? asked in Politics & GovernmentGovernment · 1 decade ago

Do you think that Japanese prime minister Hatoyama is really loopy ?

I am Japanese

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    Tokyo - The Japanese media is debating whether Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama should resign and become the latest in a series of men who did not last long in the top job.

    Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) won a historic landslide victory in the August general election, ending more than half a century of almost unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

    When Hatoyama took office in mid-September, a poll by the daily Asahi showed the approval rating of his cabinet was 71 per cent. Since then, support for the DPJ-led government has slid to 25 per cent, the latest Asahi survey showed.

    Very few people in Japan expected Hatoyama to become unpopular so quickly.

    'Many Japanese people are now asking themselves why they supported Hatoyama in the first place,' Minoru Morita, an independent political analyst, said.

    Now, 51 per cent of those polled said Hatoyama should step down if he cannot resolve a dispute concerning US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma with the United States by the end of May as he had repeatedly promised, the daily said Sunday.

    US President Barack Obama also asked Hatoyama if the premier could 'follow through' when he requested Obama's cooperation on the issue during informal talks at the Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington last week, Kyodo News reported.

    The DPJ-led government wants to review a 2006 agreement under which Japan is to build a new US military base in a sparsely populated area of northern Okinawa. But apparently there has been little progress.

    The facility is supposed to take over the functions of US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The US and Japan agreed in 1996 to close the base located in a densely populated area of the island.

    Critics say Hatoyama has been indecisive and lacks leadership qualities.

    'Hatoyama has been unable to present ideas, visions and principles,' Morita said. 'The public is disappointed in Hatoyama himself.'

    Many people do not like DPJ secretary general Ichiro Ozawa, dubbed a 'shadow shogun,' who is seen as too influential, analysts said. And funding scandals involving Ozawa and Hatoyama have also eroded popularity.

    Hatoyama is not the only premier who has struggled to lead. Japan is well known for a revolving door of prime ministers.

    From 1989 to 2001, Japan went through 10 heads of government.

    Then, Junichiro Koizumi came on the scene, taking advantage of higher ratings to hold office from 2001-06.

    But Shinzo Abe, who followed Koizumi, abruptly resigned after a year in office. So did Yasuo Fukuda. Taro Aso, who preceded Hatoyama, struggled with low approval ratings because of his string of gaffes, policy flip-flops and weak leadership. Aso's administration also lasted only about a year.

    More people now want Yoichi Masuzoe, an LDP member and former health minister, to be prime minister, a recent Jiji Press poll showed.

    Morita was critical of such polls, saying, 'The media should not play with numbers.'

    Since Masuzoe did not talk much about his ideas, visions and stance on issues, many people polled seemed to have chosen him based on his image. And image can be easily controlled.

    Japan's media, which have been strongly critical of Hatoyama, censored themselves even when LDP leaders erred blatantly.

    When former premier Aso was foreign minister, he argued that US diplomats in the Middle East could not solve the region's problems because of their 'blue eyes and blond hair,' and that Japanese would be more likely to be trusted because they have 'yellow faces.' But the media downplayed such the stunning display of bigotry.

    Moreover, when it comes to the issues of the US military presence on Okinawa, most Japanese do not seem to be aware of how US bases are concentrated on the tiny subtropical island, 1,600 kilometres south-west of Tokyo.

    In the past, however, such issues were settled by LDP powerbrokers and bureaucrats behind closed doors. Since they have been debated more openly among DPJ leaders, it is ironic that Hatoyama's indecisiveness and weak image have been repeatedly displayed.

    Source(s): MY INFINITE MIND
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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