politics

Suga's one-year term recalls Japan's revolving door era

47 Comments
By Hiroshi HIYAMA

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He went on to become the country's longest serving prime minister and resigned only after suffering a recurrence of an intestinal illness.

Intestinal illness... yeah, sure.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Some love comparisons for scale & scope. - Japan has had an almost equal no. of PM’s since it’s 1947 Constitution compared to the 45 U.S. Presidents since it’s 1789 Constitution. -

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Well, if Suga is the fall guy for COVID, it just goes to show that the LDP and other parties put politics before the public and lives. If they all work together as a team, perhaps the public would have more faith in them.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Doesn't Suga's one-year term recalls Japan's revolving SUSHI era sound better? Makes it sound more, hmm Japanese.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Imagine the test that asks kids to name the names and dates of all Japanese PMs from 2000 to the present! hahaha. THat's what happens when you hire untalented, unable people to the position instead of even bothering to seek someone who might do a decent job for the people. And Abe is included on that list -- he only lasted longer because he was so blindly in pursuit of his ambition and fame.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

What’s that stripy thing in the photo that seems to be dyeing the back of suga’s head? Sorry I’ve just woken up. Surely there’s a better photo lying around to use.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It’s possibly a teleprompter to remind PM Suga of key points in his “personally-written” speeches and other, ‘important things’ and statesmanlike decorum like to ‘stand up and bow’ when the Emperor enters the room?

*- @Simian Lane 8:19am: “What’s that stripy thing in the photo that seems to be dyeing the back of suga’s head? Sorry I’ve just woken up. Surely there’s a better photo lying around to use*

6 ( +7 / -1 )

No, it’s not a barcode scanner!

*- @Simian Lane 8:19am**: “What’s that stripy thing in the photo that seems to be dyeing the back of suga’s head? Sorry I’ve just woken up. Surely there’s a better photo lying around to use*

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Only in Japan can people believe to the story that a prime minister resigns because of a bout of diarrhea

12 ( +15 / -3 )

What do you expect when political groups nominate their own scapegoat?

As opposed to the tax paying public to pick out the actual individual to do it.

Maybe Japan has no one person that can do the job.

Maybe they need an actual committee to do it?

Or maybe they just need a competent and qualified person at the helm?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wasn't Margaret Thatcher once told to not bother remembering the Japanese PM's name because by the next time they speak, he'll have a different name? I don't know what's worse. A revolving door of useless gaff-prone old fogies or dictators who think they're emperors.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Aren't the people of Japan better served with the revolving door? The longer terms of Koizumi and Abe have led to the deep implementation of neoliberal policies and a class war that has expanded the wealth gap and brought precarity to a significant percentage of households.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The reasons for the short-lived premiers varied, including the nation's busy election calendar, fickle public opinion, and constant power struggles within political parties.

You forgot to add "and countless corruption scandals"

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@snowymountainhell

teleprompter huh, noted!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@divinda, Abe does suffer from colitis. It's a debilitating chronic intestinal disease and there is no cure. I truly believe Abe must have been suffering immensely or he would have stayed on the job.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

GaijinjlandToday  09:43 am JST

@divinda, Abe does suffer from colitis. It's a debilitating chronic intestinal disease and there is no cure. I truly believe Abe must have been suffering immensely or he would have stayed on the job.

Even with all the corruption scandals piling up? I personally suspect that the LDP backroom boys would have eventually checked out the negative PR and sliding approval ratings, and decided that he needed to be pushed before he jumped. Assuming that's not what actually happened, with his legitimate health problems serving as a convenient excuse for him to "voluntarily" step down.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Aren't the people of Japan better served with the revolving door? The longer terms of Koizumi and Abe have led to the deep implementation of neoliberal policies and a class war that has expanded the wealth gap and brought precarity to a significant percentage of households.

That's a debatable point. I see the revolving door as another but relevant leadership model (not unique solely to Japan). By sharing and devolving power, political institutions ensure backups and resilience. The transfer of power across generations is also less disruptive.

A downside is that elected officials can often be outwitted and controlled by career bureaucrats. That's particularly the case for Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Career bureaucrats run the country anyway - they script the legislation that the legislators introduce, and hide behind politicians' robes. Japanese politicians are nothing more than puppets that allow the country to claim it has a democratic system of government. Nothing coud be further from the truth, given that one party has been in power for 70 years running, there is no viable political opposition, and the descendants of the old aristocracy are the heads of the various political parties. There is no talk of the rights and responsibilities of the electorate, only their fealty and responsibility to the country. South Korea has made more progress toward democracy in the past 40 years than Japan has made in the past 400.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Although the revolving door has been practiced within the LDP, the postwar Japanese politics has experienced stable (or dormant?) one-party predominance with weak oppositions.

