Thursday, July 21, 2011

We Need to Speed up the Cleanup

There's no time for delays. Get the four opposition parties' disaster waste management bill approved quickly! The Kan administration needs to accept the LDP- and Komeito-led bill.

We need to speed up the cleanup. It has been more than four months since the East Japan earthquake and tsunami, yet disaster waste management is not progressing. The waste and downed trees are a hazard in this hot summer. It's not just about the stench. As the waste ferments, the temperature will rise. There's the danger of fires. We need to clean up this mess as quickly as possible, but the Kan administration has been slow to act.

This clean up is not about ruling or opposition parties. It's something all parties should cooperate on. The Democratic Party of Japan should accept the bill put forth by the four opposition parties, led by the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.

The points of the opposition bill are: 1) The nation should act as a proxy for damaged municipalities when those municipalities request it, and 2) the country should assist in paying for processing the waste, maintaining facilities and managing the project (according to a report in the Komeito newspaper on July 10).

If the nation doesn't act as a proxy in this cleanup, it won't progress. With the nation's support, the cleanup could proceed promptly.

If the ruling and opposition parties can negotiate an agreement, a quick, thorough cleanup of debris is possible.

I'm counting on a courageous decision by Tatsuo Hirano, the minister in charge of disaster prevention, and Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, the senior vice minister.

Originally published in Japanese on July 13, 2011.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thoughts on the Immoral Media and Their Frontmen Politicians

Kan and his "me-first" mentality are being propped up by the mass media

"Great is journalism. Is not every able editor a ruler of the world, being the persuader of it?"
— Thomas Carlyle

These words from Carlyle are a eulogy to the able newspaper editor. At the same time, they also speak to the great power an able editor holds.

In today's Japan, the mass media's influence is enormous. We can't help but admit that the media's editors are the true rulers of Japan. This is the reality.

But Japan's editors are not proper editors. They don't strive for the highest good as Japanese journalism requests of them. That's because their sense of ethics is out of whack.

The able editors of today's Japan demand more money and fame as well as the right to rule Japanese politics and government. They are power hungry.

These editors have hazy morals. They use their murky sense of values to drive Japan's politics, government and economy in the direction they believe it should go. To get the results they want, Japan's most powerful editors band together. By uniting, they exert enormous power.

In other words, Japan's politics is controlled by these editors with their murky sense of values. They sent Japanese politics into decline, introducing a bad single-seat electoral system that gives a handful of parties despotic control, while treating the large majority like children. It's the mass media that has allowed the Democratic Party of Japan trio of Ichiro Ozawa, Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan to win despite not having the ability to properly run the country. The jaded media is behind Kan's current administration as well. This immoral mass media is an enemy of the people.