Yomiuri on “Sharp decline in tourist spending”, with GOJ measures to certify NJ in “Cool Japan” for preferential visas

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Hi Blog. Debito.org Reader JK sends articles that indicate that the Japanese Government wants tourists to come in and spend more money (without doing the legal groundwork necessary to stop them being discriminated against), and is willing to bribe the NJ already here with preferential visas if they get certified in “Cool Japan”, i.e., become shills. Kinda smart in terms of incentive systems, but very cynical — and those critical of Japan, of course, need not apply. The pressure to unquestionably “like” Japan is already omnipresent, and now reinforced as public policy. Dr. Debito Arudou

//////////////////////////////////////////////

From:  JK
Hi Debito:

From the article: “What’s needed are initiatives that introduce [tourists to] things that are great about Japan, like hot springs, Japanese cuisine, and local history and culture.”

Well, that and no ‘Japanese only’ signs at hot springs, restaurants, etc…

Sharp decline in tourists’ spending
The Yomiuri Shimbun Courtesy of JK
7:49 pm, January 18, 2017
By Toru Ando and Yuto Yoshida / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003466816

While a record 24 million-plus foreign tourists came to Japan last year, spending per person dropped sharply in 2016, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.

Fewer foreign visitors are engaging in extravagant shopping sprees, so figuring out how to use Japan’s charms to increase tourism outside major metropolitan areas and encourage longer stays is becoming an issue. A total of 24,039,000 foreign tourists visited Japan in 2016.

The agency on Tuesday released the results of a survey on foreign tourists’ consumption in 2016. The increase in the number of tourists pushed overall spending to a record ¥3.75 trillion, but per-person spending was down 11.5 percent from the previous year to ¥155,896, the largest drop ever recorded.

Behind the decline was the yen’s appreciation from the previous year, as well as a change in the purpose of travel from “consumption” through shopping and other means, to trips aimed at “experiencing things” such as nature and culture.

The government hopes to raise per-person spending to ¥200,000 by 2020. But Takeshi Okano, a senior researcher at Daiwa Institute of Research Holdings Ltd., was skeptical.

“There’s a limit to widening the scope of tourism if only consumption is focused on. What’s needed are initiatives that introduce [tourists to] things that are great about Japan, like hot springs, Japanese cuisine, and local history and culture. These efforts should be aimed at getting people to make repeat visits,” he said.

However, tourists tend to concentrate in major cities.

On Monday, a 19-year-old university student from Shanghai was in the Akihabara district of Tokyo. “I bought some figurines from anime I like,” he said, looking satisfied with his first trip to Japan.

Robert Macolino, a 56-year-old Australian, was shopping in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Macolino said he had also visited Kyoto and Nara, and appreciated the different charms of each city.

The main tourist destinations are concentrated in the so-called golden route that connects Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and other major cities. First-time visitors to Japan are even more likely to stick to these areas. Figuring out how to buck this trend and get tourists to visit other regions is a major challenge.

Starting this fiscal year, the Japan Tourism Agency is helping local regions that share tourism resources — such as modern architecture, sake brewing, or shrines and temples — create themed tours. For instance, Shizuoka, Aichi, Saitama, Tochigi and Miyagi prefectures are receiving state funds to plan and promote tours of their shrines and temples with strong connections to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun in the Edo period.

“Areas outside the major cities have many great tourism resources. Visitors to these areas will increase if we make them better known and get the information out there,” an official at the agency said.
ENDS

////////////////////////////

Hi Debito.  Here’s another.  My gut reaction is that the GOJ is trying to exploit NJ possessing a certain degree of acculturation for their labor, what do you think? Regards -JK

///////////////////////////

‘Cool Japan’ smarts may give foreigners a residence edge
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003452588
8:44 pm, January 18, 2017
The Yomiuri Shimbun

The government is considering establishing a certification test for assessing the competency and know-how of foreigners engaged in activities related to the “Cool Japan” initiative, such as anime and fashion. The aim is to accept more of these foreigners into National Strategic Special Zones, according to sources.

The government intends to relax the requirements for obtaining resident status for candidates who meet certain competency criteria and conditions. The plan is aimed at foreign students graduating from Japanese vocational schools, the sources said.

