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Gov't under fire for plan to use financial institutions to enforce alcohol ban

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@JeffLeeJuly 14 05:33 pm JST

I read your posts. I tell you what the logical conclusion of your posts mean, and you are refusing to accept it.

I'm advocating for effective and sensible policies from an elected govt.

First, you have dangerously neglected to put the word "proportionate", something modern law now considers necessary because "effective and sensible" along lead to undesirable results. An easy to understand example would be "bail". Denying bail (or just not having such a system) is effective and sensible, from the viewpoint of ensuring defendants do not escape. Whether it is proportionate is the reason why bail is considered desirable.

Second, everyone has its own ideas of what is effective and sensible, and if we add "proportionate" to the mix the dispersion of opinions get even greater. It is dangerous thinking to encourage the overriding of institutional safeguards because YOU think one particular course of action in one concrete case is "effective and sensible" and should be enforced roughshod, and I'm glad the Japanese people as a whole are remembering past lessons better than harried Westerners.

As a practical matter, if you want to advocate for 強行採決 in the Japanese context, you might want to recheck the LDP's wishlist, and understand that ALL of them would go through in short order once this politico-psychological barrier is removed. We live in an imperfect world, and in Japan the LDP is the only feasible Party of Power. Twice in the past twenty years, Japanese have tried putting other parties in the driving seat. But if politics is the art of the possible, they simply are not good politicians because they don't have experience to give them a feel of what's possible and at what prices, and they don't have the connections to maximize what is possible. The LDP was soon reinstated and now w/ history on their side they will have to F-up very badly before the Japanese population as a whole will resort to replacing them.

Relying on pressure from financial institutions to enforce government public policy is bonkers.

Why is that? Ultimately, the enforcement of all government policy beyond what can be achieved by voluntary compliance is by coercion - the threat of consequences for compliance. If it's possible to get the financial institutions to cooperate, "requesting" them to enforce government public policy does have its advantages. The financial institutions have much personal contact with the various restaurants than the government does and can tailor the coercion much better than the government, who is both out of touch and obliged to "pretend they are equal" even when they are not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is an article about the government trying to impose an alcohol ban.

My initial remarks were about the suggestion that we just need smart people running the country.

My suggestion is that smart people is us - you included. We can each make our own decisions better than these central planners can with their ideas of coercion of the plebs

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Come on. If a democracy tells JeffLee to jump off a bridge, is that democracy and so JeffLee should abide?

No, right?

Democracy is resorted to in special circumstances only.

I checked the Japanese constitution, and yes there it is in Article 13, about life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This statement is confusing the notion of a free enterprise, capitalist economy, with economies with Big Government.

When the government is big and powerful, then of course it is in the self-interest of various groups to attempt to influence that power.

This is an article about the government trying to impose an alcohol ban.

Outside of Atlas Shrugged, the clearest exemplars of your "free market" would have been rum runners, bootleggers and pirates.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Kazuaki

So you are actually advocating for the majority to just be a Tyranny of the Majority?

yeah, man, give me tyranny!! LOL. Seems you didn't read my posts. I'm advocating for effective and sensible policies from an elected govt. Relying on pressure from financial institutions to enforce government public policy is bonkers.

Anyway, why do political parties compete to win seats in legislatures thru elections if their main policies can be destroyed by a loud minority (representing those who lost elections), as you stated? And if that doesn't happen, it's "tyranny"?? Again you don't seem to understand what democracy is about.

fxgai

Democracy is surely not intended to coerce minority groups into abiding by the wills of some majority.

I feel like an junior high school teacher trying to teach Civics to a group of very stubborn children.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Allowing the whining of a minority to ultimately dictate social policy is definitely NOT how democracy works.

Democracy is surely not intended to coerce minority groups into abiding by the wills of some majority.

If a majority of people said LGBT people should be in prison, most people these days would definitely be opposed.

Individual liberty and freedom is paramount. We ought resort to democracy only in limited cases, so as to allow maximum freedom for each individual, even if they may be some kind of minority.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is written into the Japanese constitution too, I do recall.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How is it possible when gov't and free enterprise are in bed ?

They are only in bed because power is allowed by the people to be concentrated in government, which is why I am saying we ought collectively opt to take a different path!

Except that the government in our neo-liberal, capitalist economies operates according to the influence of the wealth of big business.

