Friday, May 26, 2006

Volume 02, Number 20.

Click here for the audio file for today's program.

Click here for a transcript of today's program.

Thanks for joining me again this week. Your interest is what keeps this program going. Please continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at I read them all and get valuable ideas for future programs.

Go to the Japan Considered Project website at for additional reference material concerning Japan's domestic politics and international relations.

This week we begin with a look at preparations for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to Washington, D.C. at the end of June, and what the preparations for the visit tell us about changes in Japan's behavior as an international actor.

Then we consider the events and significance of Foreign Minister Taro Aso's meetings with his foreign ministerial counterparts from Mainland China and South Korea earlier this week. With some background on the evolution of Japan's relationship with Mainland China.

And finally, I provide some more background on the conduct and significance of the contest to succeed Koizumi as president of the Liberal Democratic Party. LDP presidential contests are no longer what they used to be. And that's significant for the LDP, and for Japan.

Take a look at the new interview with Chinese/Japanese translator, Thomas Coffee, in the Japan Considered Interviews section. Tom is one of the very few Americans qualified to translate professionally from both Chinese and Japanese into English. As his interview demonstrates, he's as modest as he is good. He shares his insights into this important aspect of Japan studies, and also tells us which tools on the Web he finds most useful in his work. So enjoy.