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Author Murakami criticizes Suga over pandemic measures

69 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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69 Comments
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Good job by him, he is 100% correct!

36 ( +42 / -6 )

Can't wait till he writes a novel about all this!

29 ( +35 / -6 )

"It seems he doesn't listen to others, and perhaps he only has eyes that see well, or he sees only what he wants to see,"

Spot on

32 ( +37 / -5 )

Quote of the Day?

*- “It seems [Suga] doesn't listen to others,… or he sees only what he wants to see," - Murakami*

23 ( +28 / -5 )

Suga approval rating down to 26%. He won't survive the leadership.

33 ( +35 / -2 )

Well said Murakami san. Are you journalists without a backbone not embarrassed

26 ( +29 / -3 )

suga is a joke, and murakami called him out on it

good on M

21 ( +26 / -5 )

Well said Murakami san. Are you journalists without a backbone not embarrassed

I agree!

Japan's response to Covid 19 has been surprisingly relaxed, it is great that Murakami has been critical of Japan's leadership, his observations are very accurate.

"If he really saw an exit, his eyes must be extremely good for his age. I'm of the same age as Mr. Suga, but I don't see any exit at all," said Murakami, 72

This is exactly how I feel about Covid, Japan and the rest of the world at the moment, I cant even glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Murakami has been a everybody’s favorite candidate for the Nobel prize in literature for years but he’s never been chosen and perhaps never will be. That makes him a bitter man.

-38 ( +7 / -45 )

Japan needs more people to question the leadership. It’s abysmal at the moment. Japan has the talent and smarts to really be a independent oasis for citizens happiness, but it’s cultural structure has deformed into a stiffleing rule based system that harps back to a dream time based on lies. Big slap to Japanese people it’s not so difficult. Have the money just not the leaders.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

zichi  07:14 am JST

Suga approval rating down to 26%. He won't survive the leadership.

And there’s no way we’ll ever be fully vaccinated by 2024 or that the Olympics will ever be held.

The JT comment section is where 90% of bold predictions come to die. Suga’s grip in power is tenuous, so this prediction actually has an inkling of possibility though.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Murakami for president !

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I love Murakami and his books helped me get through the beginning of my life here. They were like a buffer, a proxy.

However, any criticism of politicians is not allowed here. It's not as bad here as in countries where critics routinely fall out of windows, are found with water in their lungs in the middle of the square, etc. However, anyone who criticizes politicians here and is in some way involved in culture or is otherwise well known is over time overlooked, ignored and declared a troublemaker. Mostly in cases where the person in question is, for example, half Japanese, or someone who has lived abroad for years.

So although I agree with what he said and it coincides with what I say. it's not good for him in the future. I suspect he will now have a bit of a problem with book publishers.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

So what does Murakami think should have been done then? That's missing from the article, the reverse of 'ignoring' is 'paying attention to' but does what exactly would does he think that entails beyond merely looking at it?

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

"It seems he doesn't listen to others, and perhaps he only has eyes that see well, or he sees only what he wants to see," he said.

This could easily apply to certain people here that if ignore the reality, keep saying covid is beat, numbers are down, Vaccination is going well/smoothly, etc...

It seems they like Suga only see what they want to see.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Suga’s mistake was allowing the olympics to go ahead. For some reason the games seem more important than the welfare of the country and it’s citizens

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Japanese government responses too Covid is really pathetic, Japanese dying in their homes,for a lack of care,lots of you Japanese that do not adhere to Covid protocol may die the same way,at home,for a lack of space in a hospital,

11 ( +16 / -5 )

@MiyouwentiToday  07:41 am JST

Murakami has been a everybody’s favorite candidate for the Nobel prize in literature for years but he’s never been chosen and perhaps never will be. That makes him a bitter man.

typical repose to criticism = blame shift

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Please tell us what this author plans to do differently....criticizing is one thing but just complaining about things with no solutions isn’t productive.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

… soon after his inauguration….

What “inauguration”? The bloke’s the leader of the LDP, the largest party in parliament, and therefore the Prime Minister.

