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Virus surge, by-election losses put Suga's future in question

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He came into office with a reputation as an uncharismatic technocrat. He has revealed himself to be an uncharismatic incompetent buffoon.

He’s had a year to prep for unleashing the resources of the government to rapidly vaccinate the population, to create an environment in which we could safely hold the Olympics, to hold a mail-in election. He has failed miserably.

Sugar’s only saving graces are that the opposition is weak and divided, and there is no obvious successor in the LDP.

28 ( +32 / -4 )

When the rest of the world was ordering vaccines, Suga doubled down on GOTO Travel, Olympics and meaningless voluntary lockdowns. He got it backwards. It's time for Suga TOGO!

26 ( +28 / -2 )

It is time for these old men to go. It is time to retire. Put someone young, and full in energy in charge. Someone who looks out for the people, and puts all self interests aside!

23 ( +25 / -2 )

He knows he has to do something

Cancel the Olympics

Roll out the vaccines

Force the japanese companies to come out of 1920s working style and jump finally in the 20th century.

Then the people can start to live an almost normal life, and maybe Suga can win again the trust from the japanese people.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

But Sunday's defeat effectively robs Suga of the chance to use that option in the near future.

If he want to make it good things to be remembered, speed up vaccine that's all he can do now.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Suga is and always has been a placeholder for the next PM. With all the scandals and incompetent handling of the pandemic, no person with common sense should vote for anyone leading the country at this time.

Will the two-time quitter Shinzo come out of hiding or wait until the pandemic subsides to take up the mantel? Abe's popularity stock started a free fall once trump's chances of getting re-elected started to fade away with trump's failed mismanagement of the pandemic. Shinzo's whole recent schtick was being good friends with trump who has a large following among old Japanese people. That is the primary voting bloc in Japan.

We also know Koike is also playing hide-and-seek when it strategically benefits her ambitions. She is trying to get the Olympics and manage COVID to muster support for the next level political run. She knows any misstep will ruin her chances of being the first female PM.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Why is it so impossible for the best and brightest, most well-educated political minds in Japan to put forward a credible opposition?

The LDP has presided over a generation of incompetence, sleaze, corruption and failure to my certain knowledge, having observed Japanese politics since I arrived here in the early 90s.

T he y are demonstrably inept and unworthy of the position. How is it conceivable that no opposition party can put forward a persuasive alternative?

Democracy just never happened here. This place is as feudal as it was 400 here ago, just with more expenditure on the kabuki of white gloves and megaphones.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

This inept strawberry farmer was the mastermind behind the GoTo Travel campaign.

That says it all it has to about his priorities.

after the Tokyo Olympics, when the coronavirus situation will hopefully have improved.

That is a completely wishful thinking with absolutely no scientific basis.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

No one has mentioned Ginza Steak or Ginza Snacks yet?

Well , I assume whatever strategy the LDP dreams up, it will be done surrounded by ladies while eating Steak at a members-only hostess bar in Ginza after 20:00!

First! Lol

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Shinzo

If somebody told me that I'd wish for Abe, I would have said they were crazy. But literally, the current guy makes Abe look like a competent, caring PM.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Private Internet AccessToday  06:51 am JST

It is time for these old men to go. It is time to retire. Put someone young, and full in energy in charge. Someone who looks out for the people, and puts all self interests aside!

totally agree but they are keeping x pm Kozomi son around to fill the young person slot but he will be just like the dinosaurs that handle him. But with some cheesy slogans and pledges.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Is there an actual opposition party capable of taking the reigns from the LDP?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Abe san got out while Suga tries to fix everything in a sleepy state and the lack of intelligence.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

He came into office with a reputation as an uncharismatic technocrat. He has revealed himself to be an uncharismatic incompetent buffoon.

He’s had a year to prep for unleashing the resources of the government to rapidly vaccinate the population, to create an environment in which we could safely hold the Olympics, to hold a mail-in election. He has failed miserably.

exactly.

Sugar’s only saving graces are that the opposition is weak and divided, and there is no obvious successor in the LDP.

Which says a lot about politics in this so called democracy.

Cancel the Olympics

Roll out the vaccines

Force the japanese companies to come out of 1920s working style and jump finally in the 20th century.

exactly.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

When things settle down it'll be, enter abe (again) in his Mario suit.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Forget GO TO. Just GO.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The Japanese like Brand names and products, here the LDP is a brand and people look

at whether it is a brand or not and not the quality (policies) and until a new brand springs

up here the people will continue to vote the LDP brand eventhough the LDP and the bureaucrats

have repeatedly shown that they don't care about the people but J-inc.

