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What's happening in Japanese politics?

 
 
dlowan
 
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 11:05 pm
I note another Japanese leader has resigned after a short time in office.

I know Japan has been hit hard by economic changes, but I am wondering if anyone here is really knowledegable about what is happening politically that they seem to be so unstable in terms of government?

I know I can go and read scads of information from the media, but I am really interested if someone has good personal knowledge.
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Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 11:12 pm
@dlowan,
Pretty simple really. He's resigning because he's unpopular. The health care plan was a mess and he's a lame duck due to his unpopularity.

It may come off weird to other cultures but this is a matter of traditional honor. I think he just legitimately feels like he isn't helping the country anymore by staying in power.
dlowan
 
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Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 11:16 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Yes...I read that...but my interest more general than that. It is piqued by what seems to be quite a succession of short term leaderships.

It doesn't come off as weird to us, probably, as it does to Americans, because we can have short term leaders if they stuff up, or if nobody wants a poisoned chalice....but this seems to be a pattern.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 11:37 pm
@dlowan,
His party has been unpopular for years, he didn't exactly have a stunning endorsement when he took power. But the turn-style effect for PMs in Japan has more to do with the fact that the House of Representatives can be dissolved and reshuffled so easily, and because the House of Representatives has a no-confidence veto over the PM spot. So the tide turns very easily by the nature of the system (I find it to be very flawed in this regard) and the nature of the system itself fosters lots of partial terms from the Diet on up.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 11:45 pm
@Robert Gentel,
And here is a good overview of the scenario when he took power.

The pension issue addressed there is the thorn in his party's side, and the health care issue that arose during his tenure didn't help as it was most felt by the pensioners themselves.
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dlowan
 
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Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 01:40 am
@Robert Gentel,
Ah, thankee...the "turn-stile" thing is interesting, and I'll look it up more. Thing is, I am wondering how much it actually differs legally from what is possible in Oz....and my sense is it was not used as often in the past...just as no-confidence motions are used very sparingly here (possibly because, by definition, they are normally going to be lost by those proposing them.)

So...this unpopular party keeps getting a majority allowing it to govern?


I'm collecting international news and analysis sites btw, do you think the one you pointed me to generally good?
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 10:37 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
So...this unpopular party keeps getting a majority allowing it to govern?


It's a dominant-party system and they are the dominant party. They've been in power for over 50 years and part of what's happening is that the other parties are gaining ground on them by merging.

Quote:

I'm collecting international news and analysis sites btw, do you think the one you pointed me to generally good?


It's probably the most prestigious geopolitical think tank (or a conspiracy to rule the world depending on who you ask) but I don't tend to read much analysis from them.
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