politics

Abe promises to pursue reforms, build 'new Japan'

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"....small businesses that are facing soaring fuel costs."

What planet are these people living on? At my gas station in Tokyo, it's 131 yen a liter, the lowest price in many years.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

No change: give to the rich and unproductive. Good to know it will continue since it benefits me. I just want to be sure my yen investments can be secured enough, without facing one day huge inflation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Abe is again rewarding the upper income and the powerful with his new stimulus. Perhaps if he had not given so much of the economy to them, the yen would not be dropping.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have 3.5 trillion yen to spend. WHAT can i buy with it though? (I heard i cannot even buy a small tokyo apartment with it.)

I also have 3.5 million USDs...what can i cash that in for?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I do not understand, and perhaps somebody could tell me why they want to move folk to the country.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

All aboard the gravy train, it departs from platform 2 in 2015.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There has been no meaningful attempt at reforming any state institution, not a single ministry of government. The employment system remains grotesquely disfigured, with wage disparity a symptomatic cause of the malaise in the economy. It's as if the government are in a perpetual state of denial. Any further investment would be throwing money to the wind, a shameful reflection of a reluctance to brush the vested interests aside, selfishly holding back the necessary changes that can restore and build Japans economic further. Astonishing short sightedness. Action is needed, not stubborn intransigence.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

abe & a lotta hot air....................... he isn't doing anything new, or anything that works except weakening the yen..........

Man I think the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII is going to be a very embarrassing time to be living in Japan.

For once I would like see something good, something of substance being done by the govt here, its long long overdue, but we get the same BS that has done NOTHING with $$$ being repeatedly wasted on pork.

I don't have a good vibe for 2015, & 2014 really sucked!

The powers that be in Japan still so utterly clueless as to how to make the average Tanaka-san's lives better or at least bearable.......

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday promised to continue with his reforms to rejuvenate regional economies

Short of devolving political power to the regions (creating wheel-reinventing fiefdoms), read this as the LDP stealing from those who can shape tomorrow to reward their parasitical, stuck-in-the-past supporters.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

May he be the instrument in returning the number 2 slot to Japan. And fellow gaijins, lest we forget, if we don't like the way things are being run here we might as well go back to our own soil. Who are we to keep on bashing the Jpolitiicians just because they don't run the country along your foresight. Japan is unique in its problems now due to both natural and man-caused calamities. Who knows reforms that we see unfit right now might do wonders. And who knows history would prove PM Abe right. Right now I say Amen to his vision. At least no more revolving door PMs.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Typical Abe: "I'm going to make this, and this, and this better...," bet ne'er a word on HOW he plans to do it or what his 'beautiful (and new) Japan' entails. He wants to make inroads with China how? by changing the Constitution, which they are against? by further white-washing the textbooks and therefore making textbooks more 'patriotic'? And HOW is expanding the military and making Japan 'strong' sticking with Japan's 'passivity'? And as for the economy, how many vows is that now?

This guy's view of a 'new Japan' is simply to be more like China. And he's getting his wish every day as he passes laws that no one wants. Hope the wingers on here will eventually see that they are becoming exactly like one of the countries they rail against, and they welcome that.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Who are we to keep on bashing the Jpolitiicians just because they don't run the country along your foresight.

I can't speak for everyone, but I'm an individual tax payer, a business owner whose business pays taxes, an employer (of Japanese citizens), the husband to a Japanese citizen, and the father to two Japanese citizens. That's who I am, and all of these things give me the right to bash the politicians all I want. It's not enough to allow me to vote, and I'm ok with that, but you're fooling yourself if you think someone with the vested interests I've listed should, or is going to, stop bashing stupid politicians just because I don't have citizenship.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

This guy's view of a 'new Japan' is simply to be more like China.

'new Japan' simply means Japan has to solve many problems. It's like 'Change' of Obama. 'beautiful Japan' is the image he has in his mind from pastoral countryside where he grew up.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

I still wonder why the prime minister of Japan decided to give away billions of yen to Czech Republic when he knew the country is under heavy debt which he is not going to recover any time soon.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

tinawatanabe: "'new Japan' simply means Japan has to solve many problems."

How's that new?

"'beautiful Japan' is the image he has in his mind from pastoral countryside where he grew up."

No, it's of a Japan with a single leader holding all the power to make his own decisions, much like it was before WWII, when Japan was crushed for that line of thinking.

Strangerland: "It's not enough to allow me to vote, and I'm ok with that, but you're fooling yourself if you think someone with the vested interests I've listed should, or is going to, stop bashing stupid politicians just because I don't have citizenship."