He’s not some head of state.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Suga is a good man as ordinary ojisan but incompetent as a leader of the country.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He is an author and by definition, he can start a story end a story. Mentally juggling a story line. That takes skill and imagination, both those skills are not strong points for the LDP. He in 4 years could do more than the LDP for people’s happiness than the LDP have achieved in decades of decline.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I totally agree with his view on Mr. Suga! Something wrong has been going on in Japan, which remids us of the provious war, since Abe admi.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Yet another reason to love the man, and loathe Suga. Quite the world when a novelist cares far more about society and speaks the truth while a politician does anything but.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Typo: response not repose

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Murakami previously has criticized politicians for reading texts prepared by bureaucrats and not communicating with powerful messages that can reach people's hearts.

The stark contrast between the half hearted, scripted deer in the headlights style leadership we see on show here in Japan and the confident, authentic , media savvy versions we know exist overseas has been one of the telling points of the whole pandemic. Have had the discussion with many Japanese friends here about this very issue, and have been told Japan being a group based culture means that they don’t particularly need nor expect a vibrant leader. The ‘group’ is suffice and Japanese people are naturally weary of these charismatic high performers you see in the west and beyond. It’s almost like they prefer mediocrity when it comes to leadership which always just seems bizarre to me.

Who doesn’t daydream about what Japan could be if they ever worked it out? Wonder if we will see it in our lifetime.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Japan has the lowest death rate per capita in the g8. I never thought I would say this but go Suga!!! Keep shielding us from the Covists’s madness. No masks, no lockdown, no Injections for us, yeah!

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

Suga has allowed the population in Japan to retain our freedoms...in other countries you have to have a vaccine passport to go to a cafe or theater, traveling...it’s not about the virus, it’s simply about control. Kishida wants to implement strict policies? What do you all think that means? Obviously he is a politician and will say anything but I prefer Suga. Vote for the people who have your freedoms in mind.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

smithinjapanToday  09:28 am JST

Yet another reason to love the man, and loathe Suga. Quite the world when a novelist cares far more about society and speaks the truth while a politician does anything but.

Successful novelists are people who have had to deal with the world and accomplish something by themselves. The average LDP Diet member is a morally and intellectually vacuous, silver spoon-fed non-entity whose literary expertise extends only as far as reading manga.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Murakami should run for office and hopefully get the LDP leadership or any party that will control the majority of the Diet. He will definitely make great decisions that will please all factions, all sectors and even mass media.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Self-promoter takes a solo

and the spotlight focuses...

Any requests?

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Suga is merely collateral damage for the LDP. Just waiting for Botchan to appear and say "I'm cured!"

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Good for Murakami.

The bottom line is that the Olympics and the Paralympics should have been cancelled and all of the nation's energy should have been put to fighting the pandemic.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Even in Japan celebrities seem to know best. Run for office if you think you can do better. The Japanese are more than happy to have the LDP as their rulers otherwise they wouldn't vote for them.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Nice comments from Murakami, just a shame he's on his own here. Japan really needs more public figures who are willing to criticize the government. Although I won't hold my breath.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Murakami is a national treasure. Suga is a national disgrace.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

 silver spoon-fed non-entity whose literary expertise extends only as far as reading manga.

You are giving them too little credit. They also know how to use YouTube search to find the best crocodile videos.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The average LDP Diet member is a morally and intellectually vacuous, silver spoon-fed non-entity whose literary expertise extends only as far as reading manga.

Some like Aso, can't even do that properly as he constantly Screws up his Kanji. LOL!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Stating what is apparent and has been since Suga's ascension to power. He was a hatchet man for Abe. The 'brains' behind the ramped up industrial tourism which, among other things, brought SARSCoV-2 to these shores. He embraced the dubious if not mad, GoToTravel. Permitted two international spectacles to take place during the contagion - which has coincided with an exponential rise in the number of covid cases. All of which has grossly impacted the economy and to which he and his party offer no solutions.

Soon, it will be two years since the pandemic began. One might suppose, his solution will be to open the borders to a flood of foreign tourists. Instead of developing the domestic economy, along sustainable parameters.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Pierre LeVenerable

Japan has the lowest death rate per capita in the g8. I never thought I would say this but go Suga!!! Keep shielding us from the Covists’s madness. No masks, no lockdown, no Injections for us, yeah!

I agree, no mask, no lockdown, no injection, no brain, no heart for you, yeah! And all the Covid for you.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

JohnToday  09:01 am JST

Please tell us what this author plans to do differently....criticizing is one thing but just complaining about things with no solutions isn’t productive.

