Erkki Hietalahti, 53
University professor (Finnish)
Obama should be re-elected, because he saved a bad situation, even though many initiatives were blocked by the Republicans. Obama is a better choice than Romney, who seems to flip his opinions, so who knows what he’d do in office? Obama cares about people, and will continue to promote equal access to health care and education, like in Finland.

Lawrence Gaun, 47
Entrepreneur/producer (American)
I suppose Obama will win, but it won’t change much in the “United States of Hypocrisy”, because the political system there is broken. Democrats and Republicans are just two sides of the same dirty, rotten, corrupt coin, and the distance between the left and right is so narrow that the U.S. needs to rethink its so-called two-party system.

Bob Sanderson, 45
English teacher (American)
I’m cautiously optimistic that Obama will win and secure his legacy. He will make more progress on the economy despite Republican opposition, and “Obamacare” will kick in on his watch in 2014, but the big changes may be that he gets to choose two or three Supreme Court justices, so he will be thinking long-term, to 2016 and beyond.

Yi Zhang, 29
Trading company “OL” (Chinese)
I think Obama will win, because he’s trying to do a good job, and I think he needs more time to prove that he can make America better. But he can’t do everything himself, and the results are not known yet: a lot depends on the U.S. Congress. I’m not worried about U.S.-China relations during a second Obama administration.

Chieko Kashimoto, 67
Housewife (Japanese)
Obama is better than (George W.) Bush was, and four years is too short to fix all the problems that Bush left, so he should win to get more time to finish that. I don’t expect any big changes in terms of U.S.-Japan relations, except that Japan might have six or seven different prime ministers during Obama’s eight years!

Gail Dixon, 35
Mother, (American)
I’m a member of Democrats Abroad who is proud to have voted for Obama by absentee ballot. I believe he’s a great man and president for our country and future. He’s proven himself in the first four years and the next four will solidify his accomplishments in health care, ending wars, gay rights and many other issues, such as immigration reform.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp

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