Tomosaburo Kato and Military Retrenchment
Shingetsu News » Politics
by Michael Penn
1w ago
SNA (Tokyo) — From 1922-1923, Admiral Tomosaburo Kato led the Japanese government. While in principle it was a clear setback for democracy to have a military man and not an elected politician running the administration, Kato skillfully carried out the sensitive tasks of cutting defense budgets and ending some internationally controversial military deployments. Transcript On June 12, 1922, Tomosaburo Kato became prime minister of Japan. As a Navy admiral with no political party connection, he himself had not expected to be asked. It was a setback for Taisho Era democracy. Takashi Hara had work ..read more
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Communist Party Aims for Gender Equity
Shingetsu News » Politics
by Michael Penn
1w ago
SNA (Galesburg) — The Japan Communist Party (JCP) has made another step forward toward becoming the major national political party most committed to gender equity, but it is far from clear this approach will allow it to break into the mainstream. Last month, the 102-year-old party selected Tomoko Tamura to become its top executive. In recent election cycles about half of all JCP candidates have been women, a balance unseen in any of the other national political parties. Making Tamura the face of the party has extended its strategy to try to better appeal to women voters who, after all, make u ..read more
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Takashi Hara and the Wilsonian Challenge
Shingetsu News » Politics
by Michael Penn
3w ago
SNA (Tokyo) — From 1918-1921, Takashi Hara skillfully led Japan’s first modern government which was truly commanded by elected politicians, a major step forward for democracy. Hara’s administration, however, was very cautious and conservative. It exerted much of its effort trying to navigate international challenges unleashed by the Great War and, in particular, by US President Woodrow Wilson. Transcript On September 29, 1918, Takashi Hara became prime minister of Japan. Hara was the true political genius of the Taisho Era. He had played a long and patient game to reach the top office, and he ..read more
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Masatake Terauchi and the Rice Riots
Shingetsu News » Politics
by Michael Penn
3w ago
SNA (Tokyo) — From 1916-1918, General Masatake Terauchi spent a mostly unhappy two years as prime minister of Japan. He successfully carried forward Japan’s involvement in the First World War, but shadows darkened both at home and abroad. The Russian Revolution created a new challenge on the Asian mainland and declining living conditions for ordinary Japanese reached the breaking point. Transcript On October 9, 1916, Masatake Terauchi became prime minister of Japan. He was the second direct protege of Genro Aritomo Yamagata to come to power, and like his predecessor Taro Katsura he was a Chos ..read more
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More Reform Kabuki Over Ruling Party Factions
Shingetsu News » Politics
by Michael Penn
1M ago
SNA (Tokyo) — Stung by its first national election loss, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) declared in 1994 hat it would disband all its factions by the end of the year. When popular reformer Junichiro Koizumi became prime minister in 2001, he declared that the era of LDP factions had passed. These precedents should accurately set expectations for what the current declarations about the end of factions will meaningfully achieve—that is, nothing. That said, there was a genuine prospect that things might be different this time. The public is deeply annoyed with the corruption, and serious lega ..read more
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Shigenobu Okuma and the First World War
Shingetsu News » Politics
by Michael Penn
1M ago
SNA (Tokyo) — From 1914-1916, Shigenobu Okuma made an unlikely return as prime minister, this time establishing a more stable administration in cooperation with the conservative oligarchs. Okuma and his dynamic Foreign Minister Takaaki Kato led the nation into the First World War, which for Japan was a relatively profitable opportunity. Transcript On April 16, 1914, Shigenobu Okuma returned as prime minister of Japan. He was an unexpected choice, the political resurrection of an elderly statesman from the last century who had largely retired. But Kaoru Inoue suggested to his Genro colleagues ..read more
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Gonnohyoe Yamamoto and the Navy Siemens Scandal
Shingetsu News » Politics
by Michael Penn
2M ago
SNA (Tokyo) — In 1913-1914, Admiral Gonnohyoe Yamamoto launched a new era in Japanese politics, bringing the nation one step closer to a democratic form of government. Eventually, however, the Imperial Japanese Navy led the administration into embarrassment. Transcript On February 20, 1913, Gonnohyoe Yamamoto became prime minister of Japan. His administration clearly represented the beginning of a third political era since the launch of the Cabinet system in 1885. The first era, which lasted for sixteen years, was a time in which the Choshu and Satsuma Genro dominated the political scene. The ..read more
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The Flameout of Fireball Fumio
Shingetsu News » Politics
by Michael Penn
2M ago
SNA (Tokyo) — As he desperately tries to survive the ruling party’s political funds scandal, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida declared that he “will act as a fireball at the forefront of the Liberal Democratic Party and work to restore the trust of the people.” Most analysts, however, see this administration in the midst of a spectacular flameout. On the one hand, sweeping all Abe Faction lawmakers out of the Cabinet and the ruling party executive ranks does demonstrate that Kishida understands the gravity of the slush fund scandal. Among the prominent figures sacked in the purge were Chief Cabin ..read more
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Taro Katsura and the Taisho Political Crisis
Shingetsu News » Politics
by Michael Penn
2M ago
SNA (Tokyo) — In 1912-1913, Taro Katsura returned for a third and final term as prime minister, but rather than cool the embers of the Taisho Political Crisis, he unexpectedly pours fuel on the fire. Transcript When Taro Katsura began his third term as prime minister on December 21, 1912, he inherited a smoldering political crisis that many believed only he could deal with. Most were surprised, however, when it turned out that Katsura poured fuel on the fire. The Saionji Cabinet had resigned rather than submit to the budget increase demands of the Imperial Japanese Army. In doing so, they kno ..read more
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Kinmochi Saionji and the Imperial Army Confrontation
Shingetsu News » Politics
by Michael Penn
2M ago
SNA (Tokyo) — From 1911-1912, aristocrat Kinmochi Saionji  returned as prime minister of Japan. Although his government had strong public support, it soon found itself in a budget confrontation with the Imperial Army. Neither side was prepared to back down. Transcript On August 30, 1911, Kinmochi Saionji returned as prime minister of Japan. His second Cabinet looked similar to his first, with Takashi Hara returning to the post of Home Minister. But tensions began to grow more quickly this time, with many voices demanding a reduction in government expenditures, and others calling for high ..read more
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