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Are you optimistic that things will get better in Japan under new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama?

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I doubt J politics and admin would change ....not in a million years! but I'm hoping for a difference in this new PM's leadership.

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In the last four years I've seen 5 different PM's. I just want to see how long he lasts- 1 month, 3 months, 2 years or whatever !!!! The people of Japan needs alot of help especially Temp workers, poor & middle class ,single mothers and factory workers of Japan. Everything is just toooooooo expensive for these groups of people.

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Yes.

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No.

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I'd be more optimistic if Hatoyama had more younger members in his cabinet and if he didn't have Ichiro Ozawa pulling the strings.

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Well taking into consideration the fickle popualation he has leadership over......they will give him a few months to improve things before they start ranting and raving for his head if he doesn't impress. It is unreal how many prime ministers this country has had in the last 15 years.

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It looks like they're actually moving quickly to change a bunch of stuff, so yes.

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Yes, even though I think will take some time, I believe changes will be more positive. I'm optimistic.

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No

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Yes I do. Japan need to align herself with Asia esp China, not with the USA. Japan need to understand that the balance of wealth and power has shifted from north america to asia in the 21st century.

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They are at least trying to give the impression that they are hitting the ground running, which is good. They get an "A" for effort. And at this point they seem to be showing a good deal more transparency than their predecessors. If they manage to stay clear of Ozawa's scandal-ridden past, they should do well. "Renewal Minister" Mizuho Fukushima seems like a forthright person of integrity. Hopefully she can do some good renewing.

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Yes I do. Japan need to align herself with North America esp the USA, not with China. Japan need to understand that the balance of wealth and power will never shift from north america to asia in the 21st century.

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no

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If he can change the underlying structure of how things get done in the Diet and bureaucracy he might have a chance. But i am pretty sceptical that he can.

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No.

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No. Unfortunately, for things to improve in Japan, society will have to suffer some pain as it reorganises its economy.

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Yes and no.

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No. Japan is run by bureaucrats, not politicians. As long as the old boy bureaucracy is in place, nothing will change much.

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no, but its nothing against him...japan's not getting better under ANYONE...in 20yrs it'll look just like it does today...old people, low birthrate, slipping living standard, inconsequential on the world stage

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Hatoyama cannot change Japan. Japan has to toss off the attitude and mentalities that have kept it from change for the last 60 years. They need to open the doors to competition and challenge its neighbour China in providing cheap and high quality products produced here at home.

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Everything I touch has a "made in China label on it" or if it is Japanese I need to pay more than double for it. Japan is afraid of competition. Hatoyama needs to have some guts to bring about real change. He does not have it.

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Skeptical as this point since so much of life and politics is so structured but let's see what the new boys can do in the coming year.

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Unless they change the schools, the post office working system (some fat guy behind the counter counting what I don't know), the whole "Japanese are better or poorer or picked on syndroms forever and ever, and never reflect that they might have been the aggressor in WWII. Unless these real fundamental changes occur, it doesn't seem like Japan will get "better". But will it survive? Most definitely. But what kind of life do they want? That's the question. Just today, I saw a charming 3-year old (aren't they all?) with a t-shirt that said, "Smile, and ease our tension." Nice choice by the Mom, and the kid didn't have a wrinkle to show for it. Some tension. Just wait kid. I hope Japan DOES get better by the time you reach your adulthood. I really do!

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Optimism? I'm more inclined to go with scepticism until I see the highways become free and family allowances increased.

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There's at least one good thing a new government could do for Japan - get rid of the historically outdated excess of American anti-culture, and send back the unnecessary American citizens in uniform populating the islands. Essentially, in the 21st century it is about time Japan becomes a country of its own, rather than a post-war American colony. Whom they will want to unite with after - China, America or Portugal- is altogether another question.

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isthistheend

Have to comment on your Japan Post (Office) criticism. Name another country where you can pick up or send mail 24 hours a day. Or just call your post office to redeliver something within a few hours. That is real service. I don't mind if there is "one fat guy behind the counter counting something" if they can continue offering such service.

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it's hard to beat the previous governments, so yes, I'm optimistic. There's almost no chance to make it worse. Also, during the last couple of years I remember Hatoyama (Yukio, not his brother ;-) as one of the more reasonable voices in Japanese politics. For the short time he's been in office he has made a good start. Now give him some time...

Japan need to understand that the balance of wealth and power will never shift from north america to asia in the 21st century.

How come this reminds me of 美しい国 visionaries?

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We certainly will give Hatoyama and his cabinet time to prove themselves. They have been given a mandate to govern. Just how far to the left will the go? How big a change will they bring to the average Joe out there? Back street conditions are poor and dangerous. Expressways should be cheaper and better policed for nutty drivers. Monopolies by a few Japanese companies have to change too. Go for it Hatoyama and do not resign at the first hurdle.

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we will see. Even if he wants to make change will he be able to? The problem is there are way to many old people involved in japanese politics. Im talk about people in their 70s. Their era was in 1950 and 1960, do they really know or have the guts and motivation to make change? Japan needs big changes which takes courage and an unselfish approach. They need to make childbirth free, not this you pay we refund you crap. Highways free so everyone can travel freely about their own country. Schools need more money so they dont look like a 1940s relic and so they can buy modern equipment and computers. The way subjects and taught and the whole curriculum for some subjects needs to be changed. But will all this happen, probably not because a lot of people are scared of change and just like the status quo. We ll get more child benifits which is good but anything else? who know. I like the postal service in japan but what i dont like are the banks, all of which close at 3pm dont open on weekends and have no internet banking and everytime you dont somthing you have to fill out a piece of paper. Could the banks be made to come up to date with the 21st century? Computerised banking systems so people can have free access to their money. I dont think much will change but we may get a few more yen each month and maybe thats all that will effect me.

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oh they need to stop wasting all that money on redoing pointless roads. I know its to create jobs, but use that money to redo all the school and old hospitals, that will create jobs too and it will actually have a purpose.

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With population declining, there is a feeling that building new schools is pointless. even upgrading old ones is pointless. Many schools will probably close down. Hatoyama needs to make it affordable to have children. Give young couple the financial assitance to have kids. The elderly need more nursing homes. As for roads, they do need upgrading. Narrow and without pavements, sidewalks people are risking death each day just walking down the road. Widen those narrow alleys and create walkways where people can walk without fear, make cycling lanes too. Each time I walk donw the street I fear a bicycle will knock me over.

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absolutely not. he will devalue the currency, bankrupt the country and tax the hell out of everyone. his policies are doomed.

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agree with koriyamaboy, as long as bureaucracy thrives in Japan, there will be no change. status quo.

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The destiny of the Hatoyama Cabinet's voyage will be determined by their ability to accurately forecast weather conditions, to anticipate storms, negotiate cross currents while capitalizing on the clear days and when the winds give full sails. May their voyage be fruitful.

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Joe the plumber, "widen those narrow alleys and create walkways where people can ..." How the xxx do you propose doing that? Chopping down someone's house that is in the way? O.K. I'll admit the post office offers good time service. I guess my frustration was confused with the banks which is covered adequately by diggerdog.

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i believe that Hatoyama will bout within a year as PM and Ozawa will be the new one. Can't believe an old pol like Ozawa will be content to merely be a cabinet member or party leader....and Hatoyama seems too similar to former PM Shinzo Abe: a cardboard cut-out....

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