By creating a friendly working environment for foreigners with strong interests in Japanese culture, the government aims to increase the number of foreigners with an intimate familiarity with Japan. They could then serve as informal bridges for future exchanges between Japan and their home countries.

A working group of the government’s National Strategic Special Zones initiative is currently discussing the matter. It plans to grant resident status to foreigners after confirming their competency via certification tests and other methods. The government aims make relevant revisions to the National Strategic Special Zones Law in fiscal 2017.

Under the current residency status system, which is based on the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law, foreigners who have graduated from Japanese vocational schools are not eligible for resident status due to a lack of work experience. Consequently, they cannot work in Japan despite a desire to do so. This has been recognized as a problem.

Japanese language proficiency would also be assessed in the envisaged certification test, in addition to relevant professional skills.

“More foreigners will obtain resident status,” a government source said.

The working group is considering allowing foreigners to obtain certification to stay in Japan for several years, the sources said.
ENDS
===========================

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15 comments on “Yomiuri on “Sharp decline in tourist spending”, with GOJ measures to certify NJ in “Cool Japan” for preferential visas

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    It’s all just part of the LDP’s racist driven dream of only accepting NJ who know their place and do what they are told, which is lie about Japan’s problems to other NJ, and live in segregated areas.
    The LDP doesn’t want Japan to be in anyway multicultural (see removal of bakeries from ethics textbooks), it wants a system like apartheid.
    It wants NJ to shut up and sit at the back of the bus.

    — Bakeries?

    Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      Yes, nasty western bakeries removed from textbooks and replaced with wagashi shops to instill pride and love of country. Big news this week.

      — Let’s have a link, please. People coming back to this site years from now won’t remember this week.

      Reply
      • This must be it:
        https://mainichi.jp/articles/20170405/k00/00m/040/078000c
        Or we can always count on the Sankei for giving us a different take:
        http://www.sankei.com/life/news/170401/lif1704010068-n1.html

        「パン屋」怒り収まらず
        毎日新聞2017年4月4日 20時18分(最終更新 4月5日 17時22分)
        「にちようびの さんぽみち」
         パン屋は「国や郷土を愛する態度」にそぐわないのか。来年春から小学生が教科として学ぶ道徳を巡り、ある教科書の記述が文部科学省の検定意見を踏まえ「パン屋」から「お菓子屋」に変わった。「学校給食で協力してきたのに、裏切られた」。パン屋さんたちの怒りが収まらない。

         このニュースが世の中を駆け巡った3月24日以降、インターネット上では「パン屋は非国民か」「あぜんとする」「フェイクニュースかと思った」などと盛り上がっている。

         記述が変わったのは東京書籍(東京都北区)の小1向け教科書に載る題材「にちようびの さんぽみち」。祖父とよく散歩する主人公「けんた」がいつもと違う道を歩き、見慣れたまちの新しい魅力を見つける--という単純な内容で、この中にパン屋さんが出てくる。

         ところが、この題材全体に「学習指導要領に示す内容(伝統と文化の尊重、国や郷土を愛する態度を学ぶ)に照らし扱いが不適切」と検定意見がついた。文科省の担当者は「我が国や郷土の文化と生活に親しみ、愛着を持つことの意義を考えさせる内容になっていない」と解説する。

         指摘を受けて東京書籍は悩んだ末に「パン屋」を伝統的な和菓子を扱う「お菓子屋」に変更した。検定結果公表時、東京書籍の担当者は「(指導要領を)しっかり担保しなくてはいけないと感じた」と話した。詳しい経緯や感想を聞こうと同社に改めて取材したが応じてくれなかった。

        検定意見でどう変わったか…
         「パン屋が日本の文化にそぐわないと言われたようで心外だ」と憤るのは、製パン大手21社で作る「日本パン工業会」(東京都中央区)の中峯准一専務理事。「小学生の女の子に将来なりたい職業を聞くとケーキ屋やパン屋は上位に入る。そんな子供の気持ちをどう考えるのでしょうか」

         まちのパン屋さんの怒りも収まらない。

         全国中小の製パン業者の団体「全日本パン協同組合連合会」(東京都新宿区)の西川隆雄会長は「郷土愛を伝えるのにパンはふさわしくないと言われたようで悔しい。洋服と同じくらい長く親しまれているのに……」と憤慨している。