This statement is confusing the notion of a free enterprise, capitalist economy, with economies with Big Government.

When the government is big and powerful, then of course it is in the self-interest of various groups to attempt to influence that power.

What I am suggesting is that we ought not have such great centralization of power in government, have smaller government, and therefore less incentive for people to seek to influence government.

That is, an economy dominated by free enterprise - where people need to provide other people with valuable products and services in order to get their money - rather than an economy with a Big Government in the center, which everyone tries to influence so as to have it coerce other people into doing things doing things to benefit themselves, rather than by competing in the free enterprise system and producing value for others.

Their policies are overwhelmingly pro-business and injurious to the public. 

“Pro-business” is not pro free enterprise!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@JeffLeeToday 03:24 pm JST

So what? The ruling coalition has clear majorities in both chambers. The govt was elected by the people to make tough decisions like this. That's how democracy works. Allowing the whining of a minority to ultimately dictate social policy is definitely NOT how democracy works.

So you are actually advocating for the majority to just be a Tyranny of the Majority? Is not democracy about respecting the views of a maximum amount of people? :-)

In any case, the Japanese Diet is kind of what the CCP claims the NPC is, except in Japan's case you can actually see it working because of (relative) transparency. There's the Party of Power (the LDP), but not only is it a conglomerate of several factions, but the party as a whole is supposed to consult and negotiate with all the little parties and form legislation that are at least minimally acceptable to most of the little parties rather than just do a 強行採決 (forced approval, which in # of vote terms it can always do). So just running roughshod over them is less politically acceptable than might appear.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Kazuaki

" because of whining from the opposition, eventually all plans to impose criminal liability and imprisonment for violations was dropped,"

So what? The ruling coalition has clear majorities in both chambers. The govt was elected by the people to make tough decisions like this. That's how democracy works. Allowing the whining of a minority to ultimately dictate social policy is definitely NOT how democracy works.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the coronavirus response, apologized at a press conference for "causing confusion and anxiety" by suggesting the move last Thursday.

Nishimura needs to do a different job if his actions in government cause “confusion and anxiety”

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It’s all good,a few brown envelopes,a few deep bows and apologize,the press looking at the other side and all is good as always.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Isn't it time to get some smart people to run this country.

My FIL says so too...and he's an LDP congressman.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

More exposure of this pathetic J-government!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"At the moment the compensation is horribly insufficient, which makes the whole thing appear more like a taunt to enrage the people."

Agreed, along with pushing for masks while at the bar.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Duh! So get the police to go to violating restaurants, order them shut, and if they refuse then hit them with fines, arrests or criminal charges."

If they were really serious, they would increase the number of trains, limit the number of passengers on-board at one time, and enforce teleworking. This targeting of bars and restaurants is absurd.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Even if the government was doing all it could to compensate businesses that fully cooperate and made sure they get enough money to continue until the situation is controlled this measures would be immediately considered excessive and difficult to implement in a fair way. At the moment the compensation is horribly insufficient, which makes the whole thing appear more like a taunt to enrage the people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@JeffLeeToday 07:28 am JST

It's the govt's job to enforce such bans, since it makes the laws. Duh! So get the police to go to violating restaurants, order them shut, and if they refuse then hit them with fines, arrests or criminal charges.

You might remember a couple of months back, an effort was made to legislate on this issue after the facts made clear that auto-regulation and peer-regulation are reaching their limits, but because of whining from the opposition, eventually all plans to impose criminal liability and imprisonment for violations was dropped, leaving a fine.

With it ended most of the deterrent power of said law, because the fine isn't nearly big enough to stop businesses from bulling through. (Fines in Japan are generally not very big, topping out in the range of hundreds of thousands of yen - a significant deterrent for a salaryman, but most businesses have the reserves to bull through such a thing.)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

These “finger-pointing Games” the govt is ‘playing with themselves’ have more drama and danger to the public than upcoming Olympic Games. To use some Sports analogies, there are too many players ‘on the field’ at one time, like Suga and the various ministers. When a mistake is made, someone ‘puts a shot’ in the other’s landing. When another missteps, someone ‘tosses a hammer’ in his direction. Eventually, and most likely, someone will be ‘skewered by an errant javelin’ thrown in the wrong direction:

*- I failed** to fully get across the point, so I feel sorry," denying he would resign. *

*- The govt abandoned a plan to stop selling alcohol to eateries during the SOE’s. *

- The Cabinet Sec’y briefed Suga on fin’l institutions to help enforce the alcohol ban.

