DPJ changes its slogan from “Kokumin” to “Anata…”


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Hi Blog.  I watched the LDP and the DPJ’s respective political advertisements on NHK yesterday, and had quite a surprise:

Well, two actually.  First was I thought the LDP’s was better (the DPJ’s, despite the catchy song, was too corny).  But never mind.  I don’t think it’s going to make a huge difference, what with recent polls forecasting DPJ landslide victories.

The bigger surprise was the DPJ’s slogan in the TV spot.  Their campaign slogan has been “kokumin no seikatsu ga daiichi” (the citizens’ livelihoods are the most important thing).  It says as such on their Manifesto and their website.

However, in the TV spot (and on the back of the Manifesto) it was “ANATA no seikatsu ga daiichi” (your livelihoods are the most important thing).

For reasons I can’t elaborate upon at this juncture, I have been giving a lot of feedback and input to DPJ Hokkaido in recent months.  One of my recommendations has been to remove the “kokumin” in favor of “shimin” or “juumin”, so that NJ are not excluded.  But “anata” will do just as well.   I’d like to believe my suggestions some impact.

Meanwhile, one policy issue I didn’t bring up, because I didn’t think it was tenable now, was the issue of suffrage for long-term NJ.  But as we’ve seen on Debito.org, DPJ Head Hatoyama has come out in favor of that when it really wasn’t necessary in this election.  That suggests some pretty nice potential changes on the drawing board after the DPJ more than likely wins.

After all, PM Aso just keeps on gaffing.  His latest?  Insinuating that people who don’t have enough money should not get married last Sunday.  I think the remaining LDP candidates are just facepalming their way through this election.

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

6 comments on “DPJ changes its slogan from “Kokumin” to “Anata…”

  • LOL…One can only hope it’s the mother of all face plants!! In any event, I see the use of “Anata” from two points of view. One being that the DPJ is following up on it’s inclusivity regarding all Japanese and an acknowledgement that PR holders are indeed positive contributing members of society. Number two I believe is a reaching out of sorts to the younger generation by not using such “stiff” vocabulary like “Kokumin” and what not. Who knows, a lot of good could possibly come of this election. I have my fingers crossed.

  • Hi Debito,

    This is Shii san’s appearance before the The Foreign Correspondents’ Club:


    I don’t know whether you’d agree, but I think Shii san’s one of the few true intellectuals in japanese politics today.I just hope he’s right that LDP-Komeito’s era is over…as opposed to the LDP’s era being over and a nightmarish DPJ-Komeito’s era coming into being…I trust though DPJ would never govern with fascists like Kofuku jitsugento / Happiness Realization Party / or Komeito.

  • As I blogged about this yesterday, http://wp.me/pAT5P-Pc , whoever wins I would like to see the American Embassy work more closely with the Japanese government on people issues.

    Frankly, I am astounded at the kinds of things that routinely go on with gaikokujin and the Japanese community. Yes, I happen to be coming from a country that more than carries its weight in the Pacific Alliance. Some of this is the accident of history.

    If the DPJ makes it big in the Lower House, depending on whether they get the 320, the Upper House will still have the ability to influence (veto) legislation.

    This sets up the interesting scenario, where DPJ gets, say 310 in the Lower House—not enough for a veto override in the Upper House.

    The Upper House DPJ coalition relies on minor parties like the SDJ. SDJ, SDP, or however the Social Democratic Party (Fukushima Mizuho’s party) is abbreviated.

    So if DPJ wins enough to have at least 241 votes in the lower house, but not 320 or more, they will be dependent on their coalition allies in the Upper House (or Shii’s Communists) to pass legislation.

    If they get the 320, and everyone sticks together, then DPJ can write any law it wants.

    I would really like to see the winner emphasize that the labor and contract laws here are meant to be enforced. And to enforce them, without creating gaps or favors for the NJ community.

  • They should change “kokumin” in The Constitution of Japan too. Right now it looks like this law protects the rights of J-citizens only.

  • Perhaps the DPJ are working to establish their relationship with the people. As the campaign wears on, I expect to see ANATA replaced with OMAE.


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