It's also worth noting that Japanese opposition leaders have a relatively long tenure; for example, the Japan Communist Party leader Shii Kazuo has served the party chairman since 2000 without a break.

In local/prefectural levels, (executive) power is more centralized around governors/mayors owing to fixed terms and direct popular vote. Overall, that's another political scene or reality in Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This revolving door would be spinning more like a turbine if more people showed interest in politics. I've seen too many young adults show no interest in politics and skipping out on voting, which allows ultra-conservative and corrupt dinosaurs to remain in power.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This really suggests to me that unlike other countries, in Japan the Prime Minister is more of a figurehead and there is a council behind the scenes that really runs things and controls him.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Aren't the people of Japan better served with the revolving door? The longer terms of Koizumi and Abe have led to the deep implementation of neoliberal policies and a class war that has expanded the wealth gap and brought precarity to a significant percentage of households.

Very cogent post. Makes you wonder what a Japanese populist candidate would look like. Most of the nationalists are very conservative and communicate to the public in very antiquated ways.

Makes you wonder what Taro Yamamoto, with his promotion of a UBI and background as an actor in Battle Royale, could have done with enough financial support. He came in third place in the gubernatorial election with a platform to cancel the Olympics and establish a UBI. Cannot think of anything that would have been more popular and he would have gotten my vote, if I could.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Suga is a temporary Prime Minister after Abe suddenly resigned and he left one year for Suga. so Abe's term is over in September. LDP will choose a new leader of the party on LDP election anyway and low house election is coming in November for ruling party.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"What was unfortunate for him (Suga) was that he had to deal with COVID-19," said Mikitaka Masuyama, politics professor of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. "That is extremely difficult for anyone in the prime minister's post."

Especially when he made his focus 1) GoTo Campaigns, 2) Olympics.

The worse "leader" a country could have imagined.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Noted. So, that would be not one, but 2 “figureheads”?? - Not a Japanese historian but reads like a description of ‘the Emperor’ for many years, both pre and post 1947 Constitution.

*- @Reckless 10:56pm: “**This really suggests to me that unlike other countries, in Japan the Prime Minister is more of a figurehead and there is a council behind the scenes that really runs things and controls him.” -*

There are those here who will perhaps share their considerable knowledge of Japanese politics ‘behind the scenes’. Interested to learn.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Tradition or not, as it ditches its leader, Japan grows ever more nationalistic & militaristic as it happily joins US’s anti-China crusade.

Well, never expect too much from a more and more nationalistic nation ..

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Suga is just a puppet of Shizo Abe!

Nobody cares him both domestic or international !

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who's recalling the revolving door after just ONE new P.M.? No surprise Suga didn't last.Had no habatsu or communication skills.He was a stopgap PM from the jump.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Especially when he made his focus 1) GoTo Campaigns, 2) Olympics.

The worse "leader" a country could have imagined.

100% agreed , Suga was useless no charisma or leadership skills, arrogance and ignorance of the public opinion worst choice to be a PM during the pandemic.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The longer terms of Koizumi and Abe have led to the deep implementation of neoliberal policies

Huh?

I would like to see me some neoliberal policies here in Japan, but hmmm, Abenomasks and GoTo travel subsidies - the exact opposite of “neoliberal” policies are what spring to mind.

Abe said he would implement structural reforms but never did…

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I would like to see me some neoliberal policies here in Japan, but hmmm, Abenomasks and GoTo travel subsidies - the exact opposite of “neoliberal” policies are what spring to mind.

Corporate welfare and subsidies only for businesses in a pandemic, regressive taxes that fall heaviest on those with the least means, corporations relatively unregulated and free to exploit workers with excessive hours , unpaid overtime and contracts that are only loosely enforced.

Sounds like the LDP's Japan is the neo-liberal paradise you desire, or close enough to it at least...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Revoluing back pedaling and sidestepping is all i could see Suga doing.

Looks half asleep all the time.

