A run-down of some of the best Japan-related stories from this week:
After years of economic stagnation and widening income disparities, this once proudly egalitarian nation is belatedly waking up to the fact that it has a large and growing number of poor people.
Japan Tries to Face Up to Growing Poverty Problem
The New York Times (Martin Fackler)
I was making the same amount of money as assembly line workers at auto factories.
Charm offensive: the hostess bites back
The Independent (David McNeill and Chie Matsumoto)
Now stripped of the interest groups that supported it for so long, the LDP has failed to reinvent itself for the age of floating voters and is rapidly becoming a loose alliance of koenkai. As more politicians leave the party, it becomes harder to imagine that the LDP will ever adapt.
A New Dawn?
Observing Japan (Tobias Harris)