Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Media Spins Koizumi's Retirement

Impressions of the media coverage
Once former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced his retirement from politics, several media organizations ran with stories exploring the "merits and demerits of Koizumi politics." This is odd because there weren't any "merits." It was all "demerits." I think the mass media mentions the supposed merits to justify its role in stoking "Koizumi fever" during his reign.

A summary of my comments to several news organizations
Koizumi has left Japan deeply scarred. First, his administration facilitated the destruction of Japan's good traditions and way of life. It is no overstatement to say he destroyed Japanese society. The end result of his structural revolution is to have created a society of haves and have-nots. Thanks to him, the majority of the Japanese people are struggling. He abandoned the provinces. His policies crushed Japan's social welfare (medicine, pensions, nursing). They pushed many young people into the category of the "working poor." Hope has disappeared. Morals have declined. Japan's fate has been intertwined even tighter with the fate of the US. There is nothing redeeming about Koizumi politics. The Koizumi Revolution was nothing more than a forced march toward US Republican-style neoliberalism. Japan became a proving ground for Republican theories.

The looming general election is going to be a day of reckoning for Koizumi and his legacy. Candidates still trumpeting the Koizumi way are likely to be judged harshly by the voters. The Koizumi sympathizers, whether they be in the ruling coalition or the opposition, need to be thrashed at the polls.

There will soon be an opening for Japan to truly turn away from Koizumi, American neoliberalism and the US in general. As the real Koizumi escapes, we need to corner his legacy once and for all. Judgment day is near.