Friday, July 06, 2007

"Taking responsibility"

Gaijin Smash - "Taking responsibility"

Ok, politics time. This past week, the Defense Minister of Japan said in a public speech that he believed that dropping the atomic bombs back in WWII was an action that "couldn't be helped" (しょうがない), which is not a very popular opinion in Japan. As such, he has since resigned. The above editorial is a take on it from what is normally one of the most entertaining blogs I read... somehow he got through the article without one reference to Transformers or Street Fighter this time, but I feel he's got a pretty good take on things and makes an interesting point or two. It is disturbing the views some of the Japanese public have on WWII - I really wish they would've taken a lesson from the Germans on how to own up to things and not try and make themselves out to be victims. Anyway as he does, I hope this woman doesn't get anywhere close to elected in the upcoming elections at the end of the month.

I'm actually studying the Japanese constitution in Japanese with my tutor right now, so this came up briefly in the last lesson I had in which we were talking about the cabinet. The current Prime Minister's cabinet doesn't really have a very good track record right now - from what I hear he's got an approval rating rivaling Bush's in ickitude thanks not only to his bungling of the pension system, but also the blundering lips of the cabinet members he's selected. Thus far, one minister referred to women as "baby making machines", one committed suicide, and then there's Abe's own statements about "comfort women" that's even made waves in Congress back in the US. My tutor mentioned that there's talk (but no proof, like they'd let that get out) that the Minister of Agriculture offed himself because he wanted to quit but Abe wouldn't let him.

Now Abe actually tried to defend this past Minister's statements, but the way I understood it he stepped down partially to keep Parliament from putting a vote of no confidence on the cabinet, which would mean the entire cabinet is dissolved including the Prime Minister, and that in most all likelihood the majority party would not get voted in again for the replacements. The minority party already wants one, but you need a 2/3rds majority to get anything passed... last I heard the PM's approval rating in Parliament is hovering around 35% though, which means some even in his party are losing faith.

Ok, that's it for politics.

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