John Ashburne took to the streets of Osaka and Kyoto to find out what people expect from the Donald Trump administration in the U.S. See the online version of this article or the Japan Times YouTube channel for a video of these vox pops.
Ramen shop staff, 49 (Japanese)
I have considerable fear about the Trump presidency. All his policies will be directed toward making America No. 1. He’s going to force Japan, South Korea, Australia and all the other countries to follow his policies. We’ll suffer from problems with military bases and protectionist tariff issues. His presidency will hit our economy hard. On the other hand, there may be an improvement as he’s the first president who is a regular citizen, not a career politician. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in America but I am worried about how the Trump presidency will affect Japan.
Student, 21 (Japanese)
As a woman, I’m concerned about Trump’s statements on the gender gap and women’s advancement in society. I believe Trump’s thinking discriminates against women and the LGBT community. It looks like he will worsen discrimination against these groups. It’s a scary thought. America is very distant from Japan, but I’ve been there once and feel a sense of closeness to it. The American people are anxious about the political system. Hillary Clinton lost but, in truth, she received the most votes. Yet Trump still won. That worries me most.
Pilot, 37 (American)
My hopes are that Trump, in his own words, does indeed “drain the swamp,” and that we can get rid we can get rid of a lot of the bureaucracy and lobbying, and kinda turn the system upside down, because it was a broken system, what with Wall Street and all the lobbying. I think that was a big reason why he came to power. People were just tired of it, and I hope that he can “Make the country great again,” and that would bring the country back together, because it is divided. My fears are that he is a bit of an egomaniac, and narcissistic, and hot-headed. I hope that when he comes to power he will calm down, chill out and realize the gravity of the situation he is in.
“World citizen” (Japanese)
I hope he’ll bring a big change to the White House. He’s not a politician, he’s a businessman. That’s good, I think. The only concern that I have is that he’s indifferent to climate change. He doesn’t believe in global warming. That’s my only concern. I hope he changes his mind, or learns something about the world.
Retiree, 67 (Japanese)
I don’t know so much about Mr. Trump, but based on listening to his speeches, I understand it is important for him as a politician to reinvigorate the U.S. economy again. Yet if he limits his view to putting America’s profit first, as history has shown us, war and plunder are inevitably involved. Japan has experienced the same thing in the past. If he wants to be a world leader he should be planning to think not solely about his own nation but others as well. I am watching the situation closely, and all I can say to Mr. Trump is please do something good for the world.
Engineer, 33 (American)
My hopes are for the healing of the country, because we are pretty divided right now. One side refuses to talk to the other, and I know people on both sides. I hope he runs the government like a business. I’m less concerned about all the “noise” and media stuff. I’m cautiously optimistic, but we have to keep him honest. It’s important that Americans look at the policies instead of just the media. People tend to choose where they get their news from — CNN vs. Fox — but that’s all an echo chamber. Looking at the meat of things would be a good strategy. We’ll see how it goes.
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