It is with a frustrated and sinking feeling that I read the comments of the Liberal Democratic Party chief in the Jan. 24 article “LDP pledges to send ruling party packing.” With all the problems facing Japan, what Japanese politics doesn’t need is more of the same tribal mentality, greed and power faction party politics that have dominated the system for years.

What Japan doesn’t need is more of the power brokering style in which politicians focus on their factions and refuse any attempt to work with politicians in other parties, at the cost of actually representing the people and solving national problems. Japan doesn’t need more of the sniping, backbiting and meaningless griping that seem to compose the bulk of political news reported in The Japan Times.

What Japan needs, and what the LDP has obviously failed to grasp, is real leadership. Instead of waiting for Prime Minister Naoto Kan to advance his solutions so that it can tear them down later, the LDP should be presenting its own solutions, and at least be willing to engage in talks for a solution. Obstructionist ploys will not lead to solutions to any problems.

Sadly, while the article and comments concern the LDP, the reality is that most politicians are lacking something. Whether it’s the DPJ, LDP or any other party, what we seem to be missing in national government are not politicians, but rather real leaders. Until such leaders are found, I seriously doubt that solutions to Japan’s problems can be found.

david varnes

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