That's not very difficult to do something when nothing was done so far.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

JohnToday  10:20 am JST

Suga has allowed the population in Japan to retain our freedoms...in other countries you have to have a vaccine passport to go to a cafe or theater, traveling...it’s not about the virus, it’s simply about control. Kishida wants to implement strict policies? What do you all think that means? Obviously he is a politician and will say anything but I prefer Suga. Vote for the people who have your freedoms in mind.

I was not aware that the rest of the world has no freedom anymore and that a vaccine passport was needed to enjoy the freedom. Lucky you to live in the only place on earth where selfishness can be enjoy.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

ZorotoToday  11:37 am JST

Murakami is a national treasure. Suga is a national disgrace.

Suga is even an international disgrace after his appearance in the last G7.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

finally someone said so.Suga its time to go buddy.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Very easy to criticize someone doing a very difficult job, yet not come up with any alternatives. What cowardice and shallow behaviour.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

@falseflagsteve

You can be critical of someone doing a poor job without necessarily being versed in it or possible solutions.

If you went to a restaurant and the meal was bad, do you lose the right to criticize the meal because you don't know how to fix the food? If my plumber messes up my pipes and my house floods, do I just shrug because it was a difficult job? The only way I feel it should be given a total pass is if I am asking someone to do something entirely outside their expertise (i.e my plumber cooks me a meal and it isn't very good).

If a politican/leader fails at leading, that is their fundamental job. Anyone and everyone has the right to criticize them.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Addfwyn

Of course anyone has the right to criticize. Yet what alternatives does he bring to the table? He’s just acting like a grumpy old guy who got out of bed the wrong side.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Interesting to go to Japanese social media and see the comments.

Looks very lopsided with I would say 90% in support of Murakami and a few LDP supporters calling him names.

Seems the only people not agreeing with him are a small minority of LDP supporters and the odd "we love Japan never say anything bad about it" or freedom anti mask anti vaxxers foreigners here.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

ZorotoToday  11:39 am JST

You are giving them too little credit. They also know how to use YouTube search to find the best crocodile videos.

Curiously enough they don't give themselves enough credit for possessing key skills like that. Wonder why not.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

People are so gullible.

This guy says what a lot of people think,

then has the press promote him; his achievements, and his new book-

And then goes back to work at his "safe" gig on the radio.

What about all the live-houses that have been and continually are targeted,

restricted to closing by 8pm?

Which means start so early, at 5pm, when most are still at work.

So, the govt. may say close at 8pm, but it's a direct hit, on all and any business.

But Mr. ex-jazz club owner has diddly to say about that,

just say a few words of popular "opposition of the man" for the folks, and promote his new music book.

Up yours.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Murakami is absolutely correct. Heck, murakami is one of the greatest living novelists on the planet.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Murakami for PM!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Let’s invite Mr Murakami to the comments section JT

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Once again the article mixes what Murakami said:

"If he really saw an exit, his eyes must be extremely good for his age. I'm of the same age as Mr. Suga, but I don't see any exit at all,"

with something the journal tries to insinuate but Murakami didn’t say:

”since the Games began, daily new cases have gone up nearly five times nationwide, and more than tripled in Tokyo.”

As if there was a causal effect. Can we say then “since the Paralympics started, cases in Tokyo have been less and less”?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Murakami previously has criticized politicians for reading texts prepared by bureaucrats and not communicating with powerful messages that can reach people's hearts.

Agree, but the Japanese voters keep selecting these politicians.

That’s democracy isn’t it?

Until Japanese voters start voting for what they actually want they will keep getting the same brand of politician.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ John. Fully agree. What alternative solutions does Murakami have in mind? Criticising will not solve the problem. What would he have done if he were the Prime minister? Another publicity stunt to sell more books and make more money?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

So although I agree with what he said and it coincides with what I say. it's not good for him in the future. I suspect he will now have a bit of a problem with book publishers.

Nah, he'll be fine. It hasn't gotten him in trouble yet, and it makes money for publishers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People here still think vaccines are about control.

I want to be in an intelligent society. Luckily we have Murakami to shine a light.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Haruki calling it as it is...cue the LDP crew swinging into action ala...Murakami has been a everybody’s favorite candidate for the Nobel prize in literature for years but he’s never been chosen and perhaps never will be. That makes him a bitter man."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

 any criticism of politicians is not allowed here. It's not as bad here as in countries where critics routinely fall out of windows, are found with water in their lungs in the middle of the square, etc. However, anyone who criticizes politicians here and is in some way involved in culture or is otherwise well known is over time overlooked, ignored and declared a troublemaker. Mostly in cases where the person in question is, for example, half Japanese, or someone who has lived abroad for years.

