Japan Wooing the US to Gain Security Council Seat

TOKYO – Brushing aside its failure to win a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) last year, Tokyo is betting on backing the United States and its policies as a means of achieving a goal viewed as key to playing a more active role in global affairs. "A role in the prestigious … Continue reading “Japan Wooing the US to Gain Security Council Seat”

Japan: Bush Reelection Means Even Closer Ties

TOKYO – Japan’s role in the U.S.-led war on terror is expected to grow in the wake of the reelection of U.S. President George W Bush, analysts here say. "The pressure on Japan to get more involved in the American-led war on terrorism is obvious with the reelection of Bush," Azaho Mizushima, professor on constitutional … Continue reading “Japan: Bush Reelection Means Even Closer Ties”

Japanese Hostage’s Beheading Brings Iraq Mandate Into Question

TOKYO – Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi might have won public approval for the country’s troops to stay in Iraq despite the beheading there of a Japanese civilian by Islamic militants. But the big question, however, remains on whether he will get the same level of support needed to extend the troops’ mandate when it … Continue reading “Japanese Hostage’s Beheading Brings Iraq Mandate Into Question”

Iraq Funds Plea Gets Tentative Nod

TOKYO – The desperate plea by Iraq’s interim government for more funds from the international community to help stabilize the country, where bombings, kidnappings and ambushes have become a daily part of life, received a tentative nod of support from donors gathered at a conference here that ended Thursday. "This meeting has put a special … Continue reading “Iraq Funds Plea Gets Tentative Nod”

Deserter’s Hearing Could Expose North Korean Secrets

TOKYO – As the legal drama unfolds soon in the desertion trial of Charles Robert Jenkins, wanted by the U.S. Army for abandoning his patrol, close attention will be paid to his testimony for possible secrets into North Korea – the place where Jenkins made his home for nearly 40 years. Of particular concern to … Continue reading “Deserter’s Hearing Could Expose North Korean Secrets”

Koizumi’s Iraq Policy Faces Test in Elections

TOKYO – Mariko Ishibashi, 26, a company receptionist, has already decided she will not cast her ballot next month in an election that could crucially determine Japan’s deployment of troops to join a multinational force in Iraq. “I am fed-up with Japanese politics,” Ishibashi, who holds a degree in American literature, tells IPS. Candidates in … Continue reading “Koizumi’s Iraq Policy Faces Test in Elections”

Japan Abandoning Postwar Constitution

TOKYO – The commitment made by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the international community that the country’s Self Defense Forces (SDF) would join a planned multinational force in Iraq, has far-reaching implications globally. According to analysts, Japan can now be expected to play a more active role in foreign policy. “Japan has preferred to … Continue reading “Japan Abandoning Postwar Constitution”