My Japan Times JBC column 102, Oct 31, 2016: “U.S. and Japan elections: Scary in their own ways”


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U.S. and Japan elections: scary in their own ways
Subtitle:  American political campaigns can be frighteningly tribal while fear of the foreign permeates polls here
By Dr. ARUDOU, Debito, October 31, 2016
Column 102 for the Japan Times Community Page

Happy Halloween. Let’s talk about something really scary: elections in the United States and Japan.

I say scary because these countries are the No. 1 and No. 3 largest economies in the world, not to mention representative democracies considered too big to fail. Yet the way things are going is truly frightening.

Let start with election campaigns in the U.S., since they are probably very familiar and fresh to readers:

The U.S.: two tribes go to war […]

Read the rest in The Japan Times at

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3 comments on “My Japan Times JBC column 102, Oct 31, 2016: “U.S. and Japan elections: Scary in their own ways”

  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    Notice, however, that the Japanese media pays much closer attention to what the US candidates say, and will closely examine any racist remark made by Trump, but if an elected representative in Japan makes a racist comment…(cue the sounds of crickets chirping)

    I agree that in Japan it is a foregone conclusion that you will vote for the party… THE party?… Oops, we are not a one-party state…

  • Books on Trump suddenly booming in Japan because customers ‘wanted to know more about Trump’s numerous radical comments on immigration’.

    It’s a shame that those same customers don’t have any interest in the ‘numerous radical comments about immigration’ made by Japanese politicians!

    Likewise, Japanese living in the U.S. now fear being discriminated against in Trump’s America!

    Welcome to my daily Japan reality folks!

  • “Ghost in the Shell” and immigration:
    “three million Asians became refugees. As a source of cheap labor, they were invited into Japan. Thus they were called “invited-refugees.” As post-war Japan recuperated, the unemployment rate of the invited-refugees increased. This developed a circumstance that could lead to a conflict. The problems surrounding the invited-refugees might explode any minute…”

    Ironically, the casting of Scarlett Johanssen in the movie has been criticized as “whitewashing”…

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