the Aug. 5 article “DPJ will say anything to win“: Keiichiro Asao (who quit the Democratic Party of Japan to run in the Aug. 30 Lower House elections as an independent) is right to say it will take more than a change of administration to solve current problems. Before changes can be effected, a complete overhaul of the entire political system must take place.
Politicians must regain people’s trust and the people must regain faith in their country. I can understand why some people don’t believe that the DPJ can do much better than the Liberal Democratic Party if it wins the elections. Both parties are distracted by internal ideological disputes and financial scandals. They both lack unity and vision.
Few of my Japanese friends believe that politicians are truly interested in seeing things change because they belong to families that have monopolized the country’s political world for generations. Change could weaken their families’ dominance. They complain that they cannot directly vote for the country’s “leader” as in other democratic countries and that the world of Japanese politics is so exclusive that no commoner will ever have a chance of becoming prime minister.
Most of all, they complain that, despite their hard work and their country’s economic success, they see very little in return. Taxes are high, salaries are low and the end-of-year bonus is disappearing. They are tired of feeling poor in a rich country.