Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 24, 2008; Volume 04, Number 35

December 24, 2008; Volume 04, Number 35

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Click here for a transcript of today's program

Thanks for dropping by again today. And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours from all of us. I hope you have just the sort of year-end holidays you have been wishing for.

Today's Christmas eve. Only Wednesday. Earlier than usual this week, because of certain Holiday confusion from tomorrow onward. It may be a while before I even get this posted to the Net!

Today we begin by considering Japan's struggle with response to the U.N.'s call for support for the international Somalian antipiracy campaign. Once again Tokyo is forced to confront the thorny problem of collective self defense. And it appears to be no easier this year for Prime Minister Aso than it was for Prime Minister Abe.

Then we turn to domestic politics again to follow the "Trials of Taro." Whose position appears to be more and more difficult, if possible. Both the Traditionalists and the Reformists have intensified pressure on him. This week we focus on Yoshimi Watanabe's Lower House vote today for the Opposition-proposed dissolution resolution. And its significance for Japan's domestic politics. Quite a dramatic event.

As always, please continue to send your comments and suggestions to me at They make excellent reading. And help me to plan future programs. Even if you don't receive a reply, you can be sure that I've read and considered your note.