         西川さんも兵庫県加古川市の製パン業「ニシカワ食品」の社長。阪神大震災では他の業者とも協力して被災者に無償で配った。郷土愛は人一倍強い。「学校給食に携わるパン屋は全国に約1500社ある。もちろん商売ですが、懸命に作って届けています。『もう学校給食のために作りたくない』という声が仲間たちから上がってもおかしくありません」

         一方、妙なかたちで注目を浴びた和菓子屋さんも困惑する。

         「伝統的な食文化の一翼を担う和菓子が紹介され、子どもたちが授業で触れる機会ができるのは素直にうれしい」。全国和菓子協会(東京都渋谷区)の藪光生(やぶみつお)専務理事は慎重に言葉を選びつつ感想を語る一方、戸惑いも口にした。「パンも日本の食文化の一翼を担っている。パンと和菓子のどちらがいいのかという問題ではない」【大村健一】

        「薄っぺらの愛国心」識者指摘
         パン屋から和菓子屋への変更について、思想家で神戸女学院大名誉教授の内田樹さんの指摘は辛辣(しんらつ)だ。「検定で指摘を受けた教科書会社は『パン屋を和菓子屋にする小手先の修正で大丈夫』と予測し、実際その通りだったのだろう。それだけ検定側の知性が低く見られているということだ」。さらに「文部科学省の言う愛国心や伝統の尊重が薄っぺらな記号に過ぎないことは、出版会社の間で周知の事実だろう。知的退廃という以外に言葉がない」と論評した。

         小中学校の「道徳の時間」は1958年にスタート。国語や算数などの教科とは異なる教科外活動で、検定を受けない「副読本」や教員が独自に作った教材が利用されてきた。東京書籍は「にちようびの さんぽみち」を2000年から副読本に載せ、「パン屋さん」という設定で長く親しまれてきた。

         道徳の教科化は06年に第1次安倍政権が打ち出したが、文科相の諮問機関・中央教育審議会(中教審)が「心の中を評価することになる」と難色を示し、見送られた。12年末に発足した第2次安倍政権は、再び教科化を検討。14年にメンバーを入れ替えた中教審が教科への「格上げ」を求める答申を出して、実現した。小学校では18年春、中学校では19年春から授業が始まる。

         教科化の背景にはいじめ自殺問題などがあるとされる。だが、森友学園の運営する幼稚園で児童が唱和していた「教育勅語」への安倍政権の姿勢とも合わせて、教育の右傾化を懸念する声が専門家から上がっている。【大村健一】

        ////////////////////////////////

        産経新聞 2017.4.1 22:19
        【道徳教科書検定】
        「パン屋→和菓子屋」などと文科省が書き換え指示? 誤解が広がった理由とは…

         文部科学省が道徳の教科書検定で、郷土愛不足を理由に「パン屋」を「和菓子屋」に書き換えさせた-。小学校で平成30年度から使用される教科書について、国や郷土を愛する態度を教えるため、文科省が修正を指示したとの疑念がインターネット上で拡散、文科省に抗議の電話が相次いだ。ただ、修正は教科書会社の判断に委ねられており、文科省が具体的に指示したわけではない。誤解の背景に何があったのか。(花房壮、寺田理恵)

        相次いだ抗議電話

         「こんな検定はやめろ」

         3月24日の検定結果の公表後、土、日曜日をはさんだ27日、文科省教科書課には朝から抗議電話が相次ぎ、その件数は翌日にかけて30件を超えた。対応した職員によると、電話の主は大半が年配の男性だったといい、「パン屋」を「和菓子屋」に書き換えさせたとの誤解に基づいていた。

         「和菓子屋」への修正があったのは、東京書籍の1年用の道徳教科書に収録された教材「にちようびのさんぽみち」。学習指導要領の内容項目「伝統と文化の尊重、国や郷土を愛する態度」に合わせた教材だが、「我が国や郷土」の要素が不足しているとみられた。ただ、検定意見は教科書全体に付けられた。

         教科書全体に意見を付けられた場合、どの教材をどのように修正するかは教科書発行会社の判断だ。東京書籍は「パンやさんは、おなじ一ねんせいのおともだちのいえでした」としていた原文を、前後の文脈を変えて「にほんのおかしで、わがしというんだよ」などと修正。四季の移ろいを和菓子の色と形に乗せて表現するなど、国や郷土の概念をひらがなだけの平易な文章で児童に伝える努力をしている。

