COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
national

Anger mounts in tsunami-hit areas over political power games

47 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2011 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

47 Comments
Login to comment

Yes it is absolutely disgusting these dropkick politicians carrying on while these poor people are still suffering, What a discraceful way to act in front of the world, surely they must feel ashamed?

8 ( +10 / -1 )

surely they must feel ashamed?

one would hope so esp. given that shame is completely woven into the fabric of society... but I seriously doubt it. Corruption and power trip coupled with small peters = no shame.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

“I don’t care about who will be the next prime minister. Whoever it will be, please bring an end to the nuclear crisis and let us go home as soon as possible. That’s everybody’s view around here.”

hear hear

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Poor people, they are totally right.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"I feel like I’m watching events in another country,”

Nope. Same Japan it's always been.

“I don’t care about who will be the next prime minister. Whoever it will be, please bring an end to the nuclear crisis and let us go home as soon as possible. That’s everybody’s view around here.”

Wouldn't that be wonderful? Sadly, it won't happen. The person who becomes the next PM will make a bunch of promises he cannot possibly keep, and the LDP will jump on that person immediately, demanding he resign to take responsibility for this and that. They'll continue to be a stalemate in the government and nothing will move an inch while these people continue to suffer in the north. They are right to be angry and disgusted, as should everyone. And the worst part is they have ZERO choice about who should follow Kan, and who could help them out the most.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I wonder how many of these people complaining are part of the 38% of the adult population that actually voted.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What exactly do these people expect though? You can't just clean up and rebuild everything in a few months - look at the US and Katrina - still rebuilding years later. Add in the nuclear issue...

The government and people have offered home in other places in the country but many refuse to leave - you can't fault the government for that.

However, yes, now is not the time for Kan to be stepping down and a huge power struggle. Pathetic. Blame the LDP for this though, not Kan and his party.

And yes, how many of these people voted??!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

In the middle east and north Africa and in England and Europe, people rose up against the dump governments with anger and energy. Japanese are too shy...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's not funny but it should be one day, an unbelievable death toll plus the worst N disaster anyone has seen...but what happens? Nothing, what will it take to make change? I shudder to think, what will it take? 6 months in a shelter, I am afraid I would have gone postal long ago. And to see my voted leaders squabbling about who is PM..pathetic Grow a pair Japan or sink into the sea you are killing and abusing your own people. These are not faceless foreigners these are part of the special race that are Japanese.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Can't believe these ppl are so oblivious...

“I feel like I’m watching events in another country,”

Wake up and stop burying your head in the sand!

“I don’t care about who will be the next prime minister. Whoever it will be, please bring an end to the nuclear crisis and let us go home as soon as possible. That’s everybody’s view around here.”

Must be daft to want to go back "home". It's contaminated real bad!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

my heart is with these dispossessed people. they should be heard. what is the matter that they are still without homes and jobs? is it the government that has it's hands tied (tied by the entrenched hyper-bureaucratic system), or is it corruption, or is it that they don't care? Or a bit of all these evils together?

i have one prediction (very easy to predict, actually): the candidates to PM will use the crisis to get into office, and once in office, they will not make a change in the lives of the dispossessed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Japanese people manufactured the political impasse, by beating up on the DPJ last summer for no good reason. And then they bitch about it, but don't point the finger where it belongs, at the totally selfish machinations of the LDP and Komeito. If they keep leaving it to the over 60s to vote they'll end up with more of the same.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“I feel like I’m watching events in another country,” said Takita, 60.

Typical Japanese elitist statement. "Another country" wouldn't change leaders every 15 minutes like Japan does.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm wishing for an angry mob sometimes, compare it with England, riots but not a some people businesses but at the Government maybe at Tepco's Head quarters, Molotov cocktails at all the agency's and government building who clearly don't give a shit about the people living in this country. I wish Japanese people would drop the shyness and politeness and force the ruling class to listen to what need to be done.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I would rather see strikes or non violent demostrations. Pick up a book on Ghandi. Totally and absolutely disagree with the thugs in England. Shame on you for those who suggested it!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I hope the people punish the LPD and the DPJ next election season.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

naruhodo1Aug. 28, 2011 - 07:30PM JST

I would rather see strikes or non violent demostrations. Pick up a book on Ghandi.

