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For you personally, what changes would you like to see the new DPJ government bring about in Japan?

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Legalize weed desu yo!

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"Legalize weed"

That's not going to happen.

How about passing a law requiring all streets to have bicycle lanes and sidewalks wide enough so that people can pass by each other? Just think of the jobs that would create!

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If they want me to spend money and stimulate the economy, they have to tax me less. They can start by lowering the ward tax which went up by about 25% this year.

I'd also like a 5-year visa instead of a three-year one.

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How about a new logo on the office stationary?

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Lower taxes (My local taxes have more than doubled in 4 years, health insurance is up nearly a third in two years).

Make welfare premiums inclusive and fair - no cop-outs for those who can afford not to work.

Clean up the health service - seeing how much we're all paying, we shouldn't have to be shunted from hospital to hospital in an emergency.

Dual nationality for PRs.

Make it illegal for companies to forcibly retire folk at 60 when they don't get a pension till 65.

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What's a PR?

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I would like them to sort out the Koseki system so that non-Japanese spouses are officially recognised as such..and yes the tax system needs an overhaul too.

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PR = permanent resident.

They accept that we're here for the long run, so why not take the next obvious step?

And of course dual nationality should be a given for those born of parents of differing nationalities.

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Transparency - the bureaucracy here is crazy so it will br great if they follow through on that policy.

PR = Permanent Resident - but why should that give you dual nationality?

For PR I would like to see the vote in local elections - then I might be bothered to get it.

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Fix the justice system. For example, all interrogations to be video taped. And you can only hold someone for 24 hours before arrest.

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cut number of civil servants in half. or just cut them in half

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Permanent Resident - but why should that give you dual nationality?

Not give you dual nationality, but make it an option. At present only children under the age of 22 can have dual nationality and that isn't recognised so much as tolerated as something that can't be changed because the laws of other countries are involved.

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Legalize drugs and make taxes on them the much needed source of funding for all their programs. In addition: get rid of most of their programs, balance the budget, decrease police force, abolish or privatize national health insurance and pension, cut military spending, get rid of import duties and taxes. The best thing they can do for me personally is maintain money supply and interest rates.

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Well on the law and order front, I would like to see the laws that are already on the books enforced. No mobile phones when driving (apparently a fine of 300,000 yen, but I have yet to hear of anyone who has been caught), unrestrained kids in cars (children don't have to go through windshields in accidents), bike helmets, etc. The country is continuing bxtching about its financial condition, however, a crackdown on all these offenses and others would soon have money flowing into state coffers.

With regard to the legalization of drugs, I don't think I could get on that bandwagon, simply because of the societal problems that drugs cause. There are already sufficient issues with "pastimes" such as alcohol and gambling addiction. I don't think the government should add to such woes by legalizing drugs (even if a tax was proposed).

In the area of foreign policy, I would also like to see Japan get past the preoccupation of throwing money at problems. Despite being very liberal with its wallet (spending money the government does not really have), I would prefer it if Japan actually started engaging in genuine foreign policy initiatives. Then again, I think there is a greater chance of hell freezing over before Japan fundamentally changes the way it deals with the world beyond its shores.

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Smash the construction industry, scrap the "use-it-or-lose-it" annual government budgets, crack down on the yakuza rather than bicycle riders, get rid of pachinko (it's already technically illegal).

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I would like to see the laws that are already on the books enforced .... unrestrained kids in cars (children don't have to go through windshields in accidents)

I'll second that one. Last Saturday I witnessed a car crash in which one of the cars was thrown into the air, did a somersault, landed on its side and skidded across the road until it hit the curb and stopped. The two kiddies inside came out without a scratch on them apart from the little boy bumping his head in his frantic attempts to get out. Both kids had been properly strapped in.

I would prefer it if Japan actually started engaging in genuine foreign policy initiatives

If that means Japanese aeroplanes dropping bombs on foreign people, then I'd rather my tax money wasn't used for that.

A large tax on owners of small dogs

There already is one, it's called the registration and annual rabies jab (on all dogs, not just little ones). I would prefer to see a tax on irresponsible owners, eg one finger taken off for every 'unwanted' dog or cat dropped off at the local pound to be disposed of. And compulsory microchipping so that the owners of dogs dumped in the mountains and by the roadsides can donate their fingers, too.

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Legalising drugs is just not going to happen. The chance of Japan doing so before US/UK/Europe is zero. Enforce laws on stupidity (e.g. speaking on phone while driving, shooting red lights, petty corruption). Imrprove law enforcement and root out useless and corrupt cops. Crack down on endemic crime in Japan (Yaks). Stop useless infrastructure expenditure. Help young families thru subsidy on childcare/first home purchase etc. Don't go to Yasukuni.