        教科書課の担当者は「『パン屋』が悪いわけではない。『和菓子屋』がベストかどうかを見ているのでもなく、必要な要素を満たしたので審議会で許容された。例えば、『パン屋』の記述を残しながら、あんパンが日本で定着した経緯を書き加えるのも、許容されるのではないか」と話す。

         同じ意見が付けられた学研教育みらいの1年用教科書では、文章もより学習指導要領に沿った内容に修正されたにもかかわらず、「アスレチック」と「和楽器」を入れ替えて合格したかのような誤解が生じている。

        複雑な「内容項目」

         なぜ誤解は生じたのか。原因の一つは、他の教科との検定方法の違いだ。特定の記述の修正を求める社会科などの検定と異なり、道徳では教科書全体で内容項目とその要素を充足させることが求められる。だが、ページや小欄ごとに原文と修正文を突き合わせると、「パン屋」のような個別の記述が問題になったとの印象を受けかねない。

         学習指導要領の内容項目の複雑さも、課題として指摘されている。学習指導要領は、道徳の学習内容を(1)自分自身(2)人との関わり(3)生命や自然、崇高なものとの関わり(4)集団や社会との関わり-に分類。それぞれについて、「友情・信頼」などのキーワードと、教えるべき価値を「内容項目」として示している。

         項目数は低学年が19、中学年が20、高学年が22。文科省は1学年ごとに示した全項目を扱うよう求めているが、各内容項目は「約束やきまりを守り、みんなが使う物を大切にすること」(低学年)など詳細に規定されている。

         教科書会社が全ての要素を満たす教材を選ぶのは容易ではなく、検定意見を受け新たに適合する教材を見つけるのが難しい場合もある。教材の書き換えで対応するのではなく、元の教材の本文を生かしつつ、小欄で要素を足したり、分冊にコーナーを設けたりして対応した教科書会社もある。

         道徳教育に詳しい貝塚茂樹武蔵野大教授は「内容項目は複雑で、キーワードも多い。検定時の簡素化に向け、議論の余地もあるのではないか」と話している。

        道徳の教科化

         平成23年10月に起きた大津市での中2いじめ自殺をきっかけに議論が高まり、中教審の答申を受けて文部科学省は27年3月、道徳を教科化する学習指導要領を告示した。正式な教科ではない「道徳の時間」を格上げし、検定教科書と記述式評価を導入する。教科書作成の指針となる学習指導要領解説書は、従来の「読み物」型から、議論する道徳への転換を打ち出した。

        教科書検定

         教科書会社が編集した原稿段階の教科書を文部科学省が審査する制度。(1)学習指導要領に則しているか(2)範囲や表現は適切か-などを教科書検定審議会が審査し、合格しないと教科書として認められない。文科省は平成26年1月、近現代史を扱う際に政府見解に基づく記述を尊重するよう検定基準を改定した。今回は主に高2用の各教科分と、小学校の道徳が対象になった。
        ends

        Reply
      • Jim Di Griz says:

        Your word is my command!

        https://japantoday.com/category/politics/ethics-textbook-change-causes-widespread-constroversy

        Politics
        Ethics textbook change causes widespread constroversy
        Apr. 17 03:40 pm JST 38 Comments
        tokyo
        A controversy has been brewing after “a bakery” that appears in an elementary school ethics textbook was changed to “a Japanese wagashi confectioner” by a textbook publisher, in response to suggestions made by the education ministry in consideration of the “respect for tradition and culture” requirement under the curriculum for ethic classes.

        Bakeries are furious and are considering bringing the case to the state government as they believe the maneuver to be a veiled slight, with the implication that confectioners are somehow a more valued part of Japanese tradition and culture.

        The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, meanwhile, is striving to dispel speculation that it forced the change for curriculum for ethic classes, which are scheduled to be elevated to an official elementary school subject in the 2018 academic year.

        “Nichiyobi no Sanpomichi” (Sunday Promenade), a story published by Tokyo Shoseki Co, for an ethics textbook for first-year elementary school students, is at the center of the trouble.

        A boy strolls through unfamiliar paths of his hometown with his grandfather, the protagonist making fascinating discoveries along the way, including a bakery that emerges at the end of the story.

