2011年09月21日

失言で日本の大臣がまた辞任 彼らはいつ学ぶのか?


Gaffes Claim Another Japanese Minister. When Will They Ever Learn?

( TIME )

For a country whose language is shaded in infinite shades of gray,
Japanese government ministers sure do make a lot of gaffes. Last
Saturday, Japan's new trade minister Yoshio Hachiro quit after visiting
the tsunami-devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant zone and
calling it a “town of death without a soul in sight,” while also
joking with a journalist near him that “I will give you radiation.”
Hachiro had been in the job for just over a week. But it was long
enough to show just how disconnected Tokyo's politicians are with the
overwhelmed nation's populace.

Hachiro's resignation came one day short of the six-month anniversary
of Japan's triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster,
which killed some 20,000 people. If times of crisis are supposed to
breed visionary leadership, Japan has utterly failed. The verbally
maladroit trade minister was the pick of new Prime Minister Yoshihiko
Noda, Japan's sixth leader in five years. There is little to suggest
that Noda, a former finance minister who appears to have risen the
ranks of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) largely by keeping his
head down, will distinguish himself any more than his predecessors did.

On Monday, Hachiro was replaced by Yukio Edano, a reformist lawyer who
was one of the few Japanese politicians to acquit himself admirably in
the post-tsunami period. As the Chief Cabinet Secretary for Prime
Minister Naoto Kan's beleaguered administration, he appeared on
television day in and day out after the March 11 natural disaster,
tirelessly briefing the public despite little sleep and formidable bags
under his eyes. While Edano may have been a nuclear neophyte when he
first began serving as the government's post-tsunami spokesman, his
explanatory attempts--even as those in top levels of government
couldn't seem to get straight answers from nuclear-power executives and
nuclear-agency bureaucrats--won him plaudits. But there's a big
difference between explaining what's going on and guiding an economy.

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2011年09月14日

日本の新首相はもう一切れの「冷めたピザ」?


Another Slice of 'Cold Pizza'? The Man Most Likely to Lead Japan
( TIME )

All bets are on Yoshihiko Noda to become Japan's next prime minister
after he won the presidential election of the ruling Democratic Party
of Japan on Monday. Noda, 54, took the majority vote in a runoff.
Lawmakers in the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament will likely give
their approval for Noda's post as prime minister on Tuesday. He will
then be Japan's sixth prime minister in five years.

While Noda could be filling the prime minister's seat for the next two
years as DPJ elected head, opinions are mixed on how long he will
actually last as prime minister. "Noda is a typical, simple, honest
person but at the same time he is very stubborn," says Takao Toshikawa,
editor of the political newsletter Tokyo Insideline. "But among the
five candidates who ran for DPJ party head I think he has the strongest
leadership ability and will continue as prime minister for two more
years, maybe more." Says Yoshi Yamamoto, a political advisor to DPJ
congressmen: "Noda seems a bit like the former LDP prime minister Keizo
Obuchi [in the 1990s], generally known internationally as a 'cold
pizza,' but respected domestically by working level staffers and
officials as someone who listens and rewards."

Public opinion shows growing cynicism towards the revolving door nature
of Japanese politics and the country's prime ministers. "I'm not sure
Noda is going to be able to restore and rebuild the government, and be
able to restore popular faith in politicians. It's going to seem more
of the 'same old.'" says Kingston. "People really long for the days of
a bold leader like Junichiro Koizumi [LDP prime minister from 2001 to
2006] with a vision of hope who would say, 'Yes, we're all facing
difficulties now but if you follow me -- no pain, no gain -- things
will be better.'"

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