JAPAN celebrates new Prime Minister, Mari Yamaguchi


japan_mapJapan Government 



Country name

  • conventional long form: none
  • conventional short form: Japan
  • local long form: Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku
  • local short form: Nihon/Nippon

Government type

  • a parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy


  • name: Tokyo
  • geographic coordinates: 35 41 N, 139 45 E
  • time difference: UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

47 prefectures; Aichi, Akita, Aomori, Chiba, Ehime, Fukui, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Gifu, Gunma, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Iwate, Kagawa, Kagoshima, Kanagawa, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kyoto, Mie, Miyagi, Miyazaki, Nagano, Nagasaki, Nara, Niigata, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Osaka, Saga, Saitama, Shiga, Shimane, Shizuoka, Tochigi, Tokushima, Tokyo, Tottori, Toyama, Wakayama, Yamagata, Yamaguchi, Yamanashi


20 years of age; universal


Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, holding flowers, bows as he leaves the prime minister’s office in Tokyo today, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012.

yoshihiko noda, leaving office today Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, holding flowers, bows as he leaves the prime minister’s office in Tokyo, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. Photo: Kyodo News / AP


JAPAN celebrates Shinzo Abe as new Prime Minister, Mari Yamaguchi

TOKYO (AP) — Shinzo Abe took office as Japan’s seventh prime minister in six years Wednesday and vowed to overcome the deep-rooted economic and diplomatic crises facing his country.

Abe was elected as Japan’s leader hours earlier Wednesday, bringing back to power the conservative, pro-business Liberal Democratic Party that governed for most of the post-World War II era. It replaces the liberal-leaning government of the Democratic Party of Japan that lasted three years.

“A strong economy is the source of energy for Japan. Without regaining a strong economy, there is no future for Japan,” Abe told his first news conference after becoming prime minister for the second time.

Calling his administration a “crisis breakthrough Cabinet,” Abe promised to launch bold economic measures to pull Japan out of deflation. He also vowed to step up an alliance with the United States to stabilize Japan’s diplomacy shaken by increasing territorial threats from its neighbors.

Abe, whose nationalist positions have in the past angered Japan’s neighbors, was also prime minister in 2006-2007 before resigning for health reasons that he says are no longer an issue.

The outspoken and often hawkish leader has promised to restore growth to an economy that has been struggling for 20 years. His new administration also faces souring relations with China and a complex debate over whether resource-poor Japan should wean itself off nuclear energy after last year’s earthquake and tsunami caused a meltdown at an atomic power plant.

On top of that, he will have to win over a public that gave his party a lukewarm mandate in elections on Dec. 16, along with keeping at bay a still-powerful opposition in parliament. Though his party and its Buddhist-backed coalition partner is the biggest bloc in the more influential lower house, Abe actually came up short in the first round of voting in the upper house, then won in a runoff.

Capitalizing on voter discontent with the Democratic Party of Japan, Abe has vowed to shore up the economy, deal with a swelling national debt and come up with a fresh recovery plan following last year’s tsunami disaster, which set off the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

shinzo abe bows

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe bows after being named Japan’s new prime minister during the plenary session at the lower house of Parliament in Tokyo, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. Photo: Itsuo Inouye / AP

Abe promised to launch bold economic measures, and mobile financial steps and strategies to encourage investment. The rise of Abe, whose nationalist positions have in the past angered Japan’s neighbors, ends more than three years at the helm for the left-leaning Democratic Party of Japan and brings back the conservative, pro-big business LDP that governed for most of the post-World War II era.

“We must recover a Japan where hardworking people can feel that there is a better tomorrow,” he said.

Abe is expected to push for a 2 percent inflation target designed to fight deflation. Continually dropping prices deaden economic activity, a situation the Japanese economy has been stuck in for two decades.

Besides generous promises to boost public works spending — by as much as 10 trillion yen ($119 billion), according to party officials — Abe is pressuring the central bank to work more closely with the government to reach the inflation target.

In foreign policy, Abe has stressed his desire to make Japan a bigger player on the world stage, a stance that has resonated with many voters who are concerned that their nation is taking a back seat economically and diplomatically to China.

He has said he will support a reinterpretation of Japan’s pacifist postwar constitution to loosen the reins on the military, stand up to Beijing over an ongoing territorial dispute and strengthen Tokyo’s security alliance with Washington. Beijing has already warned him to tread carefully, and will be watching closely to see if he tones down his positions now that he is in office.

“Japan’s national security faces a clear and present danger,” Abe said, referring to intensifying territorial disputes around the Japanese seas, and renewed his campaign promise to protect the safety of the people of Japan and its territory.

