Sunday, October 15, 2006


I am writing at 5am, Tokyo time, which means that I have returned to Japan (i.e, jet lag).

I am here to work as an aide to Keiichiro Asao, a member of the upper house of the Japanese Diet and 次の外務大臣 (literally 'next foreign minister', meaning the shadow foreign minister) for the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

This will be my longest stay in Japan -- my initial contract is one year -- and unlike my two previous visits, I will be truly integrated into Japanese society. I will be living in Mr. Asao's home prefecture of Kanagawa (the southern part of the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area), and I will be working in an exclusively Japanese work environment, which means that for the most part I will be socializing with Japanese exclusively.

I will therefore once again provide my impressions of life here; however, given that I will be privy to an extremely exciting period in Japanese politics, one of the most exciting in recent history, I will also try to provide my insight on the Japanese political situation.

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