*- It contradicted Suga's assertion he "had no knowledge" of Nishimura's stmts.” -*

The probability of continued serious injury to small businesses as unwitting “spectators’” is significantly increasing as the IOC’s much-demanded Tokyo “Olympic Games” approach.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Everyone is always complaining about the poor job done by central government, so when are we collectively going to come to the conclusion that central governments’s appropriate role is to not run important things?

If it matters to us, we ought have it run by the free enterprise system. It’s not perfect but it’s better than central government in most domains.

Except that the government in our neo-liberal, capitalist economies operates according to the influence of the wealth of big business. Their policies are overwhelmingly pro-business and injurious to the public.

Exhibit A: The IOC and sponsors (Dentsu) and public tax money.

Pretending that capitalist big business and central government are engaged in some antagonistic Manichean struggle is just an absurd take.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

everyday something "new"...these so called "olympics" are HUGE failure folks and will cost us a lot of money...for nothing...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Our government is always finding some kind of a proxy, minor problem and highlighting it instead of addressing the real problem and cause. As if serving alcohol is the real problem.

When someone points it out, they always dismiss it with things like "I failed to fully get across the point, so I feel sorry", "had no knowledge", まーーーーしょうがない, 申し訳ございません and so on.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

If it matters to us, we ought have it run by the free enterprise system. It’s not perfect but it’s better than central government in most domains.

How is it possible when gov't and free enterprise are in bed ?

Gov't uses its powers to rein on free enterprise and ensure free enterprise

operates the way gov't wants it to operate and use the leverage to secure high

paying amakudari jobs in free enterprise and in return free enterprise is awarded

by gov't with rules that impede competition, higher prices, easy access to loans or

if the worst comes to the worst free taxpayer money that can always be waived or defaulted.

In the end none operates in the interest of the common man, they both operate for their own interest.

To think either Gov't or free enterprise cares about the average Joe is sheer naivety.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga faced a growing backlash Tuesday for a controversial plan, retracted after a day, to have financial institutions help enforce a ban on eateries serving alcohol in Tokyo to curb the spread of COVID-19.

What next use the Yak to enforce it. Afterall they are being used in shareholders meetings by management

to ensure smart and vocal share holders remain silent.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Isn't it time to get some smart people to run this country.

The free market / free enterprise system runs things far better than central planning does.

Everyone is always complaining about the poor job done by central government, so when are we collectively going to come to the conclusion that central governments’s appropriate role is to not run important things?

If it matters to us, we ought have it run by the free enterprise system. It’s not perfect but it’s better than central government in most domains.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hope a big blow for the LDP at the next elections.

Won't hold my breath. By then the most apathetic electorate on

the planet would have forgotten. if Japan happens to win a record haul of medals

at the covid games the LDP will win with a landslide for going on with the games

and restoring national pride.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's the govt's job to enforce such bans, since it makes the laws. Duh! So get the police to go to violating restaurants, order them shut, and if they refuse then hit them with fines, arrests or criminal charges.

That's very true. We had another example of the government claiming other people were going to its job the other day, when it announced that it had asked duty-free shops to police whether visitors to Japan were breaking quarantine.

It's basically the government claiming it is acting on the public's concerns, when it fact it is taking no meaningful action whatsoever.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The government regularly uses financial institutions to stop residents repatriating funds to Japan. How is it you can legally walk through an airport with $10,000 undeclared, but your bank will demand that you prove the provenance of any wire transfer over $3,000?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Isn't it time to get some smart people to run this country.

Isn't it time for the populace to vote out these bozos.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is ridiculous. The guy isnt even trying to act as a decent, wise politician.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

 Why do the Japanese make simple, straightforward processes so comically complicated?"

Thats a pretty complicated question requiring careful consideration and mulling...lets call a few meetings;)

9 ( +10 / -1 )

More places open and selling alcohol this week than last week. People are tired of it and the bars aren't receiving their promised payments to stay closed. Good luck getting much cooperation this time around.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I think Nishimura will/should have to resign over this debacle.