So true, but Murakami does enjoy the protective Teflon mantle of fame and popularity. Years ago an American diplomat in S. America wrote the best-selling "The Ugly American" and was rewarded by riches enabling him to retire. A Japanese diplomat followed suit and, for "The Ugly Japanese", was fired by the Ministry. Then when "The Ugly Chinaman" appeared, the hapless author was given a cell all to himself in a Chinese prison. A Chinese acquaintance of mine apparently got away with his translation of "The Ugly Japanese", while the Chinese reader could safely read between the lines about his Asian brother from the archipelago. Unfortunately, as Johnny Winter used to sing of his native Texas, there"s so much sh** in Asia, you're bound to step in some. So Murakami-san had still better watch his.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Speak of the devil.

People are so gullible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Teal its a color. A lotta people think it. But is there a point?

You know the difference between a hero and a coward?

As a hero of mine liked to tell me, the difference is: a hero does the things- a coward wouldnt.

Need more heroes with 'safe' gigs on radios and on TVs. I agree with that. As for the live house,

Get your house in order BnG!

Go talk to your people voting Looters in, watchin em run wild on your tax dime.

GO on, ask the guys in charge. The ones who paid their buddies a killing for masks nobody asked, for nobody wore. I say go ahead and ask but I know you won't. Cus you already know. Looters don't pay. They don't pay for live-houses. But you never know, they do pay for tunnels… under the sea. Call em up the ask em if they need a live house to go with it? Maybe they cut you in?

blue in greenToday 01:58 pm JST

People are so gullible.

This guy says what a lot of people think,

then has the press promote him; his achievements, and his new book-

And then goes back to work at his "safe" gig on the radio.

What about all the live-houses that have been and continually are targeted,

restricted to closing by 8pm?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do you want him to say, we are doomed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Robert Cikki writes:

"So although I agree with what he said and it coincides with what I say. it's not good for him in the future. I suspect he will now have a bit of a problem with book publishers."

No, au contraire...My guess is that you haven't been in Japan long enough...

Dumping on the government is almost a sine qua non for Japan's pseudo-intellectual class, to which Murakami belongs. In this case, I'll concede, he makes some valid points, and I speak as a voter who consistently supports the LDP. (The whole Olympics scam constitutes a pseudo-religion, which the government should have resisted.)

I've spent most of my life in Japanese academia, in which sticking up for conservative principles is far more hazardous than doing what Murakami has just done.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@tamanegi

If politics in Japan were not a matter of mafia-like families and boot-licking in a very corrupt system, there would be far more common folks running for office and winning enough seats to start rocking society as it is long overdue.

Until the day when enough of those political families and other geriatric paycheck collectors get kicked out of office, the Japanese Diet will look nothing more than a disguised version of the Roman Senate during the centuries of rule under the Caesars.

I'm personally glad that Murakami called it as it is. People and now governors have been crying for one period to go hard and crush the curve into near irrelevance for the time enough people get vaccinated, but the LDP have been doing a lousy job from the very beginning by not listening to scientists and medical experts. In any case, Suga is like the mad king in his twilight before someone at the court chooses to go with full betrayal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mura San is right !!..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

WobotAug. 31  08:12 am JST

So what does Murakami think should have been done then? That's missing from the article, the reverse of 'ignoring' is 'paying attention to' but does what exactly would does he think that entails beyond merely looking at it?

exactly. does he have a better solution?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Convenient how Murakami failed to point out how few deaths there were during the recent Delta spike.

But I do agree with him that Suga should not be fixated on vaccines only to stomp out COVID. There are other tools proven to be effective.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"If he really saw an exit, his eyes must be extremely good for his age. I'm of the same age as Mr. Suga, but I don't see any exit at all," said Murakami, 72.

"It seems he doesn't listen to others, and perhaps he only has eyes that see well, or he sees only what he wants to see," he said.

One thing can be said about Haruki Murakami from this, he is no dummy. Ain't no 'doesn't listen to others' about it, and I don't care if Suga is the PM, he is a FOOL if he can't see that Haruki is telling the truth. Look at how it's turned out since Suga gave in to Bach and the IOC. Shame!

Haruki Murakami is no fool, he's right on the money here. Give him hell, Haruki!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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