Exactly! The worst part is that they think you're not allowed an opinion if you are not a Japanese citizen and don't agree with what they want. Their image of a 'beautiful Japan' is one in which the almighty leader is not questioned.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This year marks the 70th aniversary of the end of WW2 ,and Japan, with deep remose over wartime atrocities, has walked th path of a free democratic , peace-loving nation-- January1, 2o15, 4:00 P.M JST< This year marks not the end but , according to the historical fact, the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in WW2 to be exact. The swing of the pendulum of the national psych on the part of the Japanese, who have got the notion of "the end of the war " instead of the defeat in the war, internalized ever since should be taken as indicating the " put the past behind us" mindset at work, which I would attribute to the fact that the current ongoing political shift to the ultra right is based on the misguided history-consciousness that Japan suffered a defeat at the hands of the US but that Japan did not get defeated by China and Korea but the war came to an end. What Mr. Abe gives top priority to pursuing is to make it possible for SDF to fight alongside with the US force in the name of collective self-defence. He says what he is after is to make a complete break with the post-war regeme. The post-war regeme, as he calls it, presupposes the stationing of Us forces in Japan, the very notion of what the postwar regeme is all about. He says one thing and he does another.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

much like it was before WWII, when Japan was crushed for that line of thinking.

How's that beautiful? You have a great imagination.

How's that new?

After problems solved, new and reformed.

The worst part is that they think you're not allowed an opinion if you are not a Japanese citizen

Many Koreans, Chinese and others are working as public servants in Japan, College professors, or employed in businesses. Are they not allowed an opinion?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

he said in his New Year statement, weeks after winning a landslide election.

interesting twist on reality again by the media!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

tinawatanabe: "How's that beautiful? You have a great imagination."

Exactly! Abe's image of a 'beautiful Japan' has nothing to do with beautiful at all. And don't say he wants it to be like some 'pastoral image from his childhood'! What's 'pastoral' about him wanting to engage in international wars? What's pastoral about tax cuts for the rich? What's pastoral about increasing taxes in general? What's pastoral and beautiful about FORCING people to stand up to the flag and changing the constitution? What's pastoral about his dictatorship-like pushing through of laws the public clearly does not want (and don't say they want it after a mere 24% of the nation's votes!)? What's pastoral about suppressing freedom of speech if he doesn't like what you say? Is it pastoral to deny the exist of sexual slavery? to deny massacres like the one at Nanking? Like I said, Abe wants a return to the OLD Japan, that lost the war, nothing new about it! I'm glad you agree there is also nothing beautiful about what he wants.

"After problems solved, new and reformed."

He hasn't solved any, save for corporations who want to pay less and make more. He HAS promised several times and not followed through on many things, though. Beyond that, he's created far more problems than he's vowed (and failed) to solve.

"Many Koreans, Chinese and others are working as public servants in Japan, College professors, or employed in businesses. Are they not allowed an opinion?"

Only if they agree with you. If they do not, you suggest they leave, or suggest they 'can't understand the Japanese spirit and are just J-bashing' or some such rubbish. Worse yet, there are Japanese who demand, despite the people you mention being born and raised here, that those people 'leave Japan' and call them 'cockroaches', etc. Are they part of your beautiful Japan, tina?

3 ( +5 / -3 )

"Smith is hopeless indeed, hopelessly RIGHT!"

Korea will be a better place with him living there.

That's what Tina implies.

Many would not dispute that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe promises to pursue reforms, build 'new Japan'

Abe has very little ability to improve the economy. A continuation of ineffective Keynesian spending, huge and continuously growing debt, decades of super low interest rates, increasing tax rates, declining and aging population, and an uncompetitive domestic business environment adds up to one big and intractable problem. What hasn't been tried is massive deregulation and tax cuts paired with reduced government spending. But how can Japan cut spending and taxes with an aging society that has been made dependent upon massive government social spending for survival?

Transitioning to a freer society with lessened dependence upon government support is too painful at this point for the Japanese people to even contemplate. So Japan faces decades more of slow and inexorable economic decline and diminished living standards absent some fortuitous intervening event or circumstance.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Politicians and their promises. Most of the time in America it goes along the line of: "Vote for me and unicorns will fart rainbows and make everything better."

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Everything old is new again." (golf clap)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Abe promise" , "Abe vows", so far the only actions he took was to amend article 9, allow weapon business to sell abroad, lower yen value in the world and raise consumption tax, this is what Abenomics achieved to date.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Who are we to keep on bashing the Jpolitiicians just because they don't run the country along your foresight.

