Blogging note: Tegucigalpa


I’m off to Tegucigalpa to do some original reporting in advance of the Honduran general elections that take place on November 24.el salvador

In the meanwhile, there may be fewer posts at Suffragio over the next week or so and the posts that I do write will invariably be about Honduras as I spend some time in the country and meet some of its people.  I’ll be looking to get a sense of what each of the three major candidates and their campaigns are doing, what academics, reporters and everyday Hondurans think about the election campaign, and the past, present and future of bilateral US-Honduran relations.

If any readers out there have any tips for how best to enjoy Honduras — especially Tegucigalpa and southern Honduras and/or Roatán and the Bay Islands, please do let me know in the comments.

Japan pushes forward with consumption tax hike


Earlier this month, Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe (安倍 晋三) moved forward with plans to increase the top rate of Japan’s consumption tax from 5% to 8%, effective as of April 2014 — and he is expected to allow the rate to rise further to 10% in autumn 2015. Japan

It was the first major policy decision since Abe led his party, the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP, or 自由民主党, Jiyū-Minshutō) to a landslide victory in the July vote that elected one-half of the seats (121) in the House of Councillors, the upper house of Japan’s parliament, the Diet (国会).  That vote was essentially a referendum on Abe’s big-spending economic stimulus program — widely called ‘Abenomics’ — following Abe’s equally impressive victory in December 2012 in the elections for the House of Representatives, the Diet’s lower house.

It’s notable for three reasons. Continue reading Japan pushes forward with consumption tax hike