politics

Voters express hopes and concerns as election campaigning begins

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Paradoxically, the name of the political party "Party of Hope" expresses how much Japanese are living without hope.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

nothing will change no matter who wins

5 ( +6 / -1 )

nothing will change no matter who wins

It is already a change when Koike wins. She may be simply a lesser evil at the end, but what is far more interesting is the change in People's minds. What would excite me most about Koike winning is the fact that people are sick and WANT a change. They are ready for a change. This is far more important to me than who is winning. Because it shows that Japan can change, if there is an opportunity to change.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The old boys pictured look just like i feel!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

In the city of Fukushima, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched his campaign, Tetsuo Yoshida, a 71-year-old farmer, stressed that "reconstruction from the (2011) earthquake and nuclear plant accident is the most important (thing to me)."

"The prime minister showed his enthusiasm for reconstruction by choosing Fukushima as the first stop of his stumping tour," he said.

Nonono, thats all part of his plan. Why do some people not see that he is just fooling them.

Atsumi Fukui, a 19-year-old student at Nagasaki University, was undecided on who he will vote for as information on each party's nuclear weapons policy was limited. "I can't choose unless they clearly show (their positions)," he said.

Smart kid.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Yes, yes... we get it! There is new party with "hope" in the title.

""The prime minister showed his enthusiasm for reconstruction by choosing Fukushima as the first stop of his stumping tour,"

This guy's obviously not very bright, if he thinks Abe has "expressed enthusiasm for reconstruction" when he's only stumping 6 years after the disasters occurred. Lest we forget, he also used the disasters as a reason why Japan should get the Olympics, and people are still living in shelters.

No, what's happened is that this guy saw Abe in person, and as with many people in this country, if a politician or celebrity is from your home town and/or stops by to talk to them, they feel like it's a huge moment in their life and will support the person no matter WHAT they say or do. Abe hasn't lived up to ANY of his words that haven't benefitted ONLY corporations or himself. Now, once again just before an election, he's promising it all, and the sheeple like this farmer are sucking it up.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Koike isn't change, just repackaged marketing. People like to be snowed though, so they'll get that at least.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

In the city of Fukushima, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched his campaign, Tetsuo Yoshida, a 71-year-old farmer, stressed that "reconstruction from the (2011) earthquake and nuclear plant accident is the most important (thing to me)."

I just want to say that Abe has a lot of nerve and audacity to campaign there after he redirected funds meant for reconstruction to Tokyo for the Olympics.

"The prime minister showed his enthusiasm for reconstruction by choosing Fukushima as the first stop of his stumping tour," he said.

This guy's obviously not very bright, if he thinks Abe has "expressed enthusiasm for reconstruction" when he's only stumping 6 years after the disasters occurred. Lest we forget, he also used the disasters as a reason why Japan should get the Olympics, and people are still living in shelters.

Smith beat me to it. Nuff said.

It is already a change when Koike wins. She may be simply a lesser evil at the end, but what is far more interesting is the change in People's minds. What would excite me most about Koike winning is the fact that people are sick and WANT a change. They are ready for a change. This is far more important to me than who is winning. Because it shows that Japan can change, if there is an opportunity to change.

Excellent quote Eric! Let me add something else. There is a real chance at a change in the nature of Japanese politics. Koike for her part, has pushed away the left wingers and forced them to form their own party, while forming her own right wing opposition to the LDP. We just might be seeing an end to the mishmash of right and left that dominated the opposition for years. What really killed the opposition was the lack of a real left party. With Koike refusing the left to join with her, maybe this will force the opposition to get their act together and form a strong left coalition in the future.

But like Eric Tatsumi said, Koike is a lesser evil, and I don't even know if I would call her that, as she brought up the foreign sufferage issue. She was actually pro foreign sufferage as Eric also corrected me earlier (thank you Eric). True, she was forced to back down because of the right wing nutjobs, but at least she cared enough to initially put it on the table, and was not actually against it as mistakenly reported by JT. So she can't be THAT right wing if she was willing to give us some degree of suffrage. As far as her stance on China and North Korea, she's going to do what ANY PM in her place is going to do which is support the US. In matters concerning China and NK, Japan does not dictate policy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

there is no hope, just vote communist party.

Kiozumi won because of his good looks appealed to women, so got a lot of votes. Koide is a women, so she also stands a chance to get womens votes.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The Japanese people are being made fools of time and time again;especially the young!

What choice is there for equality when the system takes unfair amounts of tax from the poor but does not from the rich?

A poor family pays the same 8% tax on their food, baby clothes,books,magazines, newspapers and internet services as the rich!

No wonder the population crisis is worsening!

In fact, why is there a tax on food and books which certainly disadvantages those on lower incomes?

Public schools in Japan have inadequate funding and most politicians don't give a damn as they usually attend private schools.

Why don't young Japanese realise that they are being scammed?

Those politicians running Japan have little idea what constitutes a fair society and unfortunately those at the bottom have even less....

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Is is true that the LDP are ready to jettison Komeito from the coalition? The theory is that Komeito are dragging their heels because their supporters are against remilitarization and becoming embroiled in the US global wars.

Underneath the chummy exterior Koike and her group are neo-con, neo-liberal hawks and all in favour. So, it will be out with the wishy-washy Buddhist cultists and in with a LDP - Party Of Hope alliance to ram through the change the constitution.

Whatever happens its not going to be good......

