September 29, 2005

Will the Next Elections Save Japanese Democracy?

But if any opposition candidates told the public that Koizumi and those who had remained loyal to his plan were not offering a policy at all, their voices were drowned by the din created by the media in which "reform", "reform", "reform" echoed from all sides. Anything they tried to get across about genuine policy, and about Japan's real problems was also lost in the frenzy created by Koizumi and his election tacticians; a frenzy that was supposed to reflect the Japanese public's deep desire for reform. In forty years of watching Japanese elections I have seen many funny as well as disturbing things, but found that Japanese voters usually have some sense of balance and common sense. Last Sunday's must have been the most nonsensical postwar election ever to have taken place in this country. Mostly due to the incredibly superficial imagery on TV and the strange Japanese enchantment with the term "reform".


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