politics

Maehara's candidacy shakes up PM contest

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Maehara is young funny guy with many emotions. He is without strategic mind. Kan is not for Hollywood, but he have hard school of 11/03/2011.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If the fatherless, emotionless corrupt Maehara, who single handedly took Japan in the direction of war with both Russia and China in his short time as FM, becomes "the big guy" during the worlds worst nuclear disaster and the impending world recession, then we should be

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Not that I'm a big fan but at least he is relatively young and energetic.... The other candidates seem like puppets , especially Kano and Noda... about as prime ministerial as good old Fukuda..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

China, Russia and NK will not be happy if Maehara becomes a next PM of Japan as his stance is a pro-US.

Take it, Maehara and go!!

Pray for Japan

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It would be best if all candidates refused the ballot until Ozawa leaves.

0 ( +1 / -0 )

If anyone is a good replacement, then it would be either Maehara or Edano. Both are quite strong, although Edano is unfortunately not in the same party rank with Maehara and Kan, he would have been a very good leader.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maehara as PM could be interesting, but no matter what the next several years will be tough going for Japan. The country is caught in a bind, not because it can't find good leaders, but because its leaders (no matter who they are) can't clearly express any overarching goals for Japan. Despite being an ally of the US during the Cold War, Japan's leaders at that time were able to get away with overt expressions of mildly antagonistic rhetoric about "achieving economic parity with the West" and "not losing to America." This is because Washington (for the most part) viewed such rhetoric from Japanese politicians as intended for domestic consumption and just friendly competition from a non-threatening ally/virtual protectorate.

But today, Japan's leaders can't openly express any goals related to, for example, accelerated economic growth for the purpose of competing with China, because that just fuels suspicions of Japan's aspirations for maintaining/achieving economic hegemony and domination over the Asia-Pacific. But in the modern era, Japan's leaders have always "thought big" and framed national goals in terms of competing with foreigners, whether they are a threat to Japan or not. To declare that Japan should aspire to become a happy, contended Scandinavia-like minor power just won't cut it with voters.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If the fatherless, emotionless corrupt Maehara,

@Asago, he is a new bleed of young Japanese generation. Unlike your country, Japan has been progressive and forgiving. Keep it mind that Japanese people do not live in the past.

Many young Japanese today are willing to give a second chance to a law abiding citizen who is tyring to do it better. Isn't it fair? Everyone makes a mistake once in life as we are not always perfect.

I see him as a man of charactor. I am listing my reasoning listed below:

1)Maehara did not know that woman was a gaijin when he took that money 2)he admitted his wrong 3)he was a man enough to resign from his position unlike Ozawa 4)He is not seeking an endorsement from Ozawa and Hatoyama.

I wish him the best.

Pray for Japan

2 ( +3 / -2 )

I hate the fact the people don't get to choose their own leader... seems like a dictatorship to me

1 ( +2 / -0 )

Edano is unfortunately not in the same party rank with Maehara and Kan, he would have been a very good leader.

@ebisen, agree. I really like Edano. Without Edano, Kan could not last this long.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Are his eyebrows shaved in this picture?

What's his stance on nuclear energy?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maehara will shake Japan. We need young and strong leaders. Just hope he will be nicer to China and NK like the Russians.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan doesn't need "shaking", it needs competent leaders who are willing to put the people first and party and career second. I don't see that quality in any of the candidates.

Further, a PM is only as good as the rest of the Diet's willingness to support and help him in accomplishing what needs to be done. In truth there is little or no indication that the next PM will be able to retain support any better than the previous five. Without a shift in thinking in the Diet, nothing will improve.

Voters do place people in the Diet, whereas they do not place the PM. If voters take a stronger interest in their own welfare they will stop voting for these party drones and start putting local people into office who actually care about the outcome of governance and not just their political legacies. Then you may actually see a shift that could lead to having true leadership in Japan.

The question is, will the people do so? So far they seem to be sedated and unable to vote in their own best interests.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maehara will shake Japan.

