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Old 2008-09-25, 20:05   Link #61
Autumn Demon
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How hereditary are Japanese politics? The last three prime ministers, Aso, Fukuda, and Abe, are all grandsons of former prime ministers. Reading through this article, i see many of Aso's cabinet ministers are also related to former prime ministers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Economist
The make-up of his cabinet appears to dispel any doubts that he will call a snap general election. With the chief exception of Kaoru Yosano, a fiscal conservative reinstated as economy minister, the cabinet talent is astonishingly thin. Mr Aso cannot be serious.

Shigeru Ishiba is a defence expert, but he has been put in charge of farms. Hirofumi Nakasone, the new foreign minister, is notable chiefly for being the son of a former prime minister. The new internal-affairs minister is Kunio Hatoyama, another grandson of a prime minister, seen even by his friends as the most incompetent justice minister in memory. And Mr Aso has chosen Shoichi Nakagawa, a potential budget-buster like himself, as finance minister. When this correspondent recently called after lunch on the man now responsible for coping with the global financial crisis, he found him in erratic form, with his shirt unbuttoned to the waist. Japan needs more women in the workforce, but Mr Nakagawa has said that they have their “proper place” and their “own abilities” in, for example, “flower arranging, sewing, or cooking”. Countering this view has been left to Yuko Obuchi, 34-year-old daughter of another prime minister, who is in charge of reversing Japan’s declining birth rate.
And when will Japan learn that you can't reverse declining birth rates: prosperous people just don't bread as much. Japan needs to open up to immigration to counter drastic population decline (its population is predicted to fall below 100m in the next half century from 127m today) instead of wasting money trying to get women out of the workforce.
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Old 2008-09-25, 23:10   Link #62
Vexx
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You *can* reverse unnecessary decline --- but you have to adjust destructive corporate expectations for employees, provide childcare in business districts or at companies, teach males how to stop being obstinate delusional asses like Nakagawa there. Recognize you have conflicting needs (workforce needs, population management needs). Recognize that men should also be involved in family life as rolemodels.
The Scandinavian and Germanic countries seem to have some models that work pretty well.... Nakagawa d'uh?
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Old 2008-09-26, 03:18   Link #63
Slice of Life
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Recognize that men should also be involved in family life as rolemodels. The Scandinavian and Germanic countries seem to have some models that work pretty well.... Nakagawa d'uh?

I don't know about Scandinavia but this is not true for Germany.

It's certainly much easier for women to enter and stay in the workforce than in Japan. Overall, the social pressure to fit into certain gender role model is lower than even in many Western countries. But all that is true only as long as there are no children. Once there are its still pretty much a done deal that the somebody who has to take care of them is the mother.

The population in Germany does shrink and that it doesn't shrink faster than it does is thanks to immigration as everywhere else in the developed word. According to wikipedia Germany has a significantly higher percentage of immigrants (12.31) than France (10.18) or the UK (8.982) and slightly less than the US (12.81). Japan has 1.599 percent.

So if Japan is against immigration then the only working model (high number of births) I'm aware of is France which is an often cited example here. But this is due to the fact that the state is much more involved in taking care of the children and not so much the father. But that might be an even bigger nightmare to conservatives in Japan. It certainly is here.
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Last edited by Slice of Life; 2008-09-26 at 03:35.
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Old 2008-09-26, 12:27   Link #64
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Ah, I was under the impresson that Germany had a fairly advanced childcare system. My bad. The Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes seem to have some pretty sophisticated childcare systems in place as well as very flexible employment principles that recognize the importance of childcare to the community.

Protecting a culture is a tricky thing without stagnating it. ... but Japan is far beyond the "we have less kids because there's other things to do" with their plummeting marriage (or even relationship) rate. They have basic attitudinal issues to fix.
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Old 2008-09-27, 13:44   Link #65
solomon
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JAPAN HAS IMMIGRATION?!?!!

No seriously I read in the Washington Post last year that the govt was experimenting with immigration of people from around the japanese diasaopra, particularly from South America. However, those people are primarily Peruvian or Brazillian in culture and so CULTURE CLASH ENSUES.