The electorate here is like small kids, one minute they are crying and saying they don't like

mama and the next minute they are happily jumping in Mama's arm.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Suga has no clear successor, although his vaccine czar Taro Kono

Who has only managed to get 1% of the population vaccinated thus far and he’s a considered a successor to managing an entire Country? The entire bunch are rotten imo but really that’s the best they have? God help us!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

His future was never in question - he was a compromise candidate and serves as a placeholder, nothing more.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'll eat my hat if the LDP loses in the next national elections. I've been here long enough to know what happens.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Derek

Why is it so impossible for the best and brightest, most well-educated political minds in Japan to put forward a credible opposition?

The LDP has presided over a generation of incompetence, sleaze, corruption and failure to my certain knowledge, having observed Japanese politics since I arrived here in the early 90s.

T he y are demonstrably inept and unworthy of the position. How is it conceivable that no opposition party can put forward a persuasive alternative?

Democracy just never happened here. This place is as feudal as it was 400 here ago, just with more expenditure on the kabuki of white gloves and megaphones.

It says more about "sheepish" population than the leaders because leaders will do whatever than get a way with. I have several conversations with voting Japanese citizen and when I inquired why they voted for LDP. They said because they we will win. They do not want to waste their time going to the voting center to have their candidate lose.

No wonder various religions call pride a sin!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Right after the Olympics. That's when this very grey eminence Suga will strike. Japan on a high, celebrating all those "home victories" with only Japanese faces in the stands of their "world" event, and by then, with the COVID vaccines flooding into the country with undeniable growing pace.

10th of August, two days after the Olympics are over, and one day after all the ritual "atomic" commemorations are done, Suga will call a general for September, just prior to the end of his term as LDP president. With Komeito, he has now a 58% majority in the Upper House, and a whopping 66.7% majority in the Lower House.

With the opposition so fractured and weak, so disorganized in their messaging, Suga should be able to ride the System's over-weighting of rural votes (who are elderly and Agriculture-based, and who will by then be fully vaxxed and subsidized afresh) to hang on to majorities. Then, he'll seek a second term as LDP prez, having given the Old Party Foxes a brand-new five year lease on the hen house...

It's not what I want...it's just what I see happening. Say goodbye to Abe's dream of changing Article 9, though.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

no komento

3 ( +3 / -0 )

SoE in Tokyo. Here are some of the “essential “ business open yesterday as observed by myself

a Reebok boxing facility with boxing lesson ongoing. Pachinko parlour at the train station exit. A dog grooming shop in full swing( I think vets should be open, not this)

That is just 20 minutes walking back from a super market

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The real news here after all these scandals and corruption plus their ineptitude to control the Covid crisis is that with Suga they still have over 44% of supporters.

This clearly shows that no matter what,most people in Japan tend to remain ultraconservative and unwilling for changes,I think a lot of people dislike Suga but they’re willing to vote the next LDP frontman thrown at them.

So much for the conception of democracy and alternatives.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Never thought I would vote for a communist party, but it is our only hope.

Suga (our unelected autocratic leader), is just a puppet for the LDP. His legacy will be hosting the worlds most successful and expensive Olympics, paying protection money to USA, and destroying our economy by being invoked in a forced war with China.

Either Nikai, Kono or the one with the clown face are promised by Nippon Kaigi as the new Dear Leader.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So... the honeymoon's over?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Sports events are to be held without fans."

No air conditioning either?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Haha you don’t say! Goodbye Suga already.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That didn't last long. Cue some other LDP oyaji to take on the job and do pretty much the same (except 100 sit ups a day).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The opposition really have no chance.

They only lost because turnout was so low. LDP have enormous support across Japan especially in the young. They have the most political families, which are seen as the only legitimate rulers of Japan.

LDP will be winning a landslide in September. Suga doesnt need to care about public opinion, he just needs to secure the support of LDP factions. Public opinion in Japan doesnt matter, because people will remain loyal to their local political families no matter what happens.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

John

"overwhelming hospitals"? With next to no cases of influenza this year it is hard to believe hospitals are overwhelmed. Most likely the issue is hospitals do not wish to accept patients.

"As Osaka Prefecture's medical system creaks under the strain of a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, people being treated at home are dying before they can be sent to hospitals."