        Tokyo Shoseki sought approval of the textbook from the ministry, saying that it nurtures among children respect for Japan’s tradition and culture and attitudes to love their country and hometowns.

        In the post-screening of the textbook, however, the education ministry suggests that story as a whole did not satisfy the requirements of “showing a fondness for traditions and culture of our country and hometowns” in the context of curriculum guidelines.

        The education ministry, which asked that the textbook be amended to reflect children’s affinity for Japan’s homeland, culture and life, requires ethics textbooks for early elementary grades to clear 19 curriculum guidelines such as “respect for regulations.”

        The publisher thus changed the bakery to a wagashi confectioner in the story.

        A ministry official in charge pointed out that the story merely describes “a routine walk,” without making reference to “our country and hometowns.”

        “The bakery was not the culprit,” the official said. “Other parts could have been revised in accordance with curriculum guidelines.”

        Since the screening results were made public on March 24, online social networking sites have been flooded with comments such as “Bread is also an excellent culture in Japan.”

        The ministry has received some 30 complaints after some press reports indicated that the textbook was authorized because of the change. But the person in charge at the ministry said it was approved “as a whole” after the addition of a question asking children what they like about their hometowns and country.

        Unlike other textbooks such as those for social studies examined for each description, ethics textbooks are checked from the viewpoint of whether curriculum guidelines and screening standards are followed throughout.

        Changes in school textbooks are made by publishers at their own discretion, a senior ministry official said.

        Although Tokyo Shoseki resorted to an “easy” solution, “the screening system has no choice but to authorize textbooks that meet the standards,” the official said.

        But Takao Nishikawa, 74, who heads a national cooperative of small and midsize bread manufacturers, said, “The fact that a bakery was changed to a wagashi confectioner is regrettable because we have been contributing to school lunches for many years.”

        The cooperative is considering filing a complaint with the ministry.

        For another elementary textbook, Tokyo Shoseki made a change from “a middle-age member” of a volunteer fire brigade to an “elderly member” because the ministry pointed out the lack of concern for the aged in the section dealing with “gratitude.”

        Superficial revisions of such kind are widely practiced because of issues with the textbook screening system, experts say.

        After being notified of the post-screening opinions, publishers are required to make necessary changes within 35 days and tend to minimize them in order to retain the number of pages.

        “Publishers may well wish to avoid spending time and effort (on changes) under time constraints,” another senior ministry official said, explaining that publishers incur huge losses if their textbooks fail to pass the screening.

        Tokyo Shoseki did not reply to a request for comments.

        “The screening system implicitly requires publishers to surmise (the education ministry’s) intentions,” an editor from a textbook publisher said. The change by Tokyo Shoseki “was maybe a superficial response but a desperate one.”

        © KYODO

        Reply
    • spot on Jim. was thinking about that the other day. Its the same as old day bigots in the deep south. There was courtesy exchanged and fake tranquility but the reality was they had to know their place as 2nd class citizens. Get the same treatment in Japan. Speak English too loudly, “act” out of character (gaijin) and get shut down. Concrete ceilings on every job, living in “fear and trembling” of eyes on you all the time, and shuck and jive acting on TV by gaijin clowns. Dont like it? Then leave, because there is a line of uninformed newbies we can do a new number on once we are done with you.

      Reply
      • a cynical NJ says:

        Tim, could you please expand on ‘“act” out of character (gaijin)’?
        Is it just saying that you think instead of what the other party might be willing to hear, or sth else..?

        Reply
        • Baudrillard says:

          I ll reply, Basically acting like a tourist while not being in tourist areas or accompanied by J person gaijin handler to say “sumimasen”. or simply riding a bicycle while gaijin looking.

          Tends to be more apparent after a few weeks on holiday outside Japan, coming back refreshed and relaxed…until someone shuts your, shall we say, “carefree air” down as appearing “fumajime”

          不真面目。This could just mean smiling too much while teaching older Obasan customers, oh err I mean students, you know, like actually ENJOYING your work. Or not smiling enough in a lacklustre younger person’s class who needs entertaining to wake up. A difficult balancing act. then your supervisor chews you out over serious stuff like “not sitting upright enough on the sofa in the Voice Room free conversation lesson”.

          the resulting job insecurity, paranoia, and fcuk this I ll get another job siege mentality all add up to the suitable downtrodden, resentful air and furrowed brow of the harried NJ, oft mistaken for the “respectful NJ who knows his place”.