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get rid of the ridiculous beer tax.

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There already is one, it's called the registration and annual rabies jab (on all dogs, not just little ones).

Yeah Cleo, this is another issue of enforcement. The rabies shot (required by law) is currently only being received by about 40% of the canine population. This is worrying if you consider the number of rabies hosts (bats and other creatures) that you find in Japan. For those people who own dogs, my advice would be to make sure you have your health certificates up to date, because if there is an outbreak of rabies, the police might forcibly put down all undocumented animals rather quickly.

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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More family friendly working hours would be great. Ban staying at the office until midnight and beyond. Send people home to their families!!!!!

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When I see a homeless person searching for something in the bins or coins at the auto vendor machines,I feel sorry for the person and even end up handing cash(small amount).Why is he/she homeless? Because he/she has no permanent Address, which leads to, "cannot be employed", which leads to nothing formal can be trasacted.This is unfair. Can DPJ just do me a favour and abolish the "must have a permanent Address"(for things to move on in Japan ) to at least give the homeless a chance.Just a chance.

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Dual nationality for PR Voting rights for PR Reduction of shaken More daycare centers More nursing homes Higher speedlimits Equal employment opportunities

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End the cross shareholdings and let the bond market return to normal. This will encourage foreign investment.

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"get rid of the ridiculous beer tax"

If there was no tax on beer, a can of beer would cost only about 120 yen.

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Three moves certain to stimulate the economy:

Top rate of income tax down to 10 percent

Corporate tax reform to encourage smaller businesses to employ new workers

Progressive immigration policy enabling foreign workers to replace taxpayers as they retire

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Stop hiring recent college graduates in any subject to help with English teaching and instead hire experienced and licensed teachers like me!

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Just because someone has a degree in English doesn't mean they can be a good English teacher.

Any case, those are company policies, not governmental policies. Though the government could make it for government operated schools and programs, but for private companies...

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Any changes by DPJ,will be fresh new air atmosphere from old standard bureaucracy atmosphere of LDP.

I understand DPJ advocates more fraternity enhancing policies,which is great.

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Higher speed limits (80 km on highways is ridiculous!), dual citizenship

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I'd like to see higher taxes and lowering spending to run a budget surplus and gradually pay off the national debt.

I'd also like the government to nuke Roppongi.

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The Japanese sales tax for purchased products should be defined more clearly. For retail business, such as restarurants, markets, gifts shops, etc, the quarterly and annual sales tax report to the govenment should report separately on income for cash sales and credit card sales. I believe in Japan this is currently a is combined report. This will increase additional sales tax revenue.

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Changes would like to see DPJ do,is bring in more imported food into Japan and sell it without taxes.

Increase the Macro trade in food business in this way.

Japan food products must compete without protection,but should also sell via govt assisted higher quality farm products technology.

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More alternative energy production (use subsidy or tax). More nuclear power. Do not make highways free of charge, it will only make the Tokyo problem worse. Encourage new industries through deregulation. Many are just weighed down, choked by crippling reporting and licensing requirements.

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In the U.S., on capital gains on home sales, and if you have been a principal residents on the same home for two years, capital gain tax up to $250,000 are exempt. Married couple, up to $500,000. In Japan, if this change is implemented in capital gain tax law, possiblity of increase in potential real estate investors, knowing that their investment can offer tax advantage in a long term, which might help the stagnet real estate market in Japan.

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If there was no tax on beer, a can of beer would cost only about 120 yen.

exactly.

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Less spending, followed by less taxes when they bring down debt. Fire all the police and start over.

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Be more gaijin-friendly. lesser consumption tax and please return my kosei nenkin contributions eventhough i were to leave Japan before retirement age...and not that mere 3 months 'limit'.

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seesaw..that cheeses me off too..but apparently (depending on your country of origin) you can waive the 3 month so-called lump sum and elect to have the money you paid paid into your super account back home.

Moderator: Back on topic please. What is your answer to the question?

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Change the insurance-only medical treatment and adopt a REAL socialized policy.

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Reforms for workers in Japanese companies and an end put to 12 hours and unpaid overtime. This is killing Japan.

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Selfishly speaking, I hope they make it easier for foreigners who pay into retirement plans to get a retirement, and make mutual retirement agreements such as the totalization agreement with the US more accessible.

For Japan, it seems like stimulating the economy and assisting in job creation is essential. Additionally, more effort to smooth relations with South Korea and China would create a better environment. Of course, smoothing relations with North Korea would be good, too, but that may not be an easily available option.