6 ( +6 / -0 )

What are the issues they can talk about. If they say we will open more schools, there are enough oji sans who even want to close the existing ones. If they say we want to improve globalization, there are enough people from all ages who will strongly oppose it. If they say we will make stuff cheaper by ending the ridiculous subsidy on Japanese products, the farmers will stand against them and so on so forth ... So in my opinion does not make any difference. But still I would vote for someone other than Abe with a hope that at least something might change.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Don't forget that Japan is actually run by the bureaucrats. I remember when I was in junior high in the early 80s that Junichiro Koizumi ran on the platform of taking power away from the bureaucrats and giving it back to the people (politicians). That never worked out.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It's all a total farce, doesn't matter a jot who wins. Cos if it did matter, Japan Inc. wouldn't even allow it to take place. Guess the Japanese never understood that Who song, "Won't Get Fooled Again"...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Democracy in Japan is a joke. It’s a joke, but Krusty isn’t laughing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

What choice is there for equality when the system takes unfair amounts of tax from the poor but does not from the rich?

I am not poor. I am not sure that I count as "rich", but I pay loads of tax.

A poor family pays the same 8% tax on their food, baby clothes,books,magazines, newspapers and internet services as the rich!

And the "rich" pay huge amounts of consumption tax on their new houses, cars, and various other things that only the "rich" consume. If one were to sum the amount of consumption tax paid by the rich, it would certainly dwarf that paid by the poor, and so it should be.

In fact, why is there a tax on food and books which certainly disadvantages those on lower incomes?

Because broad-based low rate taxation, of which Japan's consumption tax is an example, is more efficient than the alternative - a range of different tax rates which is both inefficient and distortionary. 

Need I remind of the debacle here surrounding beer tax, which the authorities are now slowly trying to undo? There would be no "third beers" in the first place if it weren't for the inconsistent tax treatment, which led to the creation of special interest groups. Japan does NOT need more special interest groups.

We should not go there with consumption tax generally, for the same reasons.

If poor families need additional assistance, it should be achieved by other means, such as cutting income tax rates in the lower bracket (perhaps with an offsetting increase in the higher brackets, if aiming for revenue neutrality), or boosting financial assistance.

The purpose of the tax system is to efficiently collect tax revenues (so that the government can redistribute it to the needy) while placing minimum distortion and drag on economic behavior. The tax system can not and should not be used to attempt to help the needy, because there are people with no income at all - the consumption tax rate is irrelevant to their welfare because they need assistance from the government anyway.

Tax system - for collecting tax revenues efficiently without distorting economic behaviour.

Welfare system - for assisting the needy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If one were to sum the amount of consumption tax paid by the rich, it would certainly dwarf that paid by the poor, and so it should be.

In absolute amounts, yes; as a proportional burden, no.

Say a person with an income of ¥150,000 spends all his income on subsistence - food, light, heat, clothing, shelter. By imposing a consumption tax on basics, you essentially tax his whole income.

Now let's say an affluent person with a monthly income ten times that of our poor person spends twice as much as the poor man on 'essentials' - he eats better food, wears better clothes, lives in a nicer pad - he's paying the same rate of consumption tax on only one-fifth of his total income. Twice as much in actual yen, yes; but with a tax rate of 10%, only a small fraction of the cash he has in hand, compared to 100% of the poor man's assets. If he spends half his income on the high life, it's still way less than what the poor man pays. That is not fair.

Essentials like food, clothing and basic energy should not be taxed. At all.

If poor families need additional assistance, it should be achieved by other means, such as cutting income tax rates in the lower bracket

You do realise the people at the bottom don't earn enough to pay income tax in the first place? You can't cut zero.

The purpose of the tax system is to efficiently collect tax revenues (so that the government can redistribute it to the needy)

No it isn't. The purpose of the tax system is to efficiently collect revenues so that the government has the financial resources to keep the country ticking over - building and maintaining roads and public institutions, collecting and processing waste, providing water and sewerage services, education, police, fire brigade, the justice system, regulations to protect the environment, pubic health, etc.,etc., etc. - and to help those in need.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In absolute amounts, yes

And those absolute amounts are significant, and there is no way to escape paying.

You can't cut zero.

Which I covered in my comment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Voters express hopes and concerns as election campaigning begins

This must be one of the laziest headlines ever.....just cut and paste to any article about any election, anywhere...ever.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@fxgai

While I can understand your points, you are surely mistaking mine.

I'm not advocating a system where efficiency is the only goal but a system where fairness is!

By not allowing poorer members of society more yen in their pockets to feed and clothe their children is a great misdeed......

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kurisupisu, I don't believe I mistook your points, rather I disputed them. Your suggestion of a great misdeed also suggests that you didn't understand my points accurately.

The purpose of a tax system is not "to be fair". If that were the goal of a tax system, failure is guaranteed. A tax system works to take money away from people, but people with nothing can pay no tax. So how can "fairness" for those incomeless people be met by a system that does nothing but take money away from people?

Clearly "fairness" is a goal that can only be met by welfare systems, not tax systems. A welfare system should ensure that those with no incomes are provided for adequately (e.g. put some "yen in their pockets" because they have none at all), and those with low incomes receive some extra support ("more yen in their pockets").

We can fund our welfare systems best, when we run an efficient tax system that doesn't inhibit economic activity. Complaints about people with no money at all having to pay 10% consumption tax to buy goods and services being more "unfair" than having to pay an 8% rate miss the point - such people need assistance in either case (and the welfare system should provide adequately in consideration of such).

A fair welfare system should work well for not only for the poorer members of society, but all members of society. The greatest misdeed is when we seek to fulfill objectives such as caring for the poor by adopting sub-optimal means, as such decisions make everyone in society poorer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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