Well I do pay taxes in Japan. Therefore, I can voice my opinions. Even though I can't vote (yet), I do have an opinion. Most of my friends supported Abe because as long as he runs the country, they are getting richer and richer. Just because they can vote and I can't doesn't mean i can't voice my opinion.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Think Abe has been promising long enough. Where is that make or break third arrow that is supossed to "drill into the bedrick of vested interest"? Just a lot of hot air.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

May he be the instrument in returning the number 2 slot to Japan.

Can't see it somehow.

Who are we to keep on bashing the Jpolitiicians just because they don't run the country along your foresight.

We're people who live in the country they govern, whose lives are also affected by the decisions they make and who have freedom of speech guaranteed by Japan's laws to say whatever we like, critical or otherwise.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well I do pay taxes in Japan.

So what?

You MUST pay taxes wherever your work is based on and income is derived from, be it in Japan or Afghanistan!

The basic principle is that as a foreigner, you don't have rights to moan about decisions that only nationals of a certain country are entitled to make all for their own benefit. You chose to live in their country!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The basic principle is that as a foreigner, you don't have rights to moan about decisions that only nationals of a certain country are entitled to make all for their own benefit.

That's stupid. It's like saying foreign residents should pay for NHK but only Japanese viewers should actually be able to watch NHK programmes. We pay taxes just like Japanese citizens do. The services paid for by that tax revenue benefit us as well. Or have you ever heard of Japanese police only providing assistance to Japanese nationals? Do you suppose the children of foreign nationals get turned away from Japanese public schools because they're only for the "benefit" of Japanese people? The decisions made by national and local governments with regard to tax revenue affect the lives of Japanese and foreign nationals in Japan alike, so we have every right to moan about them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We pay taxes just like Japanese citizens do.

You receive public services just like Japanese citizens do.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

You receive public services just like Japanese citizens do.

That's what I said.

The services paid for by that tax revenue benefit us as well.

Did you not understand that bit?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

so we have every right to moan about them.

Actually no. A nation has every right to deport any unwanted foreigners

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The basic principle is that as a foreigner, you don't have rights to moan about decisions that only nationals of a certain country are entitled to make all for their own benefit. You chose to live in their country!

Says who? This is a democratic and free society we are living in.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Says who?

The Constitution.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Simon & Justbcuzisay

You guys don't really understand the meaning of "no taxation without representation", do ya?!

If you live in a certain country and work there, you MUST pay taxes. Pure and simple!

That does not entitle you to claim rights to vote or rights to complain about laws that displease you.

You Sirs are foreigners in Japan. Japan makes laws first and foremost for the benefit of Japanese. This is a principle of universal application.

Foreigners get whatever rights the legitimate Government of Japan decides, with some exception made for basic human rights such as life!

And the principle that foreigners don't have a right to moan about laws passed by the legislative body of any country is well established. It's not my job to lecture on where to find that which should be obvious.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

All solutions are going to be tough and brutal. No one wanted to pay for what the J-government spent this money on. The older generation is still benefitting from the system enormously, but the younger generation will end up paying the price. Now with the global competitiveness issues, Japanese companies won’t be able to raise wages at the same rate. Even with the consumption tax, the debt will simply will get worse and worse, just more slowly. Today, many people who are going to work but with nothing to do. Part of the problem is the strict labor law. There is no broad unemployment safety net.

Japan's problem is the increase in offshoring by manufacturers, and most companies want to be closer to their customers. Now Japan imports products that used to be manufactured in Japan. But the imports are a larger drain on the economy. But it rewards corporations for producing overseas.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You guys don't really understand the meaning of "no taxation without representation", do ya?!

Kindly don't tell other people what you think they do or don't understand. It's bad-mannered and patronising.

The expression refers to how the colonists in British North America prior to the War of Independence wanted to be able to elect their own MPs to the UK House of Commons, which they felt was levying taxes on them to pay for the upkeep of the Proclamation Line without their consent.

What do you think it means?

And the principle that foreigners don't have a right to moan about laws passed by the legislative body of any country is well established.

In places like North Korea or Nazi Germany, maybe. Japan has freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution. Anyone has the right to say what they like, critical or otherwise.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What do I think it means?

If I did NOT know I wouldn't have mentioned it to begin with!

Your cavalier attitude, "I pay my taxes" therefore can do whatever I like in Japan kind of behaviour would lead anybody to infer that you did not know what taxation without representation meant!

However, allow me to translate it for you, applying your specific case:

Unless you think of yourself as a colonist in Japan (which clearly you're not) all you have to do is pay your taxes (just like anybody else). You're certainly not at liberty to start a tea party shebang on account of not liking Japan's laws, which deals with "your" taxes the way they want!