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/04/22/national/osaka-patients-dying-home/?fbclid=IwAR2O0crSZTMlTpbNZTIIm46ocFvBgYbNY4qsZ0OClDRFylD5ougURoQPNf0

It is partly true, that some hospitals refuse to accept covid patients, but the main issue is the shortage of staff. Even if you had beds, you need more nurses to take care of serious covid patients. I remember from an earlier article (or tv news?), that you need a team of 20 doctors and nurses to take care of one covid patient in a serious condition.

" Exasperating the crisis is a chronic shortage of nurses.

One facility in Osaka city’s Sumiyoshi Ward that opened in December 2020 specifically to treat patients with serious symptoms has 30 hospital beds. But it can use only 16 of them because of the lack of medical personnel.

To fully operate all 30 beds would require 120 nurses, but the facility had only 72 as of April 14.

Attendees at a prefectural government task force meeting on April 14 agreed that the health care system had gone beyond a “tight situation” to “a crisis in treating patients with serious symptoms.”

--

"An official at one hospital close to capacity on April 14 for those with serious symptoms had a grim outlook if the prefecture cannot control the spread of the virus.

“Unless the number of new cases decreases, we will reach a stage where we will have to decide which patient can be saved and which cannot,” the official said."

--

"An official with the organization managing the hospital said: “If we are unable to transfer patients with serious symptoms, we may become unable to save lives that might have been saved.

If we cannot look after those with minor symptoms because of a lack of staff, the medical care structure will collapse.”

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14331155?fbclid=IwAR1Qes1CagFF8lHop6YDjk0Z4pnKfg2D5hmmbwl1I0Lsh9praDhkaOxycRw

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What is really scary is that even at this point, with disaster coming at him from all directions, there is no apparent intention in changing direction, no significant improvement in testing and tracing, no talks about cancelling the olympics, no expedited approval of vaccines.

That means that even if everything goes south and he lose completely the support of the people and causes a public health catastrophe, that would still be for him better than the option. That leaves you wondering what is exactly what he would lose if he did the right thing now.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Present serious society of Japan where such defective politician can continues to be prime minister despite many misstep and victim.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Although it is likely that new strains are running rampant, and this seems to be the narrative being put forth, I have heard no solid evidence that this is in fact happening...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Never thought I would vote for a communist party, but it is our only hope.

I would. I know many of them. They are for more equality and want to do away with discrimination against foreigners and burakumin. They got my vote if I had one. Then again, I do push my wife and her family as well as all my Japanese friends to vote for them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Derek GrebeToday  08:52 am JST

Why is it so impossible for the best and brightest, most well-educated political minds in Japan to put forward a credible opposition?

Well now. First off, running for office is extremely expensive but loopholes in the political funds control laws allow incumbents to acquire funds from local donors and then pass them on to their offspring, along with their campaign organisations, support base and family brand name. LDP politicians tend to be rather good at building these personal power bases even though they're terrible at everything else, and they don't really care much about party policies at the national level because so much of their funding comes from local sources. Opposition politicians can get funding the same way so they don't have much interest either in following coherent ideologies that could give them an edge against the LDP.

Second, there's a vote value disparity that favours people in rural areas, and as they are often conservatively inclined they're inclined to vote LDP. Opposition parties just don't have the money to put up candidates to challenge LDP incumbents, and residents of these areas who don't like the LDP are very likely not to bother voting because it's either a foregone conclusion (they think) or there just isn't anyone else to vote for. Of course, it doesn't help much when opposition candidates have pretty much the same ideas as people in the LDP, e.g. Yuriko Koike, who was a senior LDP member at one time herself and wouldn't have centrist or left-leaning politicians in her party prior to the last election.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I only wonder why all his party people in positions or seats don’t want to get him out quickly and announce elections as fast as possible to save most of their assets. Do they really all want to take the risk and sink with that captain on the bridge , who’s searching and going for every iceberg he can find? lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PMs may come and go, but the LDP will always be the governing party. Who's fooling who?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Think I will just vote for the Nihon Kyōsan-tō in the future.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is a completely wishful thinking with absolutely no scientific basis.

The scientific basis is that more people will have been vaccinated. It's not that difficult to logically come to that conclusion. Smgdfh

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This virus problem is not to be blamed on pm Suga. Please do not get confused.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Stop testing and the surge will go down. Why would anyone who is not sick or without any symptoms get tested ? Even if by chance a positive showed, what are you going to do anyway ?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"overwhelming hospitals"? With next to no cases of influenza this year it is hard to believe hospitals are overwhelmed. Most likely the issue is hospitals do not wish to accept patients.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

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