Feb 03 2017

Trump & Tokyo

Category: Japan News,UncategorizedIchiban @ 8:56 am

Tokyo on fire discuss Trump!

Check it out.

Like a groggy grizzly bear, Tokyo on Fire is back from hibernation in 2017! Are you ready for extra innings of inside baseball? We sure are!

This year’s Tokyo on Fire starts with looking at the US-Japan relationship, which is either huger than ever or on the skids depending on which pundit you ask. With the Japanese media already heavily reporting on President Trump moving into the White House and implementing many gold curtains (and some executive orders), the Tokyo visit of the new U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis will be closely watched. What’s the outlook for US-Japan cooperation in 2017?

In Tokyo, Governor Yuriko Koike is on a political crusade to conquer the upcoming Metropolitan Assembly elections to accelerate the demise of her enemies in the LDP old boys’ club. Her latest maneuver has broken all precedents and seems to be a slam dunk: she’s fielding 40 candidates as if she were starting a new political party, despite still being a member of the LDP. Will she succeed or will the old boys get their revenge? What’s going to happen in the Tokyo Met. Assembly elections?

The LDP-Komeito alliance, which has existed for the past 16 years, could be coming towards an end in the next national election. What’s the beef? If they part ways, what does this mean for the vitality of both parties?

As of last year, Prime Minister Abe seemed to be the only viable candidate for the PM post, and this was even further reinforced by the LDP’s decision to allow him a 3rd term to stay in power. However, the beginning of 2017 has shaken this up: it looks as if a new contender has emerged. Is post-Abe happening sooner rather than later?

Join Timothy Langley and Michael Cucek in 2017’s first Tokyo on Fire!

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Dec 16 2013

Norika Fujiwara Secret Out of the Bag

Category: Japan Entertainment,Japan NewsIchiban @ 3:09 am

Fujiwara breaks TV taboo, slams secrets bill

BY MAGDALENA OSUMI

STAFF WRITER

Norika Fujiwara has broken an unwritten rule of the television business: sharing her political views. The popular model and actress has come out against a bill that stiffens penalties against civil servants who leak classified information.

Writing on her website, Fujiwara, 42, said passing such a law would adversely affect citizens and encouraged her fans to pressure the government to kill the bill, which the Diet will take up in an extraordinary session scheduled to open Oct. 15.

In a message posted on Friday, Fujiwara accused the government of covering up the truth about the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant, and spreading misinformation about radiation and leaks of radioactive water there.

“As a citizen I am really concerned about it,” Fujiwara wrote in another message. “Our nation has a right to know.”

Fujiwara joins the Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association in opposing the bill as a violation of the right to freedom of speech that will undermine Japan’s democracy.

“Once the bill is signed, the people who will write the truth on the Internet (or through other means) will be punished,” she stressed. “When I think of all the consequences that it will lead to, it really bothers me.”

In a message posted soon after the International Olympic Committee picked Tokyo to host the 2020 Games, Fujiwara said she was hopeful the duty would prompt the government to tackle the radiation crisis head-on.

Fujiwara revealed that she had also used the government’s public comment system to voice her opinion to the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office.

However, she complained that the public comment system only gives citizens two weeks to provide their opinions on implementing the law.

Fujiwara also provided detailed information on her website on how to contact the government, and encouraged her fans to send in their own opinions by Internet, fax or mail.

Fujiwara, who has been involved in charity activities in Japan and elsewhere as the PR ambassador for the Japanese Red Cross Society, recently made her eight visit to areas damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

In May, the actress received a special award at the Nikkei Social Initiative Awards ceremony, held by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, for her contributions to society.

However, she is not the first TV celebrity to expose herself to criticism by expressing her opinions.

After speaking out against nuclear power in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, actor and activist Taro Yamamoto lost a part in a TV series, and another show he appeared on cut to a commercial in the midst of his political commentary.

Yamamoto was elected to the Upper House in July after vowing to rid Japan of atomic power.

Secrets protection bill placed in Mori’s hands

Jiji

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday to put Masako Mori, minister for measures against the declining birthrate, in charge of a state secrets protection bill.

Abe said the goal is to submit the bill at the extraordinary Diet session to be convened Oct. 15.

The bill would stiffen penalties for public officials who leak confidential information.norika_fujiwara274

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