If you are an American complaining about the Congressional partisan impasse of the past two years, or if you are a Briton worried about Scottish devolution and the fragility of the current coalition government, take heart. It could be worse; you could be Japanese.
In just under six years, Japan has had six prime ministers from two different major parties that have involved at various times four different smaller parties as coalition partners. This fall they are facing the possibility of another election at an unknown date after the sitting prime minister was censured by the upper house. Both of the two major parties, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) which has formed the Japanese government for 52 of the 60 years since the end of the U.S. occupation, and the governing party since September 2009, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), will hold leadership elections.
Consider the following: the LDP worked with the DPJ to pass an important tax and social welfare bill and then turned around and joined other opposition parties in support of censuring the prime minister for submitting the bills in the first place. The conservative mayor of Tokyo wants to force the government's hand in its dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands by purchasing them from their Japanese owner for the city of Tokyo. Yet another political party is being formed by a young rabble rouser from Osaka adding to the approximately 12 national parties that already exist. All this is taking place at a time when the domestic economy is struggling with tremendous debt; economic problems and the rapidly declining youth population is endangering the national social welfare system; and national energy policy has been thrown into turmoil by the questioning of nuclear power generation following the events of March 2011.
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )
Kyodo News said Monday that it has dismissed Satoshi Kondo, 51, deputy chief of its general administration bureau and former personnel affairs division chief, for meeting individually with a female student searching for a job and doing an inappropriate act.
(Jiji Press )