Ghandi accomplished nothing until there was a war, and then England needed him so badly, they gave him what he wanted. Even MLK probably would not have gotten anywhere without Malcom X and the Black Panthers burning the candle at the other end.

I am afraid that if people in Japan want change, they are going to have to do all the above. The politicians will just laugh at the non-violent protesters, unless practically the whole country stands up. That won't happen. You need one group making them fear for their lives. Then you need a gentler group for them to run to for understanding and compromise. With the numbers that are possible, its the only way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

7 PMs in 7 years. And all of them have just been awful. Sure - they were all cannon fodder for hilarity and ridicule (they all deserved it) - but the folk up in Tohoku ain't laughing. Maybe they should secede from Japan and form a breakaway State - heck - couldn't get any worse!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jan Claudius Weirauch

I'm wishing for an angry mob sometimes

Becareful what you wish for specially with this as an angry mob here in Japan may just turn against the foreigners, then there would be trouble.

And I'm sure you wouldn't want that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You can't really compare this to revolutions taking place, and especially not England. However I definitely agree that there needs to be some kind of a large scale protest by Japanese. They can't allow themselves to be pushed around like this they need to stand up and voice their opinions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ExportExpert

Jan Claudius Weirauch

I'm wishing for an angry mob sometimes

Becareful what you wish for specially with this as an angry mob here in Japan may just turn against the foreigners, then there would be trouble.

And I'm sure you wouldn't want that.

Not only that, dont forget how much power yakuza still have, they'd surely use it to their advantage..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In Japan’s devastated northeast, many are crying out for a government that will take charge and change their lives for the better.

Doesn't seem like too much to ask. But this being 21st century Japan, it is clearly unattainable. Pity, because the people of Japan deserve far better.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I wonder how many of these people complaining are part of the 38% of the adult population that actually voted.

Good point. Voting apathy contributes to politics becoming the mess it is now in Japan. So many people I meet here are ignorant about politics and do nothing but shrug their shoulders. Those people don't have a right to complain. Politics and politicians don't exist in a vacuum, they can't exist unless the people allow them to. I hope more Japanese will realize this soon and foster some real leadership and bring momentum to change this country for the better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr. Kan is a coward. When so may people have died and who have given their lives in the nuculear power plants, how can a leader quit. A leader leads not run away!

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

@Zurg

Mr. Kan is a coward. When so may people have died and who have given their lives in the nuculear power plants, how can a leader quit. A leader leads not run away!

Have you actually read a newspaper within the last six months???

6 ( +7 / -1 )

How much of Japan's culture creates people whose emotional and psychological growth is stopped at the pre-adolescent level? It's all social engineering done to keep everyone small and under total control. Just like bonsai trees. Now that initiative is needed, it's too late, it's been cultured out of the country. How many people just here are just sitting around and wondering when the leadership that they cannot create is going to come and change things. Too late.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“What will happen after Prime Minister Kan resigns?” “No way! Is this really the time for them to change the leadership without hearing from us?”

They should ask all this questions to the opposition that made the policies for over 40 years that led to the current situation.

But I agree the whole system is rotten - otherwise DPJ wouldn't have lived comfortably for so long. Ozawa is living example of large scale bureaucrat with power who actually was always in opposition. Even now when his party is rulling.

Oh, well, the main topic was the disaster recovery...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every people has the government it deserves.

Joseph Marie Conte de Maistre, French diplomat, state and history philosopher (1753 - 1821) quoted from letter of 15.VIII. 1811

200 years old, from another continent and still the most concise commentary on contemporary Japanese politics.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

My heart goes out to all Tsunami victims who lost everything.

All politicians and bureaucrats have to "LOG IN " and hit " FF FORWARD".

