President Obama’s Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Abe of Japan | The White House
Japan and United States Reaffirm Their Close Ties | NYTimes.com
Mr. Abe also seemed to move closer to committing Japan to join the United States and other Pacific Rim nations in negotiating the regional free-trade agreement — and in a way that seemed intended to satisfy both leaders’ separate domestic political concerns. The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership has been a priority of Mr. Obama’s economic and foreign policy agenda since late 2011.
While Mr. Abe’s advisers have said he has personally favored joining the talks, in keeping with his emphasis on an economic stimulus program that has become known as “Abenomics” in Tokyo, he faces domestic political risks: Mr. Abe regained office less than two months ago, and his party faces critical parliamentary elections in July, when it will need the support of rice farmers skeptical of more open markets.
In a joint statement, the two governments agreed that if Japan does participate in the trade talks, there would be no exemptions stopping discussions on any products, a starting point the United States had insisted upon. But the statement also recognized “that both countries have bilateral trade sensitivities, such as certain agricultural products for Japan and certain manufactured products for the United States” and held that Japan would not have to commit to ending all tariffs upon joining the talks. Even so, the goal of the trade talks is a comprehensive agreement that eliminates tariffs.
With Japan still the world’s third-largest economy despite two decades of economic weakness, its participation in the negotiations is considered all but essential to any agreement’s success. But the Obama administration had opposed any exemptions or preconditions to secure Tokyo’s entry, especially given the opposition of American agricultural and manufacturing interests, including automakers.
A response to the leaders’ joint statement from Representative Sander M. Levin of Michigan testified to the skepticism within Mr. Obama’s party. “There must be a clear, concrete understanding that before Japan would join the T.P.P. negotiations that those negotiations would result in a real change in Japan’s policies and practices,” Mr. Levin said, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Obama, Japanese prime minister pledge to seek strong action against North Korea | The Washington Post
Friday’s meeting was an opportunity for the U.S. to gauge Tokyo’s intent to join negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regionwide free trade pact being pushed by Washington. Abe held back from such a commitment, which is opposed by most of his party and Japan’s small but politically powerful farming lobby, at least until after key elections in July for the upper house.
In a joint statement following the meeting, the two leaders agreed to continue their talks about Japan’s “possible interest” in joining the trade pact, known as the TPP. But they agreed that concerns remained, particularly with respect to the automotive and insurance sectors.
The U.S. and Japanese leaders also discussed the question of Japan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new U.S.-led free trade group.
Speaking through a translator, Abe said he will discuss the proposal with his political coalition when he returns to Tokyo.
“And based on that, whether to decide to take part in the negotiation, it should be left to the government and we would like the parties concerned to leave this to us,” he said.
US and Japan leaders affirm security alliance | Al Jazeera English
In a joint statement following the meeting, the two leaders agreed to continue their talks about Japan’s “possible interest” in joining the trade pact, known as the TPP.
But they agreed that concerns remained, particularly with respect to the automotive and insurance sectors.
Japanese foreign policy: Down-turn Abe | The Economist
オバマ勝因はデータマイニング：Obama’s Data-Driven Campaign @Time | Long Tail World
Tarnished Silver: Assessing the new king of stats | Macleans.ca
Nate Silver and PECOTA | Daring Fireball
Election Forecasts – FiveThirtyEight Blog | NYTimes.com
In Nate We Trust | Daring Fireball
Shinzo Abe Elected to Lead Japan’s Opposition Party | NYTimes.com
Shinzo Abe, a nationalist former prime minister, was elected to lead Japan’s main opposition party on Wednesday, giving him a chance of regaining the nation’s top job — a prospect that could worsen the country’s tense relations with China and its other Asian neighbors.
Ex-PM wins Japan opposition party vote | Al Jazeera English
Japanese Prime Minister Faces Setback on Tax Increase | NYTimes.com
Ozawa Leaves Japan’s Ruling Party | WSJ.com
Dozens of MPs quit Japan party over tax rise | Al Jazeera English
Japan PM wins crucial vote to raise sales tax | Al Jazeera English
Japan’s Lower House Passes Tax Bill | WSJ.com
Tax Revolt Threatens Japan PM’s Tenure | WSJ.com
Japan’s Ex-Premier, Naoto Kan, Condemns Nuclear Power | NYTimes.com
「最大の責任は国に」＝菅前首相が陳謝―注水中断「理解できぬ」・国会事故調 | WSJ日本版
Japan ex-PM apologises for Fukushima failure | Al Jazeera English
2012/05/28 第16回 国会 東京電力福島原子力発電所事故調査委員会 参考人：菅直人議員 | IWJ Independent Web Journal
事故調で他人事のように語る面々が、私をあの日へと引き戻す。 | 二重生活中の福島市民
The indecision of Naoto Kan | FT.com
Lee Kuan Yew Leaves Singapore’s Cabinet | NYTimes.com
“A younger generation wants to be more engaged in the decisions which affect them,” they said. “After a watershed general election, we have decided to leave the cabinet and have a completely younger team of ministers to connect to and engage with this young generation.”
After the election, ruling party leaders said they were surprised at the level of resentment some voters felt toward the government for its perceived arrogance.
リー・クアンユー顧問相辞任へ | NHKニュース
シンガポール顧問相 リー・クアンユー氏 都市国家築いた「導師」 | 日本経済新聞