Japan has a Constitution which guarantees freedom of speech. If you bothered to read that same Constitution's Preamble you shall see that it alludes to sovereignty residing on the Japanese people; you are not Japanese!

You are confusing tolerance with a right to do. You are tolerated by Japan to by@tch about it! You do not have a right!

Try campaigning against Abe to see how Freedom of Speech applies to you. Lastly, PR can be removed and even acquired citizenship revoked, in case you think your tenure oJapan is bullet proof.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Peeping Tom - I was with you two posts back all the way until you wrote this:

And the principle that foreigners don't have a right to moan about laws passed by the legislative body of any country is well established.

What a load of crap. We most definitely do have the right, which is why we are not getting arrested for posting these complaints on this site. Freedom of speech. Some people may not like it, but that's too bad for them - because we have the right to complain, and they don't have the right to stop us.

Your cavalier attitude, "I pay my taxes" therefore can do whatever I like in Japan kind of behaviour would lead anybody to infer that you did not know what taxation without representation meant!

Bit of a strawman, innit. No one has claimed that we should do whatever we like, what we have claimed is that as taxpayers, we have the right to complain when those taxes are not used well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Strangeland

As taxpayers, we have the right to complain when those taxes are not used well"

Moaning on JT does not equal to the right to complain. Right to complain would mean your right to actually get out onto the streets and complain that you don't like the way "your taxes" are being used!

Or are you suggesting you possess these rights?

Of course you don't get arrested for constantly badmouthing Japan, even though you don't want to leave!

Most democracies will tolerate a certain amount of malcontents. What you don't have is the RIGHT to exercise your discontent and seek change. Unless you've been misunderstanding/mis-interpreting the meaning of right I've been alluding to throughout.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Right to complain would mean your right to actually get out onto the streets and complain that you don't like the way "your taxes" are being used!

Or are you suggesting you possess these rights?

As a matter of fact, I believe that freedom of speech exists in Japan, and that we foreigners are covered by it, so yes, I do believe I possess these rights.

Feel free to prove me wrong, but I'll expect links with some sort of proof, not just you saying so.

Of course you don't get arrested for constantly badmouthing Japan, even though you don't want to leave!

Same as I don't get praise for constantly saying good stuff about Japan. I love this country, which is why I badmouth stupid politicians.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tina and peeping tom

Why can't you understand what the word 'opinion' means?

'opinion - a personal view, attitude, or appraisal'

It is only WORDS. We have the right to express what ever we feel. Yes, we can only do it on the internet and with friends. We are not rioting on the streets or breaking any laws. We are discussing the problems and our ideas about them.

And in case you both forget about the little demographic crisis looming here, immigration is vital to the future of this country. Whether it remains the small 2% it is now, or continues to grow, the foreign population should matter to Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Right to complain would mean your right to actually get out onto the streets and complain that you don't like the way "your taxes" are being used!

"Get out onto the streets?" What does that even mean? If you're talking about running amok, building buildings, turning over cars and assaulting police officers, you might find that the Japanese authorities would take a dim view of Japanese citizens doing that kind of thing as well. If you mean staging and participating in peaceful demonstrations, kindly tell us which Japanese law prohibits foreign residents of Japan from doing that. Of course, if you actually want to say that only Japanese nationals have the right to seek change and protest against the government by voting against it in elections, that is perfectly correct. But I don't see how that fits with what you were saying about "no taxation without representation," because at the moment foreign residents in Japan get taxed but don't get a vote.

Unless you've been misunderstanding/mis-interpreting the meaning of right I've been alluding to throughout.

I'm sure you'd like to think that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All readers back on topic please and stop bickering.

As a matter of fact, I believe that freedom of speech exists in Japan, and that we foreigners are covered by it, so yes, I do believe I possess these rights.

Feel free to prove me wrong, but I'll expect links with some sort of proof, not just you saying so."

No, you don't possess those rights. Freedom of Speech does not afford foreigners the right to speak publicly against any government. You are let free to badmouth because you are not even a nuisance to the establishment, they don't know you exist.

I don't have to provide you with any links. I went all the way to Law School to learn it. Do your own search and learn what you must.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well if you, an immigrant think that you have the same rights as nationals should have, enough said, innit

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, Abe promises to "kick start" the economy with deficit spending building roads to nowhere, stay "pacifist" while incrementally inching toward repealing Article 9, and all the while incrementally white-washing Imperial Japan's record in East Asia and promoting patriotism in the schools.

Seems like this New Japan is pretty much the Old Japan....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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