Monday, June 07, 2010

Groundhog Day

Years ago, there was a frustrating movie called Groundhog Day about a guy played by Bill Murray who was stuck experiencing the same things over and over, day after day. Just like we are doing now.

About 60 percent of voters surveyed have expressed positive expectations for incoming Prime Minister Naoto Kan, two major dailies said Sunday, releasing the results of opinion polls they conducted recently. Japan Times

It's kinda hard not to have positive expectations for Kan as nobody can expect a quicker fall than Hatoyama's. It ain't too encouraging that Kan has been reported to have informed the Obama administration* that he would make "strenuous efforts" on still-not-implemented Futenma agreement---whatever strenuous efforts turns out to mean.

In an arguably more democratic country and a seemingly more participatory democracy than existed under the LDP, one has to wonder exactly how he is going to do that and satisfy those on Okinawa who want nothing to do with the agreement. Is he ultimately going to just run it through like the LDP did in the past over the objections of Okinawans? I'd wager that he ain't going to get any flexibility from the US.

Once again, Japanese politics will be more interesting than frustrating. Then, not all that far in the future Japanese politics will once again become more frustrating than interesting. Then....well, we know the drill.

*ABC (US) reported that: "This is a bilateral accord, and therefore decisions will be based on the accord," Kan said today. "As indicated in the bilateral agreement, there will be emphasis on alleviating the load on the Okinawans. This is a priority of concern and this is an issue that is extremely important."

Xuihan reported:

Kan said that he will strive to fulfill the Japan-U.S. pact on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Futenma base within Okinawa Prefecture.

"I want to make strenuous efforts" on the relocation of the base, Kan was quoted as saying.


  1. I want to make strenuous efforts to believe Naoto Kan is going to be great. But, well, you know, we are just talking about another J-PM. Again.

  2. Well, he sounds good so far...