Friday, September 16, 2011

No hats in the ring


My friend Chris recently emailed me asking me how Japan was etc. Since I have the tendency to ramble on a bit about topics of interest I figured I would just copy and paste a response since I can't be arsed to write a full blog entry on a subject thats fully worth one.
So regarding my views on the current Japanese situation, here you go:


I was on the plane back from Tokyo and I was reading the Daily Yomiuri  and the Prime Minister (Naoto Kan) had recently stepped down and another has recently been redesignated by the Diet . The new PM (Noda) had the opportunity (as do all PMs in Japan) to appoint his own cabinet, one of the members being Yoshio Hachiro (minister of trade, economy and industry). 
The headlines that day were talking about how he had resigned that weekend after only a couple of days in office due to "verbal gaffes"; for example he was on a visit the precending week to Fukushima, where the nuclear plant spillage had occured, and said the place was a "ghost town" and that "no living person was to be seen". This apparently greatly offended the inhabitants over there and he was ordered to make a public apology. On top of this, the same weekend, whilst being interviewed by a journalist, he rubbed his sleeve on him and said "here, have some radioactivity". The Japanese government and press were apparently scandalised by this and Hachiro resigned from his post a few days after.

 Now whats significant about this is that he's the 3rd DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) minister to lose his cabinet post because of this reason. As well as this, Japan also has an issue of having Prime Ministers that survive barely longer than a year in office before they step down (in order to avoid public humiliation or difficulty in negotiating with the opposition party (LDPJ - Liberal Democratic Party of Japan)). There was an article I was reading about this that was joking on the subject, saying that the nameplates of Japanese PMs must be backed with velcro because the changes are so frequent lol. But in all seriousness, at this rate, politicians in Japan are actually never in office long enough to form solid policies that are actually seen through and the main worry is that unless they get over these trivial problems that cause them to resign so often, Japan will soon lose its' influence and position it has on the global side of affairs. What I'm asking myself is "well, how many people would someone like Palin or Bush be equated with on the resigned Japanese politician converter??" lol. They are certainly more remorseless in the West than they are over there.

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