Firstly, this is not a Police State. The alcohol ban is simply a request and we all know plenty of places that as time has gone on have abandoned obeying the Government if only because they have not received the money they were promised. I'm told by reliable sources that it has been impossible to even apply for the relief as far back as April. The web portal just says 'applications not yet taken' To even suggest that banks should withhold funds from businesses that are already struggling is an absolute disgrace.

Following Aso's comments yesterday that even the ban on booze is not legally enforceable I hope that many other eateries and bars will now totally ignore this ridiculous 'request' and show a middle finger to Government. This should give them the courage to do so.

I'll see you all down the pub tonight.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Meanwhile, Yukio Edano, leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said "the problem is with the entire administration, not just Nishimura." 

Now there is a truthful statement of fact if ever there was one.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Nishimura said an official from the Cabinet Secretariat had briefed Suga and other members of his Cabinet on the plan to call on financial institutions to help enforce the alcohol ban.

Blame others as usual.

It appeared to contradict Suga's assertion Friday that he "had no knowledge" of Nishimura's statements the previous day.

What , Suga lied again?...shocked...dont think he said one straight thing since he stepped up to be Abe,s spokesman.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

“These are not the politicians you are looking for.”

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Isn't it time to get some smart people to run this country.

that would be a first

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Toxic potion aka alcohol good riddance

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Hope a big blow for the LDP at the next elections.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

More bs from a corrupt and evil LDP

9 ( +10 / -1 )

"I failed to fully get across the point, so I feel sorry,"

Such a cowardly way to deal with backlash. I think you got your point across very well. We understand you Nippon Kaigi politicains don't think much about the constitution and would like to use any excuses to have even more power over people and businesses. A real apology would have expressed actual reflection on the outrageousness of the proposal.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Deputy PM, Finance Minister Taro Aso saying he told his aide to ignore the directive.

nice to see consensus on policy decisions from our leaders. Couldn’t he have had input over fiscal nation wide decision like this before the announcement?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

appeared to contradict Suga's assertion Friday that he "had no knowledge" of Nishimura's statements the previous day.

In most countries this is regarded as lying but in Japan politicians can twist words and get away with anything

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I'm glad there's a backlash to this because it would have been a step towards social credit

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Again, this leadership failed to understand that the real cause is NOT having a drink at a local bar, the problem is that the government has FAILED to vaccinate the general public in timely manner.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

18 months later and still this silliness goes on. The curve has been flattened and we now know the virus is not a mass killer. Time to go full UK and Singapore and live with the virus

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Meanwhile, Yukio Edano, leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said "the problem is with the entire administration, not just Nishimura."

Right as rain.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

It's the govt's job to enforce such bans, since it makes the laws. Duh! So get the police to go to violating restaurants, order them shut, and if they refuse then hit them with fines, arrests or criminal charges.

This is how society operates, folks. Why do the Japanese make simple, straightforward processes so comically complicated?

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

This effort which the government wanted to do to enforce these rules so the Olympics can carry on is clearly unconstitutional. I guess we can feel a little encouragment that it was shut down within a day.

When Suga first took the position of Prime Minister I thought/hoped maybe we would see something at least a little different due to his background. However one reads something like this....

It appeared to contradict Suga's assertion Friday that he "had no knowledge" of Nishimura's statements the previous day.

....and we realize he is just another snake in the grass. This coupled with his temporary relinquishiment of state sovereignty to Lord Bach and unwillingness to listen to and stand up for the interest of the Japanese citizens tells us who he is....

As Pete Townsend wrote back in 1971.......

"Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss"

20 ( +21 / -1 )

In the ‘field events’, the gov’t continued, frustrating attempts at non-enforcement have been “*miss**, more than hit”*

- “Nishimura, the minister in charge of response, apologized at a press conf for "causing confusion and anxiety" by suggesting the move

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These ‘Games’ are more interesting! The gov’t ‘track record’, so far, is ‘failing to clear hurdles’ with their complete ineptitude.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

"I failed to fully get across the point, so I feel sorry," he added, while denying he would resign as a minister over the matter.

It is interesting that so many LDP politicians often demonstrate they are intellectually challenged, yet when they address the public it seems they consider them the simpletons.

People get it. The LDP whines they do not have the constitutional powers for a proper COVID response, but have always had the power of economic leverage and coercion to get the results if they wanted it, from all the taxation, regulation and certification hoops the public has to jump through to go about their daily lives.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Isn't it time to get some smart people to run this country.

30 ( +31 / -1 )

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