for LDP to proposed a best energy mix for the country? (J) http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXLASFS23H13_T21C14A1PE8000/
I actually watch the Nichiyo Toron debate described in the last link. I spent the whole time cringing at the responses from the various policy chairs. Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council Chair Inada Tomomi's tone, pitch and speed were so over the top that opposition panelists wavered between shaking their heads in amazement and breaking out in laughter. As her counterparts from the main opposition parties were men, however, they kept their reactions in check, not wishing to appear to be sexist pigs.
The following two articles have serious compositional problems, which is too bad as they are trying to introduce tough subjects in a balanced way:
JPN Labor Watch - terrible half-article on under-supervised foreign trainee program. Problems serious; article not http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/23/national/japan-sanctioning-mass-slave-labor-via-foreign-trainee-program/#.VHPWU4uUe30Dr. Mireya Solis writes a strong essay on two main competing free trade areas for the Asia-Pacific. The final attempt to rouse Americans from their torpor on the Trans Pacific Partnership seems misplaced, though: if China is interested in free trade and pushes its agenda in its region, where’s the negative? The U.S. should not have to be and should not be on the forefront of everything.
Fractured Ito Masami article on limits of Abe's Womenomics demonstrates difficulty of framing abstract with concrete http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2014/11/22/lifestyle/can-women-really-shine-abe/#.VHIZiSGChtQ
China flexes its muscles at APEC with the revival of FTAAP - http://goo.gl/updtDU