Sunday, August 30, 2009

Japan Elects Someone Else

I am not sure that Prime Minister-elect Yukio Hatoyama can fulfill the ambitions of the Japanese people. Japan's problems are deeply rooted and will not be able to fix. Fixing them may cause ever more pain in the short term: something no Prime Minister up to now has been willing to do. Yes, the LDP is out and the DPJ is in. That is monumental news in a country that has lacked for democratic competition. Unfortunately, the differences between the LDP and DPJ are more personality than policy. The substantive problems of an aging society with limited resources and stifling economic practices were never issues in this election. Instead, the parties quarrelled about consumption taxes and political scandals. The world needs Japan back on track. The world needs a strong Japan. The world has waited twenty years for Japan to emerge from its slump, it may have to wait a few more.

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