Japan pushes for Security Council seat

Wired News
….This [Security Council] proposal [for new seats] is supported by countries which have little chance for permanent membership and oppose leading contenders….
….Any change of the council membership needs approval from two-thirds of the 191-member General Assembly and no veto from the council’s permanent members.
Britain, France and Russia have indicated their support of Germany, Brazil, India and Japan. China has doubts about Japan, which pays nearly as much in dues as the United States.
The Bush administration has pointedly refrained from supporting Germany, which opposed the Iraq war, speaking only of support for Japan…..

Koizumi’s Aide Linked to Crime Syndicate

Investigative reporters left in the lurchFCCJ : The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan by Benjamin Fulford
Friday magazine came to me with photographic evidence showing that Kiyoshi Takeuchi, the man who ran Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s election committee for decades, was a member of the Inagawa crime syndicate. They wanted the photographs held for safe keeping.
Friday has a brave team of reporters who have risked their lives to demonstrate, with evidence that would stand up in court, links between Japan’s current Prime Minister and a yakuza crime syndicate.
Unfortunately, the magazine has been under such pressure that they have finally given up trying to report this issue further…..

Bilateral ties bug Japan

KYODO NEWS
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met in Vientiane on Tuesday to discuss bilateral ties, which have been warming up on the economic front but cooling off on the political front, as well as the issue of North Korea…..
With China mentioning signs of improvement in their relations, the focus will be on whether Koizumi and Wen can narrow the gap over a long-running dispute on sensitive historical issues, which has been exacerbated by the Japanese leader’s repeated visits to the war-related Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

Japan pushing for more whaling and repeal of the whaling ban

Yahoo! News – Whaling Commission debates possible repeal of whaling ban
….Sweden called the meeting in an attempt to negotiate a compromise between pro-whaling nations like Iceland, Japan and Norway, which are determined to lift a 1986 IWC moratorium on commercial whaling, and countries that staunchly oppose the practice like Australia and Britain…..

Japanese public evenly spilt on support of Class-A war criminal shrine

asahi.com : English
Public opinion is split over whether Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi should continue his visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, an Asahi Shimbun poll conducted over the weekend shows.
Asked whether Koizumi should continue to visit Yasukuni, 38 percent of those polled said yes, and 39 percent said no.

Japanese carmakers “speak softly and wield a big stick”

Bloomberg.com: Japan
“In the past, the Japanese automakers would defer to Detroit on auto issues, even when it wasn’t in their best interest,” said Brian O’Neill, president of the Arlington, Virginia-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which works with automakers on legislative issues. “Now they’re being much more assertive, and their confidence is growing in line with their increase in U.S. plants.”
Already this year, Toyota and Honda used their influence to obtain from Congress an extension of tax credits that favor their hybrid-electric autos over those produced by U.S. companies. And Nissan earned a waiver from a rule relating to fuel-economy standards for its cars.

China and Japan push for control of an ‘east Asian’ Summit

FT.com / World / Asia-Pacific – Members agree to hold ‘East Asian’ summit
South-east Asian countries have agreed to hold an East Asia summit in Malaysia next year with China, Japan and South Korea, a move that could eventually shift the leadership of regional economic and security co- operation from south-east Asia to China.

The 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) already hold an annual joint meeting with the three north Asian countries. But an East Asia summit would mean China, Japan and Korea could play a large role in driving the pace and agenda of regional dialogue.

Half of the Chinese population hates Japanese, duh

Half Chinese don’t feel “close” to Japanese: survey – Xinhuanet
BEIJING, Nov. 29 (Xinhuanet) — More than half of the Chinese people do not feel close with their neighbor Japan, mostly because Japan has not “seriously reflected” on its invasion of China five decades ago, according to a survey made by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Japan works on war crimes

FENA News
SARAJEVO, November 29 (FENA) – The Government of Japan has decided to provide support to the UNDP Project %u201CSupport to the establishment of War Crimes Chamber in BiH%u201D by utilizing US$ 500,000 from the Japan/UNDP Trust Fund for BiH, was announced on Monday by the Embassy of Japan and UNDP.

The Project will encompass three main components, including training of all legal professionals involved in the prosecution of war crimes cases in BiH.