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Paternity leave!

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I figure at least 30% of my taxes are out & out wasted so get yr damned budgets under control, simplify them & give me 30% back starting in 2010!!!

BAN AMAKUDARI! PERIOD!

Allow dual nationality & I will apply.

Scrap the current pension system it is so broke literally & there isnt any money to pay pensioners, make a system where we contribute to ourselves & we can see whats there! I wud support a consumption tax increase to cover the broken system & start a new one BUT only if it WORKS, no more waste pleassssssssssssse.

Bottom line DPJ you eliminate waste across the board & I will smile more instead of fume everytime I head to the 7-11 to pay my taxes, health care etc!

You have yr mission, fufill it!!

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Reform the Education system so that:

...High schools more efficiently teach English and/or Chinese, as well as a more international awareness of history and culture.

...University majors relate to careers and graduates don't (let's say) jump from English Literature to System Engineering... With the insuing in-company from-scratch training proving that a great portion of University education in this country is worthless.

...it embraces the low likelihood of Japanese youth ever having a life-long career.

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Id like the new government to control and discipline the police, round up and jail Yakuza leadersdecrease taxation, stop building ridiculous things like airports for the transportation of vegetables, introuduce a Human Rights Bill, jail people who practice any form of discrimination, bring justice and equality to the Pension system, outlaw discrimination against foreigners in universities, reform totally the Education Ministry and get rid of the Rightists in it who try to hide the truth from the youth of Japan, demolish Yasukuni Shrine of Hate and establish a National War Memorial free from War Criminals, abolish Consumption Tax and increase taxes on booze and expecially cigarettes, introduce a blanket ban on smoking in all public places. That will do for starters. Japan then might become "beautiful."

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Reforms for workers in Japanese companies and an end put to 12 hours and unpaid overtime. This is killing Japan.

socially it's killing japan. economically it's one of the major reasons for the "economic miracle"

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(1) Eliminate fingerprinting at the border. Period. (2) Issue Permanent Resident Cards, just like Canada. (3) Video/audio-tape all Police interrogations with legal counsel present. (4) Eliminate the "Guarantor" in rental leases. (5) Permit dual nationality. (6) Pass and actually enforce an anti-discrimination law. Really! (7) Decriminalize marijuana possession. Tax it and sell it legally. (8) Restructure the economy and thereby the work day, using daylight savings time etc., so people have time off, and don't define their very lives by their job titles. (9) Enforce existing laws against the bosozoku and the mob. (10) Make an outright ban on those gawdawful goofy hats everyone feels compelled to wear on their days off, or on some group outing. Hideous! These are my ideas, just for starters!

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Eliminate the "special" permanent resident thing; make all those Koreans born and raised here citizens or send them back the their "home" country. The system just makes it harder to create policies regarding real (i.e. not born here) foreigners. You don't need to give your fingerprint at the airport if you are a permanent resident... but only if you are "special". The war ended 60+ years ago! it is time for them to decide if they want to be Japanese or Korean citizens, instead of having them as Koreans on the dole in Japan.

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I don't want to see them bring about any changes at all. I would be grateful, though, if they managed to avoid making things worse. But I suspect the greatest achievment will be to lose the next election.

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Just allow us foreigners the right to vote in at least local elections and I'll become a little vocal of my criticisms of Japan. And the other things I'd like to see change (which are probably just as important or even more important)... 1. kill off that ridiculous amakudari system, as I'm sure it just encourages people to become public servants; 2. reduce the amount of public servants and their perks in general.

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A little less I meant of my criticisms of Japan.

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Decent visitation rights for divorced fathers.

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socially it's killing japan. economically it's one of the major reasons for the "economic miracle"

agreed but the failing social system will be the end of everything.

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socially it's killing japan. economically it's one of the major reasons for the "economic miracle"

not anymore.

Dear Yukio:

Definitely a blanket ban on smoking in public and raise tobacco tax

Actually enforce the laws with stiff penalties especially for talking on cell phones, speeding, jumping red lights, drink driving, hit and run, and unrestrained kids in cars or on bikes without helmets, racial and sexual discrimination.

Dual nationality for PRs and half-Japanese children, and let PRs woth dual nationality vote.

De-regulate retail and allow more foreign competition, especially with food.

Deliver the promised help for young families

Revise the education system to teach English properly, and allow the poor kids a little more freedom.

A ban on unpaid overtime and a cap on the working hours per week - and enforce it properly.

De-concrete all the rivers.

Make child exploitation (lolicon etc) a criminal offence.

Should that read "Dear Yukio" or "Dear Santa"??!

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