January 18, 2013 |
This month 75 years ago, the people of Nanking, China's ancient capital city, were in the midst of one of the worst atrocities in history, the infamous Rape of Nanking. The truth of what actually happened is at the center of a bitter dispute between China and Japan that continues to play out in present-day relations. Many Chinese see Japan's election last month of ultraconservative nationalist Shinzo Abe as prime minister as just the latest in a string of insults. And it was recently reported that Japan is considering rolling back its 1993 apology regarding "comfort women," the thousands of women the Japanese army sexually enslaved during World War II. In 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army, captured Nanking on Dec. 13. No one knows the exact toll the Japanese soldiers exacted on its citizens, but a postwar Allied investigation put the numbers at more than 200,000 killed and at least 20,000 women and girls raped in the six weeks after the city fell.
January 11, 2013 |
Japan's new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has announced plans to revise his country's famous pacifist constitutional provision, Article 9, which renounces "war as a sovereign right of the nation. " On the surface, Abe's proposal may seem merely symbolic, suggesting that he simply wants to add an explicit recognition of the country's right to military self- defense. Since Japan has long maintained "self-defense" forces, the predictable expressions of concern in foreign capitals may seem overblown.
December 16, 2012 |
Japan's conservative former ruling party made a dramatic comeback in elections Sunday, riding a wave of anxiety about rising China and economic stagnation. The resounding victory of the Liberal Democratic Party will put Shinzo Abe, a former prime minister, back in power, where he is likely to pursue a tougher stance toward China and prevent the nation from abandoning nuclear energy, despite last year's disaster at Fukshima. Exit polls by major Japanese broadcasters gave the Liberal Democratic Party 296 seats in Japan's 480-seat lower house, while its ally, the New Komeito Party, was projected to win 32. That would give them the two-thirds majority needed to overrule the upper house, perhaps breaking the deadlocks that have long stymied Japanese governments.
December 16, 2012 |
TOKYO - The conservative party that dominated postwar Japan was returned to power, after a three-year absence, in a landslide election victory Sunday that will result in hawkish Shinzo Abe returning as prime minister. Abe, 58, who served in the post once before, is likely to pursue a tougher stance toward China and prevent his nation from abandoning nuclear energy. The Liberal Democratic Party was projected by national broadcaster NHK to win 294 out of 480 seats in Japan's lower house, while an ally, the New Komeito Party, had a projected 31. That would give them the two-thirds majority needed to overrule the upper house, perhaps breaking deadlocks that have long stymied Japanese governments.
December 15, 2012 |
Elections on Sunday are expected to return former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe to power, a hawk by the standards of restrained Japan. The nation's apparent rightward swing has spurred concerns that a victorious Abe might attempt one of his most controversial quests: undoing Japan's constitutional ban on waging war. Predictions that Abe and his right-wing party will win are a result of the Japanese right profiting politically from disillusionment with...
September 2, 2008 |
For the second time in a year, a struggling Japanese prime minister has unexpectedly quit, leaving the country politically adrift as it struggles to deal with a deadlocked parliament and worsening economy. Yasuo Fukuda, 72, appeared to blindside his party Monday, saying he would resign as soon as a new leader was picked. He blamed what he saw as an obstructionist opposition party for his departure, but offered no clear explanation for his timing. "I have decided to step down so as not to create a political vacuum," he told a hastily called news conference.