Why bother making excuses .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Whatever is said about revolving door, musical chairs etc Japan has remained a safe peaceful country, with balanced minded people (ok, most people) There's got to be something in it

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Suga is a fall guy through and through, the epitome. His only function was to serve as a stop gap; to shoulder all the blame for the failed policies of his predecessor. The slate is now wiped clean; the Olympic debacle, the Go To campaign, the farcically unscientific lockdowns, the Einstein’s definition of insanity economic policies that have only served to keep the economy on life support for the past quarter century; all forgiven. All we need now is for Abe’s tummy troubles to miraculously clear up, then it’ll be deja vu all over again; where the past comes to life and we all get to be like virgins, for the very first time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

PMs doesnt matter, Japan is run by a few political families and factions, and that is forever stable. PMs are nothing but a figurehead with no real power to do anything.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Corporate welfare and subsidies only for businesses in a pandemic,

Sorry but pandemic or not, corporate welfare and subsidies is never neoliberal, ever.

“Neoliberal” is supposed to blow away such special privilege, from all types.

regressive taxes that fall heaviest on those with the least means,

Not in Japan. Very progressive tax rates, and the recent consumption tax hike introduced different rates for different products - again this is not neoliberal policy.

corporations relatively unregulated

Relative to what?

japan??

free to exploit workers with excessive hours

Free to?

unpaid overtime

That’s Japanese culture not neoliberalism at work…

and contracts that are only loosely enforced. 

Huh?

Sounds like the LDP's Japan is the neo-liberal paradise you desire, or close enough to it at least...

Japan isn’t anyone’s ideal of a neoliberal paradise.

On the contrary, Japan is still waiting for its “Czech Republic” / , ”New Zealand” moment for reform.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yeah ok.

Ignore what cause the revolving door of Prime Ministers.

After the Plaza Accord was signed.

The revolving door began.

Birth rates dropped.

Salaries stagnant.

Suicides up.

Yeah it all happened by magic, nothing to do with the disaster we signed, affecting Japan for 3 decades now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rather revolving door than Abe again.

Abe isn't running again so we can all breath a sigh of relief. Now let's see how Fumio Kishida vs. Yukio Edano will go.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If your country loses it's leader every year it will have serious consequences.

-Weaker nation.

-More easy to push around.

-Leaders of other countries by the time they learn the Japanese PM Name, he will be replaced next year.

-Keep giving apologies which only made things worse for Japan and Korea.

The people who dislike Japan Love The Revolving Door of Prime Ministers!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

ReasonandWisdomNippon

Rather a revolving door than a bad leader.

Can you imagine Abe ruling Japan for 10 years or 20 years? No, he would run Japan into the ground.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Iron Lad

A revolving door is what Japan did! And it was a Disaster!

That's how I know 100% you are Wrong!

Even foreign countries complained at Japan's revolving door of PM. You can't have a relationship between leaders if the top guy in Japan is replaced by the time you learn how to say and pronounce his name.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Does it really matter in the end? Each old man with miserable approval ratings and a one-sheet with no memorable achievements whatsoever will be recycled into another old man who will rinse and repeat the exact same failed ratings and one-sheet with no memorable achievements whatsoever. It's nothing but an endless conveyor belt of the same person with a different name and face, but same end result.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The reasons for the short-lived premiers varied, including the nation's busy election calendar, fickle public opinion, and constant power struggles within political parties.

There’s only one reason - politicians in Japan can’t lead.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suga could have no standing up any election . His motivation goes for nothing . Just had a look in current looks at the Paralympic closing ceremony . Tired up stressful.

He said when I leave off the PM, the position of MP done as well .

But this time does not imply including any media , only 2 mins remark in front of the press . Very unnatural anything like that .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After all Suga government is subjected Abe takeover .

Abe & Suga must catch up in one set all lump together even his individual policy showed .

So then he resigns a range of era completed . Try to recall of recall means absurd imagination . This voice should be erased mandating for our national.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Albert DeFilippoSep. 5  07:58 am JST

Well, if Suga is the fall guy for COVID, it just goes to show that the LDP and other parties put politics before the public and lives. If they all work together as a team, perhaps the public would have more faith in them.

Unfortunately that became very evident to me immediately after the 2011 tsunami disaster. When the country most needed help from all it's politicians the LDP were wasting considerable time in parliament trying to wrestle control back from the DPJ. They are a despicable party of self serving, power grabbing old farts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To be fair, Suga will never be treated like one of their own by the LDP ... he's a strawberry farmer boy not an elite... he doesn't have family members convicted of war crimes.. he's perfect for this scapegoat role...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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