I don't want to make the gov't sound racist but isn't it a bit much to expect Japan doing full scale immigration like the west anytime soon?
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Old 2008-09-27, 14:38   Link #66
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Aso's view of Japan as "one country, one race, one culture, one civilization" (despite its many problems) is, nevertheless, characteristic of conservative Japanese thinking, which is a dominant force in Japanese politics. So in that respect, I doubt immigration will open up very much. Indeed, you will notice that Japan is experimenting with immigration from people of Japanese racial descent, which is something akin to having your cake and eating it too. Obviously a healthy dose of immigration is necessary to keep afloat its aging society, but the Japanese are still too race- and culture-conscious to consider Western-style citizenship rules for people not of Japanese descent.

Which is just as well, in some respects, because from what I've read of discrimination in Japanese society there is still a great deal of xenophobia. In that respect, a large influx of immigrants will probably stir up the pot even more. Consequently, I don't think Japan will ever become as cosmopolitan as the West (barring some major changes in political and social culture). It's not that kind of country.
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Old 2008-09-27, 16:15   Link #67
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They are pretty much doomed then.By 2050, the japanese population will be around 90 millions, in 2100 around 40 millions.

I have no evidence, but I find really hard to believe that a human society can survive without damage what can only be called a demographic collapse.Japan like a lot of southern and eastern european countries is simply dying.
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Old 2008-09-27, 19:21   Link #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeusIrae View Post
They are pretty much doomed then.By 2050, the japanese population will be around 90 millions, in 2100 around 40 millions.

I have no evidence, but I find really hard to believe that a human society can survive without damage what can only be called a demographic collapse.Japan like a lot of southern and eastern european countries is simply dying.
I think that drop is a bit silly and unrealistic. Even Tokyo has a population of 12 million currently and you're not accounting for the metropolitan area it is a part of (which gets close to 40 million people) or the rural populations of Japan which are about 20% of the current population. Certainly Japan's population isn't going to grow, but it doesn't mean it won't just float around a stable equilibrium point.

Last edited by Decagon; 2008-09-27 at 19:40. Reason: numbers
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Old 2008-09-27, 20:05   Link #69
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The concern is over how much of the population is of which age group ... not necessarily the total number of everyone.

You need a little sine wave of births to provide an overall stability in the prime working healthy age groups (say 20-65yrs). Right now, the birth rate suggests a population crash with too many elderly and not enough taxpayers.
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Old 2008-09-27, 23:17   Link #70
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Nakayama to quit Cabinet after gaffes

Aso's staff seems prone to "gaffes" (i.e. saying what they really think and then getting thumped on the head for it).
One resignation ..... actually surprised Minister Nakagawa hasn't already "gaffed" himself to pasture....

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0080928a1.html
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Old 2008-09-29, 13:33   Link #71
ZeusIrae
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
The concern is over how much of the population is of which age group ... not necessarily the total number of everyone.

You need a little sine wave of births to provide an overall stability in the prime working healthy age groups (say 20-65yrs). Right now, the birth rate suggests a population crash with too many elderly and not enough taxpayers.
Yup, but as the figures I gave indicate, the change will happen extremely fast.And so far, it has no reason to stop.The economic and social conditions that are responsible for this situation aren't going to change by a miracle.To reverse the situation requires dramatic shifts in attitudes toward women on the workplace, child care, emigration and dozens of other issues.Otherwise, the demographic evolution has no reason to change.At least it will be in good company.Italy and dozens of other countries(including China) will follow Japan's "lead" quickly.

@Decagon, here is the source:http://www.stat.go.jp/English/data/handbook/c02cont.htm .If you don't want to hunt for it, just go on the wikipedia page for Japan.Japan fertility(1.29) rate is far below the replacement threshold(2.1).Of course, they are only projections.We don't know what will happen in the future, trends can change very quickly but at least it tells us that something will have to change.