          Guess again, Taro. I will leave Japan as yet another detractor. I am not “the NJ who sympathizes with Japan” anymore. You saw to that.

          This isnt just the teaching experience; it also applied to certain other jobs I had although perhaps quite a few teachers or ex teachers are now reading this and nodding their heads in agreement.

          Reply
          • Jim Di Griz says:

            I agree with that. It’s this thing about setting NJ up to fail in order to satisfy the self-fulfilling prophesy; NJ are all losers, Japanese are superior, but the NJ resent Japanese for it, so ‘we Japanese’ are the victims.
            It’s all about them, not us.

  • Hmmm….without even addressing all the fundamental issues that Japan has with reference to foreigners; they have clearly not understood what tourist “need” when entering another country. Which of course relates to their lack of empathy, and so on…

    1) Japan is probative expensive, especially when comparing to neighbouring SE Asia countries. It is a no brainer when it comes to money, SE Asia is way way cheaper, ERGO, Japan is a “stop off” on the way to a much cheaper place.

    2) The lack of integration. The whole system/infrastructure is not geared up for “foreigners”, since it reflects the culture/country as a whole. Ergo, very few signs in English (or another language) and any attempt to get around this one is faced with blank faces or the usual, endless apologises but never answering the question or willing to assist in ‘something’ beyond their limit knowledge or experience.

    3) Linked to 2), what do tourist like doing (unlike Japanese) – exploring, and going off the beaten track! Since that is what visiting another is ostensibly about – getting away from the tourist spots to immerse oneself into the local culture/scene and the fun and joy of trying.

    Yet any tourist entering a restaurant outside of the “let’s keep all tourist in this region” mentality is faced with the immediate no foreigners wanted/allowed or a lack of willingness to attempt to reward any patron that wishes to try a local restaurant and actually trying to assist the tourist. (This does not require any language skills by either party – period. Just a willingness to assist. I’ve been in many countries where both parties unable to communicate with each other – yet, we both got what we wanted – a shared experience and great food too!).

    Coupled to this, that “Japanese business model” of never getting a fully itemised bill – just a crappy piece of hand written paper with one figure written in pen for the bill, and no CC facility for payment either.

    It is basic….!!

    Reply
  • Baudrillard says:

    @Jim, “Orwellian” was a comment made on the article, I d say overtly controlling, micro managing of the creative process and watering down of all content to avoid the most minor chance of ever offending anyone at all
    “For another elementary textbook, Tokyo Shoseki made a change from “a middle-age member” of a volunteer fire brigade to an “elderly member” because the ministry pointed out the lack of concern for the aged in the section dealing with “gratitude.”

    Superficial revisions of such kind are widely practiced because of issues with the textbook screening system, experts say.”

    Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      Oh, I don’t know. I think it’s more a case of septuagenarians in power pushing a rose tinted vision of a fantasy past that will completely fail to connect with Japanese kids who’s thirty-something parents have been brought up on ‘meron pan’.
      I strongly feel, in light of the Osaka Nippon Kaigi school scandal, that the masses don’t connect with the right-wing elites nationalistic messages, and default to ‘silent opposition’. I reckon they will do the same on this matter too.
      The result will be more hot air from policymaking elites largely ignored by the masses, resulting in no discernible effect.
      This ‘endorsement by inaction’ on the part of the public will continue to embolden the elites until they go so far as implementing policy that causes direct economic/social pain on the electorate, at which point they will re-engage for a showdown. Of course, the government will ramp up police powers in advance…
      Conspiracy law anyone?

      Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      You know what though? The only reason that people like Ishihara, Hashimoron, and Koike are popular is because they are seen as being outside the establishment. And when you consider that Japan has been a pretty much one-party right-wing fascist state (in the dictionary sense) for the last 70 years, that’s a pretty low bar to set. The ‘opposition’ doesn’t win because the public can see that they are nothing but a bunch of LDP second-stringers with literally nothing new to offer- they just want the J-public to ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’.

      What really annoys me is that the LDP has set up such a chokehold in the political process that it is literally impossible for someone who might represent the 70+% of the Japanese electorate who didn’t vote for the LDP to have an alternative to vote for.

      How long can that continue?

      Reply

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