Tag Archives: japanese politics in crisis

DPJ to elect a new Prime Minister of Japan

DPJ to elect a new Prime Minister of Japan

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times


The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will elect a new prime minister and given the nature of events in Japan then this issue is a damp squib.  After all, with so many leaders coming and going it seems rather pointless to expect any real breathing space for the newly elected leader. 

According to the editorial of The Daily Yomiuri “Unless the DPJ has serious discussions on concrete measures to rebuild its relations with bureaucrats and opposition parties, it will not be able to revive itself as a ruling party.

The same editorial by The Daily Yomiuri published on August 28 also stressed that “In the diplomatic sphere, Kan failed to exercise any effective leadership over the planned relocation of the U.S. Marines Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.  China and Russia in effect took advantage of his seeming lack of interest in state sovereignty to press their claims over the Senkaku Islands and northern territories, respectively.”

These comments, however, don’t belong to Naoto Kan because all these issues existed before he was elected and China and the Russian Federation have grown in power and strength in recent times. Also, the problem which exists in Okinawa relates to past political leaders in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), external pressure from America and the Hatoyama fiasco meant that Naoto Kan was constrained.

The main opposition party, the LDP, can’t ignore its political legacy and the last twenty years have seen one failed administration after another.  The Koizumi administration led to major isolation within northeast Asia because every regional nation apart from Taiwan was disillusioned by his pointless gestures over past history.  Therefore, at least Naoto Kan understands the delicate nature of northeast Asia and the changing reality with regards to China’s growing power.

Bread and butter issues are much more important and futile comments aimed at the Russian Federation is not in the interest of Japan.  Instead, Japan needs to work with the Russian Federation and diversify its energy policy and only Moscow can free Japan from over-reliance on energy from the Middle East.

Issues related to the pension system, low birth rate, helping families, greater de-centralization, taxation, health care system, and other areas, alongside the urgent need to help people who are suffering because of the March 11 earthquake/tsunami, is what the majority of people are concerned about.

The five candidates to become the next leader of Japan are Seiji Maehara (49), Sumio Mabuchi (51), Yoshihiko Noda (54), Banri Kaieda (62) and Michihiko Kano (69).  If Michihiko Kano is elected then it would be based on steadying the ship. The most popular choice according to opinion polls is Seiji Maehara. However, the donation scandal may prevent him from being elected by fellow DPJ member because of the closeness of his resignation which happened only six months ago.

Banri Kaieda is the main economist within the DPJ and given the nature of events then he would appear a realistic choice. Similar sentiments can be stated about Yoshihiko Noda who is the Finance Minister but some worry about his closeness to bureaucrats.

Sumio Mabuchi seems strong minded and he is mainly outside the power-politics of factionalism and this could provide a respite from factionalism within the DPJ.  However, the leading bigwig in the DPJ, Ichiro Ozawa, is supporting Banri Kaieda and Sumio Mabuchi may struggle to overcome the factional vote which will go against him.

Irrespective of who is elected, the most important thing is for the entire party to get behind the new leader but this is most unlikely to happen in the long-term.  The political system and the two main parties in Japan need to look at themselves seriously because they are not helping in stabilizing this nation.  – plesae visit


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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Japan


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PM Kan announces resignation and another leader of Japan bites the dust

PM Kan announces resignation and another leader of Japan bites the dust

James Jomo and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, did the usual today because he announced that he would resign like he promised. This once more puts Japan in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Simply put, the political system is a failure and sadly this nation is not seen to be serious when it comes to the echelon of the political system.

Not all blame can be put on the politicians. Frankly speaking, the media in Japan is woefully irresponsible on the whole because ridiculous polls and pressure are put on leaders in Japan all the time. Therefore, it is time to ban the media circus and political polls which are used in order to force political leaders to resign and the electorate should give political leaders a chance.

It is a complete fiasco and if the leader of America visited Japan tomorrow you would hear platitudes despite the economic and unemployment mess in this nation.  Not picking on America, the same would happen to other political leaders where everything negative is ignored. However, when it comes to the leader of Japan it is rebuke, mock and “the leader must go” and this is irksome and irresponsible.

In the article written by Michel Le Bon and Lee Jay Walker titled Japan and the political farce: the race is on to replace PM Kan. They commented that This international embarrassment is just that but nothing seems to change apart from rebuke, petty point scoring, political shenanigans, and rash decision making.  In the past it was hoped that the Democratic Party of Japan would change elements of the political landscape.  Instead, they have followed the Liberal Democratic Party and elect internally and resign without any elected mandate and of course both parties can’t find anyone strong enough to put either house in order.”

Therefore, Japan is going to have their sixth leader in five year – it is political suicide and grossly irresponsible.  This begs the question, why don’t politicians, the media and the electorate care?

Of course, many people will be concerned but either they are the silent majority or they are people involved in the media and the political system who don’t have any power to change this wretched situation.

If Japan wants to be taken seriously then it is vital that the political system is changed in order to meet global standards where high office deals with important issues, irrespective if the times are good or bad. 

Japan needs to wake up because frankly speaking this nation is an embarrassment when it comes to politics. Enough is enough, I wish, but I know that change isn’t around the corner and the same self-destruct political system will just continue and the media circus will be waiting for the next leader to make a mistake and everything will start all over again.

I know that Buddhism believes in reincarnation but you can’t reincarnate political leaders with high quality. Instead inferior individuals keep on getting their chance because the system allows it. please visit



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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Japan


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