I hate to sound pessimistic, but Maehara is no Koizumi, and will probably be in and out within a year. Still, he's the best card the DPJ has at the moment, so why not give him a chance?

Maehara, once dubbed “Japan’s Tony Blair” for his telegenic charm and ease before the cameras

I've never thought of Maehara as charming and at ease before the camera. The word "emotionless" seems to come to mind, like asagoe points out. He speaks coherently... perhaps that's what they mean by "at ease".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If he were to get the PM role, would he resign as quickly as he did in his former capacity? Probably.

Anyway, there's a very easy way to decide who gets to be PM next in Japanese politics, and it's the way it's been for a while: who's been waiting in line the longest, and rotated through the most positions.

Foxie: "Maehara will shake Japan. We need young and strong leaders. Just hope he will be nicer to China and NK like the Russians."

Agreed Japan needs young, strong leaders, but while Maehara is the former, he is not the latter. People confuse what they think is a better looking politician with strength. This guy already walked out on a major political position, he'll do the same as PM, rest assured. He'll be slightly less aloof than Hatoyama, but not much. As for a strong stance on China and NK, he'll kowtow to the former in less than a heartbeat if he becomes PM.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@globalwatcher You are saying that the foreign minister maehara wasn't corrupt because the brown envelope stuffed full of cash passed under the table was from a foreign person and he didn't know it, even though he said the foreign woman was like a mother to him and they met regularly???

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

“Please allow me to stand at the helm of our efforts to overcome the national crisis with the help of every single one of you,”

Gee whiz....funny you should say that because that is exactly what your current leader needs right now but isn't getting from any of you clowns in the political circus.

2 ( +3 / -0 )

globalwatcher, who cares what the 3 thugs think. Japans leadership is not subject to their approval. A strong negative reaction shows you the value of any relationship with them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

even though he said the foreign woman was like a mother to him and they met regularly???

@Asagao, yep. I have a life long friend living in Japan. She looks like Japanese, speaks like Japanese and cooks like Japanese. Well, after 30 years, I have just discovered she is a Korean citizen when I was in Japan.. . The citizenship is a last thing people reveal before their weight , age.and a sex preference.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

the brown envelope stuffed full of cash

yup, 50,000 yen/year.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It was more than that(50000¥), that is what he admitted. @globalwatcher I refuse to judge you on the fact that you can't tell a Korean from a Japaneese. I don't like foreigners who say all Asians look the same. The fact is, he knew she was Korean, and she owns Korean restaurant...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

is from the conservative wing of the ruling party

So let me get this straight...the DPJ has a "conservative wing", and we all know the LDP is conservative, despite its name. So are there are liberal parties other than the socialists and the communists? No wonder the political situation is such a mess here -- no party really stands for anything.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Here's hoping Maehara wins the party election. He will bring some much-needed clarity to international issues.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Changing the Prime Minister in Japan is like restarting your computer. It feels good and solves some recent annoyances but eventually all the problems return.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@herefornow, good point. In Japan politics, everything is a pile of ship.

Politicians cannot tell anything different from a fiscally conservative to a fiscally liberal and a socially conservative to a socially liberal. They do not know if they belive in a supply economy or a demand economy. They all go with flow and power.

Pray for Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

gogogo

I hate the fact the people don't get to choose their own leader... seems like a dictatorship to me

Show me a country that allows the people to choose their own leader...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What a SHAME country !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

globalwatcher, who cares what the 3 thugs think. Japans leadership is not subject to their approval. A strong negative reaction shows you the value of any relationship with them.

@YuriOtani, then how do you change it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If Maehara wins the LDP will immediately start going on and on and on and on about the donation he received from a non-Japanese. They will constantly ask him to "explain" it, refuse to co-operate on the pretext that he hasn't "explained" it sufficiently, demand his resignation, boycott the Diet and call a vote of no confidence.

Such is the predicatability of Japanese politics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@globalwatcher I refuse to judge you on the fact that you can't tell a Korean from a Japaneese. I don't like foreigners who say all Asians look the same. The fact is, he knew she was Korean, and she owns Korean restaurant...

