Monthly Archives: February 2014

J.A.A.Stockwin on Japan party politics

In most democracies the prospect of a change of government following a general election is seen as part of the normal political process, but in Japan this has not been the case. Elections are not rigged in Japan. Procedures for voting and for counting votes are meticulous. There have been problems of malapportionment between different electoral districts but this has hardly been the principal cause of long-term LDP rule since the 1980s. Japan is unusual in combing a democratic and reasonably fair electoral system with the political dominance of a single party for a longer period than in other modern democracy.

J.A.A.Stockwin, Party Politics in Japan, in Takashi Inoguchi & Purnendra Jain ed. Japanese Politics Today: from Koraoke to Kabuki Democracy. Palgrave Macmillam 2011. page 90.


how to write an argumentative essay?


  1. Proofread! You should not have spelling or grammatical errors.

  2. Start with an outline. Don’t jump into writing. First organize your paper in one or two pages. Identify the main ideas in the book; choose distinct points/critiques to respond to those arguments; and methodically lay out your support in that outline. Think about the weak points: how can you gather evidence or ideas to strengthen your argument? Step back and look at your arguments: could you add another argument to strengthen the overall critique, or should you narrow your focus and develop a handful of arguments well? Go over your outline with your teaching assistant and get feedback.

  3. Briefly summarize your argument in the introduction. Without this statement/roadmap in the beginning, readers spend their time trying to figure out what exactly you are trying to argue. This is a short paper, so your summary of the argument should be brief: a paragraph or less.

  4. Organization, organization, organization! Present your ideas in a coherent and organized way. A thesis statement (see previous two points) is a good start, as is beginning with an outline. Try not to bounce back and forth between ideas or randomly bring in other authors’ ideas without explanation. Use headings or transition sentences to shift from one argument to the next. In a paper of this length, organization is key to making a concise and convincing argument.

  5. Engage directly with the author’s ideas. Don’t just expound upon your ideas regarding development; pay at least as much attention to the book’s specific arguments. The purpose of a book review is to provide critical analysis of the given author’s assumptions, theories, and proposals. Directly address these. Use quotations or page references to make reference to the author’s claims, or reference to opposing points of view. Your own comments and insight are meaningful when they are placed in the context of, or in comparison to, the book being reviewed.

  6. Engage with the central and important ideas. You can easily quibble with side points, or attack tangential issues. A good book review will tackle the core assumptions, theories, and proposals of the book.

  7. Be clear where you stand. It is ok to both agree and disagree with an author’s point (to sit on the fence). Be clear that is what you are doing. Don’t use adjectives on both sides of the issue such that you seem to contradict yourself in one paragraph.

  8. Use theory and evidence to support your claims. Don’t make assertions that are unsupported. You need to meet a higher burden of proof in your book reviews than in the short weekly papers. Evidence in support of (or against) a claim could include class readings, outside sources, and specific country examples. You can also argue for or against a point using theory—a logical point (or flaw), or the predictions of a theoretical model. If the theory evidence is weak, don’t hide that point, but use it to advocate for more investigation before deciding on a policy.

  9. Anticipate the response. When you raise a critique, anticipate and address the author’s response. This is a useful device for determining whether you critique is a strong and complete one.

  10. Read points 2, 4 and 8 again. They are that important.

shall we put in simple words, be organized, and keep writing. 

When ABE talks in the Diet question time

When Abe talks about Constitution revision
キレる安倍総理「責任者は私だ」 集団的自衛権巡り
テレビ朝日系(ANN) 2月12日(水)16時22分配信


source: ANN

時事通信 2月13日(木)12時58分配信

source: 時事通信


how to name your baby?_four steps to getting a better title_patrick Dunleavy

Very interesting article on showing the techniques of “selling” your writing to colleagues.

What you should NOT do.

  1. A “cute” title using “ordinary language” words with a clear meaning, but taken radically out of context.
  2. A “cute” title that is completely obscure. eg: where even the language the author is includes in the title is incomprehensible.
  3. An ultra-vague, vacuous, completely conventional, or wholly formal title, preferably one that could mean almost anything. eg: “power and society ” could be about many things in sociology or political science; equally it could be about generating electricity and associated technology.
  4. An empty box title.
  5. The look-like, empty box title
  6. The interrogative title, which must always end with a question mark.

WHAT YOU should DO to get a better title.

  • The first step is to look, seriously, critically and comparatively at a range of possible alternative.

“How will this wording be interpreted by someone scanning on Google Scholar? What will attract them to click through to the abstract”

  • The second step is to look at whether your title words are picked up in the abstract of the article or chapter, and in the internal sub-heading.

“It is a good sign if the title, abstract and sub-headings all use consistent, linking, meshing or nesting concepts and vocabulary”

A third step is to consider using a full narrative title, one that makes completely clear what your argument, conclusions or findings are.

  • * (using keywords, key conceptions and memorable provocative ordinary word)

To provide some narrative clues in your title, some helpful hints or signs for readers about the conclusions you have reached or the line of argument you are making.

source: Partick Dunleavy, “Authoring a PhD” (Palgrave, 2003)


Spring Snow@The Tsubouchi memorial Theater Museum

Spring Snow@ Tsubouchi memorial Theater Museum


Spring Snow @Tokyo

Spring Snow




concerning LDP’s amendments on party leadership selection rules

you may find the changes according to this entry

I also found a interesting reports from Yomiuri Shinbun.

2013-12-18. it confirmed my suspicions that Abe would have lost the game according to the new balloting method.

2013.12.18          自民、総裁選規程改正へ 党員票と国会議員票 同等に           東京朝刊              政治       04頁           890字    03段      図









source: yomiuri news archives