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Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's decline is reviving an old question about Japanese politics: why does the world's second-largest economy produce such lackluster leaders?

8 Comments

Newsweek columnist Takashi Yokota

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8 Comments
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1)Too much emphasis on preserving the 'wa' and not enough stones to tackle the tough issues with the forethought that not everyone will be happy.

2)Too many backroom dealings instead of transparency or at least the illusion thereof.

3)Too many unelected, over privileged wankers in the bureaucracy.

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Excellent question!

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In addition to "lackluster leaders," why does the world's second-largest economy produce such a lackluster populace?

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Nisegaiji:

"Free markets and less government" in Japan? Are you joking? In which cave have you been living the past 30 years?

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Maybe because Japan has such lackluster leaders, it has such powerful economy. Economy made by free markets and less government. If only this lackluster government wasn't such a spendthrift, Japan would be in a lot better shape.

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Because we keep voting people that dont do the reforms that we need for get out of the continue decline of our country.

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Because they are just figure heads. The power behind the throne - so to speak - are the bureaucrats in the government. The same logic as traditional Japanese companies.

Remember head of Toyota when the recalls happened and what was said in the press about how in a Japanese company the head of the company is just a figure head? Same thing.

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Because it is a family thing. Great thinkers and leaders aren't given the chance here because everything seems to get passed down - see Koizumi and his slimy son who people think are wonderful because of his dad yet has done NOTHING himself.

That and people who are sheeple scare everyone else. Yukio started so well but wasn't able to do much because the public and his party won't let him do anything different than those in the past. It seems Japan still wants to spend money it doesn't have and anything to do with cutbacks scares folks.

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