Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Hatoyama goes bye bye

Well, the prime minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama, resigned today. The merry-go-round of Japanese politics continues. His likely successor, Naoko Kan, will be the fifth prime minister in 4 years. It remains to be seen how long he will last.
In truth, Hatoyama had himself to blame for his disastrous run. He made a pile of unfulfillable promises while in opposition, only to fail to deliver almost all of them. The most disastrous pledge was to shift the Futenma military base out of Okinawa- how could he have thought that could happen? The Japanese have such a terminal case of the Nimbies that that base is either closing or staying in Okinawa forever.

To be fair, though, Hatoyama is a victim, just like his predecessors, of an absurd and unstable political system, with little executive power, massive gerrymandering, and inbuilt resistance to change. Resistance, that, if anything, is even more entrenced that when Junichiro Koizumi, Japan's most successful prime minister in recent history, spent all his considerable energies on the hopeless quest for real reform in Japan.

Real reform that is, unfortunately, looking less and less likely with every ineffectual and temporary leader that comes after him.


Crunchy Peanut-Blogger said...

Sounds disturbingly like New South Wales.

Anonymous said...

Good post. I'm going through many of these issues as well..

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