Japan awakes to the potential of a new era


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Japan’s new prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, began the delicate task of forming a new government this morning, hours after inflicting a devastating defeat on the ruling Liberal Democratic party [LDP].

The euphoria of the night before, when his Democratic Party of Japan [DPJ] secured 308 out of 480 seats in the lower house, quickly gave way to the business of addressing record unemployment and deflation as Japan struggles to emerge from its worst recession since the second world war.

Questions are already being asked about his government’s ability to end the bureaucracy’s stranglehold on economic policy and to focus on the interests of consumers rather than those of powerful corporations.

Japan’s politicians set the bar for being in the pocket of their Zaibatsu corporations. A standard for corruption our Republicans/Democrats still strive to reach.

Praying on Hiroshima Day
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

It has taken a long time, but we have at last reached the starting line,” Hatoyama told reporters at his home in Tokyo. “This is by no means the destination. At long last, we are able to move politics – to create a new kind of politics that will fulfil the expectations of the people…”

Hatoyama has about two weeks to put together his administration. Elite bureaucrats and business leaders will use that time to prepare themselves to work with a different ruling party for only the second time since 1955…

The financial markets reacted positively to the prospect of a new government, with the Nikkei benchmark index rising to a near-11-month high before retreating slightly as a stronger yen pushed down shares among exporters.

The DPJ’s honeymoon period promises to be shortlived amid nagging concerns about its ability to fund spending pledges that are expected to reach 16.8tr yen over the next four years.

The growing population of senior citizens continue their tentative move into politics independent of the two major parties – forming caucuses within and local electoral movements without.

As the birth rate drops – as it always does in an educated populace – and people live longer, a conflict grows between those accustomed to turning every possible jot of increased productivity into profit and those who demand a percentage dedicated to the needs of that elderly population.

Here in the United States, of course, changes like that are further hindered by an ignorant electorate relying on news media with the backbone of a mutant dishrag.

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