“Japan must strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance, the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy,” Abe said.

His new Cabinet features another former prime minister, Taro Aso, as finance minister. Heading the foreign ministry is Fumio Kishida, an expert on the southern island of Okinawa, where many residents upset over crime and overcrowding want a big reduction in the number of U.S. troops they host — now at about 20,000. The new defense minister is Itsunori Onodera, who was in Abe’s previous administration.

WHERE are the Women?

The LDP governed Japan for decades after it was founded in 1955. Before it was ousted in 2009, the LDP was hobbled by scandals and problems getting key legislation through a divided parliament.
AP writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.

Source: Associated Press via Greenwich Times

FIVE YEARS AGO tomorrow, Japan made promises to “put more women in top level government posts and …” and this new prime minister is yet to show the world ‘how’ this plan will finally Take Action.

Since 1991, there have been statements and strategy, now is the time for Action.


Women’s rights situation in Japan, ONE WOMAN reported.


National Women’s Education Center, from 1977 – 2011 – a history to remember and grow from. From the former National Women’s Education Center to Independent Administrative Institution-National Women’s Education Center

Japan plans to put more women in government – 2005 – this was ‘in planning’ over 7 years ago ???

The Japanese government Tuesday endorsed a set of measures that would put more women in top level government posts and provide more support for working moms. The plan, approved at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, aims to raise the percentage of women recruited to the government’s top level career track to about 30 percent by fiscal 2010, from the current 21.5 percent.

It allows women working full-time in the central government to work shorter hours while raising children or caring for family members and urges male civil servants to take paternity leave, according to the plan posted on the Cabinet Office Web site. The plan is a follow-up to the government’s Gender Equality Basic Plan, first introduced in 2000, and also urges companies to rehire women who left their jobs after giving birth.

The government will come up with measures to support female entrepreneurs by providing information on how to start a business and introducing mentors, according to the plan. The endorsement comes as the nation faces a declining birth rate, hitting a record low in 2004 of 1.29 children per woman. Japan also faces a serious labor shortage in the coming years as its population ages, prompting discussions of bringing more female workers and immigrants into the work place.

Gender equality is a major issue in Japan, where men hold most of senior managerial jobs in companies and women often quit work after they give birth for lack of child care centers. Japan ranks 43rd among 80 countries in the Gender Empowerment Measure index, according to the United Nations human development report 2005.

The index evaluates whether or not women are able to participate actively in economic and political activities and take part in decision-making by calculating women’s share of earned income, the ratio of female professional and technical workers, the ratio of female administrators and managers, and the ratio of seats in parliament held by women, reports the AP. N.U.

27.12.2005 | Source: Pravda.Ru

“WILL full restitution and respect ever be issued to the ‘comfort women’ of JAPAN?

JAPAN women-10-horizontal-gallery‘Comfort Women’ were women and girls forced into a prostitution corps created by the Empire of Japan.

The name “comfort women” is a translation of a Japanese name ianfu (慰安婦). Ianfu is a euphemism for shōfu (娼婦) whose meaning is “prostitute(s)”.

While the earliest reporting on the issue in South Korea affirmed that it was a voluntary force, since 1989 a small number of women have come forward testifying that they were kidnapped by Imperial Japanese soldiers. The comfort women issue has become an important point in Japan’s foreign relations.

Historians such as Lee Yeong-Hun and Ikuhiko Hata affirm that the recruitment of comfort women was voluntary. Other historians, using the testimony of ex-comfort women and surviving Japanese soldiers have argued that the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were either directly or indirectly involved in coercing, deceiving, luring, and sometimes kidnapping young women throughout Japan’s occupied territories.

japan-comfort-women-2010-11-10-0-20-31Estimates vary as to how many women were involved, with numbers ranging from as low as 20,000 from some Japanese scholars to as high as 410,000 from some Chinese scholars, but the exact numbers are still being researched and debated.

A majority of the women were from Korea, China, Japan and the Philippines, although women from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and other Japanese-occupied territories were used for military “comfort stations”. Stations were located in Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, then Malaya, Thailand, then Burma, then New Guinea, Hong Kong, Macau, and what was then French Indochina.

According to testimony, young women from countries under Japanese Imperial control were abducted from their homes. In many cases, women were also lured with promises of work in factories or restaurants. Once recruited, the women were incarcerated in “comfort stations” in foreign lands. A Dutch government study described how the Japanese military itself recruited women by force in the Dutch East Indies.

Question to the honorable Shinzo Abe:

Where are your ‘statements of planning’ to add more women into your new Cabinet?”


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