Sonja Takayuki, Sarah Parsons, 2013 discussed on BBC Newsday


Mr Pitt. Somebody needs to be found and Mr Sugar as he has been the chief Cabinet secretary, which is really the number two position in the cabinet he was ready to carry on immediately. But also because he was supposed to be the continuity candidate. He was largely seen as a stopgap prime minister, and there was also immediately a past struggle within the party between the elderly man. And so Mr Suda was rendered very vulnerable because of the past struggle within the party as he support levels dropped very sharply as the Covid situation got worse and worse while his government was seen as focusing over the on the Olympics at the expense of public health Seijiro. Let's turn to you and just to focus a little bit more on the party itself. First, Japan has a parliamentary system and one that has throughout Japan's Postwar history. Rarely resulted in any party winning power other than the one that's in charge Now, why is that? Well, it's very unfortunate, but one of the negative things about Japan is that we don't have any competition in politics and you look at the real world. The fact of the matter is that you need competition in order to basically innovate and, you know, go forward. But this is one of the problems about Japan. One time we did have the opposition ruling Japan, but that was a total shamble to say the least. And the Japanese public have learned that they really do not have any implementation power, and I would say this is one of the Japan's weakest link. The fact that we don't have a strong opposition. We don't have competition in the political scene, and therefore people play with politics, not policies. As I think Koichi has just been eloquently express. Right now. We were talking about the political issues agendas inside, while what we should be doing is talking about policies, especially under this very difficult times of covid 19. Sarah Parsons. Let's think about the people who are participating in politics and and in the party itself. The LDP party There aren't a lot of women and Mr Su Gazette cabinet. Is this a familiar trend in Japan? We saw quite a lot of the Tokyo mayor during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Eureka quickly She's a woman. Yes, well, I'll just put this in context because every year the world economic health foreign publishes a global gender Gap report and Japan ranked 147 out of 156 in the field of political empowerment. So it's always rent very low on this dimension. It's no surprise that there's a low level of women within the party is very conservative party very conservative views you've probably seen in the news. Some of the comments from leading Japanese politicians and women should have babies. Women. The role is to be the mother is it follows the very Typical Japanese gendered roles. I've seen Sonja Takayuki going for leadership, which is obviously a positive thing I met a young lady go to politics a couple of years ago, she said, You know, It's very difficult to balance any kind of child care, family care with it and very, very conservative views. If you want to change anything. And there's been some news about the LDP after the head of the Olympics committee was criticized for saying women talk too much. They allowed women into the board meeting, but they weren't allowed to speak lots of survey showing that you know the attitude towards women as well is that they're probably not going to be very good leaders. And in this sense, I hope that these women can Lead the way and show everyone that women can be very good leaders. But you know, it's still very much based on masculine leadership traits. So we're hearing a few themes that are coming to the fore already this perceived resistance to change the idea that Japan has a very conservative society. Roland counts is that the way that society is at large, or is this just how it's reflected from within the government? How engaged to people feel with politics in Japan? That's a good question. Well as many people are pointing out, it's a one party system and it was really designed that way if you go back to the post War era. The CIA was very much involved in the development of the LDP Liberal Democratic Party, which is neither liberal nor democratic, and it was installed in a way to keep Japan under America's thumb. Crucial moment, so it was designed as a one party system. It was designed not to change or disrupt the status quo. And in that sense, it's pretty efficient or it's been pretty efficient. So does the party serve the interests of the people at large? Well again, that's that's a complicated question. I would say to the extent that There's a kind of tacit bargain between some of the Japanese population and the Japanese political system, which is that as long as things run smoothly as long as there are no big disruptions As long as people feel comfortable and life is convenient, then we just keep the status quo and that's fine. I say some of the Japanese population, however, as many people have been saying there's a dynamism in Japan. I think Japanese youth and Japanese women Present the future for Japan and that dynamism is not being addressed by the political system, and I think it's also fair to say that Japanese youth Partly because of the technology is available to them. They are much more self aware about the state of Japan. I think you saw that during the Olympics when a lot of young people got involved with the protests against the Olympics. And I think young Japanese are aware of Japan's place in the world and are frustrated by the sclerotic nature of Japanese government and also the nostalgia. Of those old man running the country. All right. Well, let's focus more of our attention on the almost intertwined issues of Covid and the government's torture decision to go ahead with the Olympics. Seijiro back in 2013. The Tokyo bid committee won the games with the slogan The Games will be safe in our hands, the organizers and the government spent a huge amount of time and billions Of dollars, trying to keep the games covid safe and to convince the public that the games were safe. How do they do in the end? Well, I think there were no direct consequences from you know the Olympics, but the fact that they conducted in spite of 70% questioning the Olympic yourself, I think will be a tarnished image. That is very, very negative. But I think it's also a psychological negative impact because this was supposed to be as you pointed out earlier, a booster for the popularity of The LDP and Mr Suder, but also to basically rejuvenate the Japanese concept. As you know, we've been going through a decade or two decades of what we call the lost decade where we've been stagnating or relatively stagnating in comparison to the you know, vast girls that we had in the eighties and early nineties Tokyo Olympics back in 1964 was exactly that basically telling the world that we're out of World War two were to start a new Japan and basically, many people are hoping that this would be a kind of Ignition point for Japan. To start a new but unfortunately that's really died down very quickly considering the very considered nature of Japanese, which tend to have the highest level of risk avoidance amongst old people in the world. But what about the wider changes that are afoot in Japanese society? Japan? As we've said, has the world's oldest population around 30% of the population is over the age of 65. That percentage is increasing every year. Roland, you've lived in Japan and the United States. I wonder if you can contrast the two when it comes to demographics. What's the effect of this large cohort of older people across? Japanese politics and society. Well, For one thing. I would say that what I referred to earlier as a kind of damaging nostalgia that pervades a lot of the older generation in Japan, and especially those politicians we've been referring to in the LDP..

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