So how can you tell from looks a Korean Japanese citizen and a Korean Japanese non-citizen?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So how can you tell from looks a Korean Japanese citizen and a Korean Japanese non-citizen?

I don't know about non-Japanese South Koreans, but the North Koreans are easy to spot. They all wear lapel pins of Kim Jong Il, or at least that is what I am told.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So far they seem to be sedated and unable to vote

@tkoind2, voters sedated ok. I think they are ODd, and need a strong cup of Starbucks coffee. They are still in a "Peace BOKE", I think.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So how can you tell from looks a Korean Japanese citizen and a Korean Japanese non-citizen?

Korean people tend to have flatter faces with higher / squarer cheek bones and smaller eyes with single eyelids (opposed to double). A high proportion of Korean women have had cosmetic surgery somewhat confusing things

Japanese people tend to have a longer / oval facial structure with wider / larger eyes and more pronounced noses. Japanese women often put on thick makeup giving them a pale white complexion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Foxie

You're more or less right,but I've noticed that it's almost impossible to spot the difference unless you're actively looking for it. I get a lot of Korean students in my university classes, and once I know someone's Korean it's obvious: flatter face, higher cheekbones etc. But i've never looked at a student for the first time and thought "You look Korean."

Maybe I'm just not very observant :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Foxie, your observations don't hold up if a person of Korean heritage in Japan takes Japanese citizenship. The person is then Japanese (and can make political donations), but still looks the same.

It works the other way, too; there's no way anyone would ever take me for a person of Japanese heritage, yet long-term friends find themselves having a palm-on-the-forehead moment at election time when they're reminded that actually I don't have the vote and so don't need their kind offer of a lift to the polling station. Maybe Maehara had a similar relationship with his Korean obasan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mr Maehara has 'learned a lesson' after the east sea collison and rare earth embargo last year an dhe will behaves alittle bit when talking to Chinese leaders. you know after the Tsunami, Japan is in a really dire situation! The 'rare earth slapping' was really beneficial for Mr Maehara's political career, he was still 'young and innocent'!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maehara said the ruling party must “unite as one”.............So,is Mr Maehara is telling Mr Ozawa: Daddy you are too old to do this job, let me take over your seat!! If this is true,that 'old people politics' shall be no more in japan! What a wonderful dream!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Korean people tend to have flatter faces with higher / squarer cheek bones and smaller eyes with single eyelids (opposed to double). A high proportion of Korean women have had cosmetic surgery somewhat confusing things

Foxie you didn't read the question I asked "So how can you tell from looks a Korean Japanese citizen and a Korean Japanese non-citizen?". Both are Korean and hence look alike. But one has Japanese citizenship.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So come on then...tell me what "much needed clarity" maehara cab bring! He has never wrote down or made a speech of exactly what his policies are, meaning he is either clueless like the rest, taking orders from someone or hiding something. Go on tell us!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

personally i find its a little worrying that he is affiliated with the the cult sokkagakai. although the problem with japanese politicians (all politicians?) is that they are all more concerned about playing politics than actually doing something for japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maehara’s profile rose last year when he was at the forefront of a bitter territorial dispute with Asian rival China that went on for months and plunged Beijing-Tokyo relations to their lowest point in years.

China, Japan cant live along with each other with or without Mr Maehara. For China, Japan is an obstacle on her way to leadership asia. for Japan, the Chinese were paranoid...etc. So dont expect the 'rare earth sanctions' last year was over, a lot more conflict is upcoming!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maehara knowingly accepted the money from the SKorean woman KNOWING she was SKorean. Now, the question of whether she should be allowed dual citizenship, as well as any other life-long residents, is another matter (I think she should be), as is if it is right or wrong to legally penalize people from accepting money from said residents, but the fact remains he accepted it and it was against the rules.

