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The Japan Tourism Agency is offering prizes to people who invite their family and friends to visit Japan. With a goal of getting 10 million tourists to visit Japan in 2010, the agency has launched a two-month campaign centered around the Live Japan! campaign site.
US President Obama’ first visit to Japan today is attracting much attention. Many political changes affecting the US-Japan Alliance have taken place in both countries as well as Asia. Washington especially frets about the new Japanese government seeking a more independent course. Here are some links to articles with thought-provoking observations about the relationship and today’s meeting.
The elections that take place in Japan today could possibly become one of the most important in the history of the country. “The elections are about the shape that Japan must take,” says Masakazu Uchino, chief editor of the Japanese magazine Weekly Economist. “It is probably the first time in the history of Japan that voters have this choice.”
Election day has finally come to Japan. Although Japanese election campaigns only last for two weeks, this time it felt like it lasted several years. Since the Democratic Party Japan (DPJ) won a majority in the Upper House in July 2007, expectations have been rising for an opposition victory in the more powerful Lower House, still controlled by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
The DPJ this week published its manifesto for the August 30 Lower House elections. It makes for very interesting reading if you are interested in changing Japan’s political landscape.
Japanese Prime Minister Aso announced Lower House elections earlier today. Last Saturday he still insisted that elections would not be announced any time soon, but the LDP’s historic loss at yesterday’s elections for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly seems to have changed his mind.
Last December Al Jazeera English broadcast a documentary about homeless in Osaka, an issue that I have also been covering since 1995. The Al Jazeera announcer mistakenly claims that the issue is ignored by Japanese media—it is more that the issue is barely known abroad. This is therefore a good introduction into an issue that has plagued Japanese society for many generations. Christian social activist Toyohiko Kagawa already fought the problem as early as the 1920s.