Insights | Nagatacho Update

GoJ to Launch New Organization on Trade Negotiations

According to the Nikkei Shimbun, the Government of Japan (GoJ) plans to launch a new organization on trade negotiations. Upon the inauguration of the new US administration, President Trump officially withdrew from the TPP agreement and accused Japan for not purchasing enough American automobiles. Japan is now rather forced to change the trade strategies, for fear of the trade friction.  For more details, please visit the article on the Nikkei Shimbun from the link below (Japanese only).


Diplomatic Issues Stressed in PM Abe's Policy Speech

In his policy speech delivered today, Prime Minister Abe indicated his efforts to survive the expected drastic changes in the world by emphasizing on challenges in diplomatic issues, such as the Japan-US alliance, the Northern Territories, and TPP. He also expressed his intentions to work on constitutional revision and the working-style reforms at this ordinary Diet session, in order to "pave the way for better future".

Obstacles may await Ordinary Diet session

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may face the robust discussions and challenging tasks during the 193rd ordinary Diet session, which will be convened tomorrow, 20 January. Among 86 bills to be submitted, a few of them, such as a bill on the imperial abdication and a so-called "conspiracy bill", are expected to cause turbulence between the ruling and opposition parties.

PM Abe pledges his continuous focus on economy in 2017

As the year of 2017 starts, Prime Minister Abe published his New Year's reflection, expressing his continuous focus and efforts on the economic growth. He also clarifies his interest in the Constitution, since 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of it coming into force, and positions the year as a threshold to pave the way for future. For the complete text, please visit the Cabinet Secretariat's website from the link below. 

DP Selects Renho as New Leader

The Democratic Party (DP), Japan's main opposition party, chose Renho as its new leader today.  Renho, who previously served as a deputy leader of the party and a third-term member at the House of Councillors, gained almost 60% of the votes and defeated other two candidates, Seiji Maehara, a former leader of the Democratic Party of Japan (now the DP) and former minister of Foreign Affairs, and Yuichiro Tamaki, a member of the House of Representatives.

Extraordinary Diet Session to Open on 26 Sept.

Prime Minister Abe's office and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) agreed to open an extraordinary diet session on 26 September, according to the media. Considering the volume of the continuous issues, it was said that PM Abe wished the session to be convened by mid-September, mainly in order to introduce a bill to ratify TPP before the U.S. presidential election. However, they decided to push the date later due to the leadership election of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) scheduled on 15 September. For more details, please read an article on NIkkei Asian Review linked below.

Cabinet Reshuffle: List of New Ministers

According to NHK, Prime Minister Abe has determined his new cabinet to support his growth strategy, retaining the key ministers.  It was initially rumored that the reshuffle could be significant this time; however, Abe opted for stability over surprise and only 10 out of 18 ministers will be changed. Among the newcomers, Tomomi Inada, his hawkish ally who is expected to be appointed as Minister of Defense, is drawing extra attentions from China and South Korea. The official appointment shall be announced later today.

New Tokyo Governor Koike Ready for Great Reform

Yuriko Koike, who won the Tokyo gubernatorial election on Sunday, had a press conference today as she kicked off her term. She pledged to reform the metropolitan government and emphasized her initiatives for transparency and information disclosure, aiming for the better budget control over the 2020 Olympics. For more details, please refer to NHK World's coverage linked below.