I care

1 ( +1 / -0 )

secede from Japan and make Northern Japan. Other continually left out regions should do the same like Okinawa. Then reform like Switzerland as a federation of states.

The only way to improve accountability is to actually have it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

First of all my best wishes for tsunami victims of eleven March.

In my opinion Japan needs to modernize it's society. Japanese society is weak compared to most of the societies around the world. They tend to think they are wrong while the others are always right. So they behave in a submissive way like slaves, trying to respect everyone in an inocent way. It's stupid. It works while others are really right. But what happens if they are not? What will happen if I respect my neighbor but this same neighbor does not like me? An intelligent neighbour would use the inocent on it's own benefit, thats the answer.

In Japan, If you are different you are excluded from the society. That's what japanese do to the foreign people. Instead of teaching it's way of living, they simply exclude them.

It's a country full of rules where innovation is not noteworthy. Instead, they teach the youngest that their culture must be preserved simply because japanese way of living is the best. And the youngest accept it without questioning. They copy everything from the western instead of creating it. Japan would be the same of two hundred years ago if the Americans did not have influenced it.

For me it will be interesting to see what these poor people that were affected by the earthquake will do if the government forgets them. Because if it were in USA or in Brazil where democracy is consolidated, these people would have voice because democracy guarantees it. But in Japan, a society that is very dependent in the government, a society that fears everything that is new and strange to them, what they are going to do?

Japan has globalized its economy. Needs to globalize its society too.

My best wishes to Japan!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Disgusted is not the Word, Every person in Japan should stop and Pause, take a breath, and think if this happened to them, remember there are reactors all over this country, it is time for all the citizens to stop and take a day and everyone march up to the capital and let all who run this country, you will not stand for this, it was and is the responsibility of Government to make sure they were safe, THEY FAILED, and upon their failure, they are stretching this emergency out to the point that their hopes will be that those who Lost everything will just go to relatives and fend for themselves, what they are doing right now is inhuman Treatment against the Living and the dead, YES IT IS TIME! If we all do not stand up for those that lost everything now, what do you think will happen to each of you if you do not make a stand, * Each Person who Lost Property should have that property returned in another place, each person who lost a home then an equal home shall be built for the return of the one lost their should be an amount paid equally to the amount of personal Property Lost,

If it was Just a tsunami people could go back to their Property and rebuild their Lives, this is Not the case, the Government has allowed the contamination of everything in an area, the area stated, has been minimize, for the true fact the Government is in trouble and wants to reduce its claims, the People should also as the Japanese government to call in the American government The Atomic energy commission to properly survey the damage area and mark off all areas as not to allow women and children to have to Live and Play on grounds which are contaminated, deforming un-born babies and allowing Children to have cancer throughout their lives without any Benefits! this is to be done to give a fair representation of contamination in all areas.

If You each do not stand together now, You each will be subject to have the same Doomed experiences as those that are going through this now! It is inhuman and an abomination ,

Get on your Phones, get on the internet, Get on you Ipods, Just do it and put it together get an organizer to lead and speak for you NOW and do not wait another day! Time is short, If you do not help each other You will Lose, remember United We Stand, and this issue will be settled in a week!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@skroknog

I can understand your comment regarding voter apathy. But for the average Japanese, I believe they don't know anything different. There can be no connection for them when the majority do not vote or even know why they should care to. This conformist society will not allow change or even the idea of change. What are Japanese waiting for? To wait for a crisis larger than Fukushima is surely a sign that nothing can ever change it.

Months have gone by and their fellow citizens have been abandoned. Even with Katrina and the gov't paralysis in the USA eventually something happened. Japan isn't even at that level.

It's a fine argument to suggest that Japanese need to wake up but that would only work in a country used to change, even periodically.

But they're not waking up. They never learned to be awake to being with.

Many years ago while talking to a friend over news about some other PM comments I learned that even the perception of news reports taking a common critical analysis of a speech was not acceptable to an average Japanese. Is it any wonder then that the smallest slight results in total resignation? Being 100% right is not humanly possible, and things must mature with mistakes and recovery from those mistakes. Reminds me of the failure to teach English.