Again, this guy will talk tough for a few minutes, find himself in a Hatoyama like conundrum, and quit or be voted out in the next election. He may look pretty for the cameras, and that may be enough for a number of people here, but that's not a qualification to practice politics in my book. He will not do a good job. Sadly, there aren't many others who would either, if any.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

fds: "personally i find its a little worrying that he is affiliated with the the cult sokkagakai."

I'd be more worried about yourself in that you think Soka Gakkai is a cult. Don't tell me one you're one of those people who simply judges something based on gossip columns without any willingness to learn a little first-hand.

I agree with you on the 'playing politics' part as opposed to actually doing something for the nation and the people that reside in it. Maehara would be no different if elected.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

fds: If he is that much buddy-budy with Soka-Gakkia, maybe he would be better in "New Komeito". ;) Lets wait and see if he gets elected.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seriously? The guy who was forced to resign from two positions because of scandals is the favorite? This is the best they could do?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't know if Maehara is the best man for the job, but consider if the one of the others win, all news will have to be conducted from the radio...

Digital, high definition television...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

telecasterplayer: "Seriously? The guy who was forced to resign from two positions because of scandals is the favorite? This is the best they could do?"

No kidding... and let's not forget this guy's No.#1 goal: to make Haneda airport the 'hub of Asia'. I can see him becoming PM and that being the first thing on his list, with his rationale being, "It'll help lift the spirits of the people in Tohoku!"

Anyway, you and I both know that being caught and resigning over scandals is part of the requirement for becoming PM in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More popular with the public, but sadly that doesn't count (I think gogogo mentioned that) - really sad.

I think he'd be the best of the people fielding their services IF he were actually allowed to lead. Truth would seem to be that Japanese politics is in terminal paralysis, and unless you "buy" the goodwill of diffeent factions, you can't move a muscle. Problem is, those different factions pull the prime minister in too many directions to be anything close to effective!

Any hope out there? :(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I prefer Mr. Edano.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I prefer Mr. Edano.

I think he is next years choice. I think he had the worst job after 3/11, being the face of the governement for the Fukushima disaster.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

His face is one side small , one side big ...

Ugly

hehehe ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My husband thinks that he looks like a hamster.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

globalwatcher, not pick a PM only as long as he/she is acceptable to China, Korea and Russia. The way to break this is for Kan not to meekly resign but keep on fighting to the end. Ignore the pools and the backstabbers, do what is right for Japan. The cycle will continue until there is a PM with some backbone or until the end of Japan as a country. Being Prime Minister is more than a title or popularity contest, it is about being a leader.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I meant to write polls

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@YuriOtani, I sure would like to read the polls. Do you have any idea about his stance to a Nuke energy? Thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The revolving door of Japanese prime ministers will continue and the leading candidate Maehara is next in line. Unfortunately it is here to stay as long as Japan's plan of government, the constitution does not change. In Japan, all the citizens can't participate in the election process therefore do not directly elect the prime minister. In addition to that the values of the Japanese culture including the influence of the public and media all play a significant part. It's a dead end and change might possibly come in the future, but it will take time and education. Hence politicians do not matter and someday when the nasty bureaucrats stop running this beautiful county, a miracle will happen. There is so much political instability and it creates a negative influence and image of Japan especially throughout Asia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I still think importing Bill Clinton is Japan's best bet.... they import their company presidents, not to mention baseball players, soccer players and sumo wrestlers, so why not politicians?

Hell, you could even give Steve Jobs a go now that he is retired.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

papasmurfinjapan: "Hell, you could even give Steve Jobs a go now that he is retired."

True, except that if Jobs had to quit it would be because of REAL sickness, not feigned illness like Fukuda and Abe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Erp, none of them inspire me and that includes the ex minister. All of them seem to be opportunists and back bitters. Only having their self interests in mind and those of their allies. Who should be the next PM? I am at a loss to support anyone of them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's up with the LDP? Are there any politicians of note active in the party? They're supposed to create an alternative to the DPJ so they can potentially take back power someday. They sucked, but at least they were pro-business.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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