Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Something We Shouldn't Forget or Forgive

The Kan Cabinet and the DPJ run from the Diet without convening budget committees in either house; justice for this political crime should be meted out by the voters in the July 11 election

The Kan Cabinet and the Democratic Party of Japan escaped parliamentary deliberations. Though they could have convened the budget committees of both houses, the cabinet and the party quashed any hopes for deliberation and fled. They pulled a fast one.

Parliamentary deliberations are for the people. It's an important way that a democracy gives voters the material they need to decide their votes.

It's criminal for Kan and the DPJ to eliminate debate just as we enter a crucial time where we're deciding who to vote for in the upper-house election. If we allows this sort of immoral politics, we invite chaos and unhappiness. We have to leave behind the politicians who choose to act immorally. There's no reason for the Diet to exist if we allow lawmakers and politics that don't show esteem for the institution. I want the power of the people to get behind the Diet, the most esteemed institution of our government. To do this, we must punish those who run from it.

Why I Predict a Big Loss for the DPJ in the Upper House Vote

The Kan Cabinet is continuing the Hatoyama administration policy of ignoring Okinawa; will the citzenry support Kan's government anyway? Will the media?

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has shown that he will follow the lead of the Hatoyama administration when it comes to policy surrounding the Futenma military base. He's continuing to disregard Okinawa.

At the same time, opinion polls show high expectations for Kan. But something doesn't make sense. Support for former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama had slipped into the 10% range, while support for Kan -- espousing the same policies as his predecessor -- soars above 60%.
Are the Japanese people saying they are fine with the policy of disregarding Okinawa that both Hatoyama and Kan have followed?
The major media in Tokyo have turned into cheerleaders for Kan. For most of them, the main reason for this cheerleading is that Kan has vowed to turn away from Ichiro Ozawa. If he disregards Ozawa, will it be OK to disregard Okinawa too?
I'd like to pose a question to the national media and the voters who support Kan. Do you agree with the government's policy of disregarding Okinawa? There is danger in the national media supporting Kan as he vows to uphold the US-Japan joint communique and ignore the people of Okinawa. The people shouldn't trust the media as they praise Kan. We have to be careful of mass media types with political ambitions and a desire to push the populace in a certain direction.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why Didn't Hatoyama Resign before the US-Japan Communique?

Premier steps down after damaging Japan's national interests; we need to fix this with a general election for both houses

Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama gave two reasons for his resignation. First was the Futenma military base problem and the departure of the Social Democrats. Second was the money and politics scandal.

These are extremely selfish reasons. If he's going to resign, why not do it before the release of the US-Japan joint communique? His timing raises a lot of questions and a lot of problems: He resigned after causing damage to Japan's national interests. It's really quite a bad move.
On the afternoon of June 1, US Ambassador to Japan John Roos said Japan and the US would work together to move Marine Air Station Futenma (in Ginowan, Okinawa) as quickly as possible. He also said that Japan's prime minister represents the Japanese people. This was interpreted as a request for Japan to fulfill its part of the agreement even if a different prime minister were in charge. Some people say this killed any chance of bringing the Social Democrats back into the fold by revisiting the US-Japan agreement.

Hatoyama governed without clear ideas. He did not reflect on his haphazard policies or his egotistical concerns. He should have apologized for mishandling the government. He governed like a reed swaying in the wind, without definite ideas. If no one in the Democratic Party of Japan is willing to reflect on or criticize this fundamental problem, then the party is unfit to rule. We can't allow the DPJ to quietly sweep all its sins under the rug.

The normal course for democratic politics in the wake of Hatoyama's resignation would be to appoint a new prime minister and then dissolve the lower house so that an election of both houses could take place on the same day. If the DPJ is going to present a new government to run Japan, it should do so resolutely.