This continues to be a failure on many levels, but politics is only a symptom. It's foundations lie in education and understanding the give and take of civility. With no correction in the future, this can only get worse. A revolving door of PMs doesn't a country make.

They want things done magically, like the gentleman wanting his land back, but it takes actual work. It may in fact not be possible and this man doesn't know that. No one has bothered to tell him. This gentleman needs serious counselling, the gov't needs a program to relocate people, and communities need to be willing to accept anyone with open arms.

None of this has occurred. This saddens me greatly

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan has globalized its economy. Needs to globalize its society too

Fernando -- nice sentiment, but not gonna happen in either of our lifetimes. First, Japan has not truly "globalized" its economy. It exports products to all parts of the globe, true, but is not open to people, products or investment in return. To be truly global, a country must have truly free and open exchange on all levels. Second, this same kind of thinking -- Japan is special and needs to be protected from the outside world -- is deeply entrenched into every part and level of Japan. Even recent college grads I trained said they view the world as "Japan and everyplace else". So, if 20 somethings feel this way, it will take generations before any meaningful opening-up happens. And the failures of government to help these poor victims is a direct result of too many years of inward focus.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It will not help if Prime Minister Naoto Kan resigns, it takes all parties to issue a resolution for the Prime Minister to enforce, it is the fault of all Parties who are elected in office for not submitting a bill or writing to chambers to order the Electric company to Pay damages for all Losses and Compensation to each party involved in the radiation leak, it is for government to make sure that all this money is paid, their should also Be workers compensation paid to each person who lost their Job and is not working, there should be an Immediate housing project started for the families in shelters now. It was the fault of the Power company for this catastrophe and the Government involvement to have made sure the citizens were safe.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do not vote for anyone who was in office when the tsunami hit. It is time for the a tsunami in the political scene. Inexperience can be an asset!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I hope the people punish the LPD and the DPJ next election season.

And start pointing fingers to themselves (voters). Japan really needs to change.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The national government is only part of the problem. I feel Kan was doing his best. He was obstructed all all the way by political opponents who wanted to lay the blame on him and his party for something he could not control.

A lot of the blame lies not with Kan and his allies, but with the opposition, who opposed and still oppose much progress, and the bureaucracy, most of whom were appointed by the opposition.

Perhaps, if Japanese TV aired the old BBC comedy series, Yes, Minister, they would understand where the problem lies.

It is not the time for turf wars: it is a time for cooperation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I often see this as a gender issue-like when you see the voices of mothers regarding school lunches, they are passionate and argumentive. Yet you hardly ever see men arguing in such a manner. Scholars of men will argue the facts, but with out the economics, as anywhere, their voice is small. Japan is a haven of economics-what I have found is that from a male gender they detest the salesman-if youre not committed to living in Japan, theyre not really interested in buying whatever you have to sell-ie imports. However due to a certain pride that they can produce the same should they want to, if you up them one on anything imported, they will wait to see exactly how it is taken on by the society as a whole. If it is women bringing in the import it will sell, because they usually carry the money bags. However the import is usually something insignificant anyway, women dont run their books like men. They dont gamble so well-a maternal instinct perhaps. anyway I could keep rambling on and explaining how I see it.....but as for a solution, I dont necessarily point fingers at anybody of power but more that in each home the female has to back off the economics, so that the man can taste the passion of rebellion and fight-though that may just be economic directed anyway-but while ever females carry the economic weight and passion the Japanese economy will go nowhere. To get to this point of men leading and innovation and so on, women need to step back and, how can I say, somehow deal with a little not-satisfying lifestyle, so much so that the men in their personal circle would become unsatisfied......I dont think this will happen. Tohoku people are the same complacent, and they havent changed much even though theyve had such devastation and loss (though if they could realize a redeemer.....).......so where are we headed?.....Each and every foreigner even, has to take it on personally-plan how you would live in Japan for the rest of your life-, cause if youre just compaining and making suggestions, or sweeping up the rubbish for your gain somewhere else- you might as well leave, you wont be heard.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a discraceful way to act in front of the world, surely they must feel ashamed?