Apparently, Aso decided to please some political allies since he doesn't expect the governement to last.Some believes that a general election is very likely before the end of the year.We will see...
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Old 2008-09-29, 14:26   Link #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Aso's staff seems prone to "gaffes" (i.e. saying what they really think and then getting thumped on the head for it).
One resignation ..... actually surprised Minister Nakagawa hasn't already "gaffed" himself to pasture....
Perhaps, Nakayama thinks that "gaffes" will lead him to the prime minister seat one day.
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Old 2009-02-18, 01:24   Link #73
Autumn Demon
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Japanese finance minister at G7(8?) news conference in Rome.



Asou should stop putting off the inevitable and call elections now. Or are these unelected prime ministers obsessed with staying in office for exactly one year?

Thankfully Koizumi is publicly criticizing Asou, but it seems the reformists in both the LDP and DPJ won't be gaining much power anytime soon.
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Old 2009-02-18, 20:01   Link #74
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It would be great if Koizumi comes back to lead but he has already declared his retirement a few months ago, so it won't be possible under the LDP banner. More over, I don't think Koizumi like the idea of dividing the LDP up and form his own new party with departing LDP members. Even if he plans on doing it, there won't be enough time. The economy is only going to worsen with the Aso Cabinet at helm for the time remaining. Will Koizumi manage to form a new party under his own leadership within a mere few months? Not just, his new party must also have a high approval rate by formulating good economic recovery plans and also various political policies. Thus, I think the Democratic Party of Japan will definitely win the next general election.

---

That was the G-7 meeting!
(G-8 includes Russia.)

Last edited by Shadow Kira01; 2009-02-18 at 20:05. Reason: updated
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Old 2009-02-18, 22:51   Link #75
Autumn Demon
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Yes, but it clearly says G8 on the wall in the video. The finance minister was framed!
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Old 2009-02-18, 23:32   Link #76
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Isn't this the same fellow the reporter from the Economist talked about in the item you cited earlier? The one who was in "erratic form" and had his shirt open to the waist when he was scheduled to be interviewed by one of the most influential journalistic organisations in the world? In retrospect, one has to imagine that "erratic" was being used rather euphemistically, don't you think?

For those of you living in Japan, has this story had any political ramifications yet? I saw it first on the BBC World News, which almost guarantees it was shown throughout most of the world. I know that if that had been Treasury Secretary Geithner, it wouldn't take long for this story to be ratcheted up to the level of a "-gate" in the American media.* It certainly would be exploited by right-wing radio talk-show hosts just itching to find anything to puncture Obama's Shield of Goodness (+4 Def; +7 MagDef).

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*In 1972, the Nixon Administration arranged for a group of ex-CIA operatives and Cuban emigres to bug the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate hotel. What became known as simply "Watergate" ushered in decades of later "-gates."

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Last edited by SeijiSensei; 2009-02-18 at 23:43.
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Old 2009-02-19, 01:39   Link #77
Vexx
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If I'm not mistaken the finance minister resigned... but Aso and his cabinet are already at... 9% approval? The public is really quite disgusted with them, even Koizumi in retirement is rolling his eyes at them. But.... eh, 'shoganai'... its the bureaucracy that runs things there and they have incredible resistance and resilience in avoiding change that might disturb their 'wa'.

I think his only success is the glorious cabinet member in charge of repopulating Japan who is so engaged she got pregnant herself They should make HER prime minister.
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Old 2009-02-19, 23:23   Link #78
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Alas, even Yuko-san herself is part of the legacy. Bless her father's soul, though. Not many PMs ended their term in a hospital and with a death cert.
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Old 2009-02-20, 06:22   Link #79
ZephyrLeanne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeusIrae View Post
They are pretty much doomed then.By 2050, the japanese population will be around 90 millions, in 2100 around 40 millions.

I have no evidence, but I find really hard to believe that a human society can survive without damage what can only be called a demographic collapse.Japan like a lot of southern and eastern european countries is simply dying.
Well, that's what people call a "homogeneous" society, no? Oh, well...

Quote:
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Perhaps, Nakayama thinks that "gaffes" will lead him to the prime minister seat one day.
Look at his boss the PM. Taro Aso. Need I say more?
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Old 2009-02-20, 19:32   Link #80
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Fair bit of argument over this in the Guardian's Comment is Free...
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