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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.
The AFP reports that Japanese students “rush for English-language education,” which would be a dramatic reversal of the trend of the past few years among young people to show less interest in foreign countries and cultures. The article features ridiculous quotes by novelist Minae Mizumura.
(by Tobias Harris) – With the DPJ’s prospects on the rise and the LDP mired in what may be terminal disarray, the DPJ is receiving greater scrutiny when it comes to how the party will govern should it take power.
She is the dramatic symbol of the Iranian protest, Neda Agha-Soltan, the 26-year old woman who was shot dead by an unknown sniper. The man who captured the horrifying images of her final minutes, sent the video to an Iranian friend applying for political asylum in the Netherlands, who subsequently sent it into the world.
Amid growing concern about food safety and the nation’s low food self-sufficiency ratio, agriculture has recently attracted a lot of attention in Japan. Here we would like to give an overview of the current situation of the nation’s food supply and agriculture, and outline some new trends and future prospects. The increasing interest in agriculture centers around three major issues: the low percentage of food self-sufficiency, the deterioration of farming communities, and food safety concerns.