It's kind of hard to imagine a Japanese politician feeling ashamed for anything other than getting their fingers caught where they shouldn't be. They care naught for anything other than their own power.

What this country really needs is an overhaul of the electorate with direct elections for the PM and not some shady dealings behind closed doors by whatever party happens to be in power at the time.

Dream on........

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My heart breaks for these people, but it is also breaking for the country as a whole. It must be a terrible wake up call to finally find out the "authority" you have been raised to respect without question and revere your whole life doesnt give a crap about you or your beloved country.

When I read quotes like: "I feel like i am watching events in another country" I feel really frustrated - I just want to shout NO! This is YOUR country! Stop thinking Japan is some effing haven and the rest of the world is a terrible place! I understand there is little this poor woman can do from where she is now, but this way of thinking is pretty representative of the entire nation, I think.

And as for the poor dairy farmer who wants to know when he can return home (have heard this from other evacuees too) - has no-one actually bothered to tell them they almost certainly WONT be going home. EVER? Why are these people continuing to be made to feel there is hope for them - there isnt in many cases. They need to be given NEW hope. But this takes decisive leadership and someone to stick their necks out.

I agree with what many people are saying, that this starts with education, and people here for generations have been "educated" into not questionning authority - very clever on the governments part, but this must stop. I just want to smack the smug, self-satisfied faces of those politicians every time I see them on TV.

I dont want to be blood in the streets either, but something needs to be done. I am watching my chosen home country sinking faster than ever before and its so sad to see. I would love to be the one to stand up and do something - but who is going to listen to a "foreigner". And rightly so, I suppose. What do I know about the subtle intricacies of Japanese culture? Except as an observer with a fresh pair of eyes. And what I see is that a culture that worked 100 years ago, even 60 years ago, is not working now and Japan has gone from needing to change to having to whether it likes it or not.

illsayit says we must plan how we will live in Japan for the rest of our lives or get out. Well, some of us cant levae, not without splitting up our families. But I have no idea how to continue living like this either. I cant vote. Im not allowed to be in politics. No one is interested in hearing my voice anyway if they are Japanese. I despair.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are many uploadings of Dr Kodama's impassioned and expert speech in Japanese about the nuclear fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. My guestimate is that collectively the number in Japanese is getting up to 1,000,000 views and still growing. The one with the largest number of views is at 549,659 and can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9sTLQSZfwo&feature=related the one around 300,000 can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eubj2tmb86M

549,659 and just grew to that number by nearly 200 while I've been writing this comment. 

If all you good folk here in Tokyo, and Japan and around the world who are in support of the truth and concerned about the health of the good people of the Fukushima area and Touhoku disaster region can kindly share on to your social networks maybe we can get this English version to go over 1,000,000 and even more viral too. This will help put world pressure and support getting fast, effective healthy solutions to this ongoing disaster that threatens so many adults and children now and in the future. Dr Kodama is a medical doctor specialized in cancer treatment and a leading authority on the effects of radiation on people's health at the University of Tokyo. Spread his words please, for the sake of us all in Japan and our children's children too. Thank you

English version: (click ‘cc’ on the video panel for English translation)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dlf4gOvzxYc

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dumbarses on a grand scale, proud to be stupid proud to be Japanese.Oh time to go to work? 12 hours of pretending to be busy, Vote? I know I'm a dumbarse I should not vote....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Understood, Andrew. Spread the word accordingly. The truth of Fukushima disaster is beyond my comprehension. And people have to be told the truth, nothing but truth. I am so sick nothing has been done to protect people of Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Around the world people donated money

WHERE DID THE MONEY GO ? I've donated money. Where did the money go ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ozawa is a skimmer

He's already setting up deals for big money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where is part two of that video?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites