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Why Does Japan Change Its PMs From Time To Time?  
User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9160 posts, RR: 15
Posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2388 times:

I realize that Japan changes its prime ministers from time to time. Why is that?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7210 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2372 times:

Simple- their government has been a trash heap since the 2000s.


People get fed up with the PM, and he resigns under political pressure. Noda so far is the longest-serving PM as of recently(1 year and some change.) Kan was horrible and the guys before him lasted only around a year. It's almost a revolving door.


The fact of the matter is, japanese people don't give 2 sh*ts about politics, because they have this sense that they can't really do anything to change their country. The Emperor is reportedly royally pissed (excuse the pun) that nothing's getting done in his country. This actually is somewhat reminding me of a precursor to what happened before Tojo and Showa-tenno began attacking for the beginnings of WWII. Nationalistic elements are brewing in Tokyo and when Noda calls another general election in a few weeks, the LDP is gonna be back in power, and a new PM will take hold.


here's the thing about Japan- their politicians care more about themselves and their land than they do their people, from any of those 2 big parties. I'm a right-wing conservative and I love America as much as the next guy, but you all know what happens when Americans get pissed at their government.

But in Japan it's not necessarily the case. They're not one to begin stirring trouble. At least not right now.

I hope Japan's new coalition fixes things soon, or they could be facing some serious issues, not just a war with China.



One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9160 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2332 times:

Well even in the 70s, 80s and 90s Japan changed prime ministers a lot. You seldom see one being in the office for 8 years or above like George W Bush or Tony Blair etc etc

User currently offlineha763 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 3635 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2332 times:
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Quoting United Airline (Thread starter):
I realize that Japan changes its prime ministers from time to time.

This is an understatement. Ever since Koizumi left office, the PM has been like a calendar - good for only 1 year.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):
People get fed up with the PM, and he resigns under political pressure. Noda so far is the longest-serving PM as of recently(1 year and some change.) Kan was horrible and the guys before him lasted only around a year. It's almost a revolving door.

Yes, the polls always show high support in the beginning for the PM that always end up dropping low, but it's the politicians that are the ones who get fed up with the PM. The politicians are the ones who chose the PM and the ones who push them out of office. Many of them see the low poll numbers as an opportunity to get the power. It's hard to say that the people are fed up with the PM when you write this as the next sentence:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):
The fact of the matter is, japanese people don't give 2 sh*ts about politics, because they have this sense that they can't really do anything to change their country.

This is the Japanese shoganai attitude that is pervasive in their culture. Also, Kan (just shy of 1 year and 3 months) has so far served longer than Noda (just barely 1 year).

The PM always have some grandiose plan to do something, but in the end nothing really changes. It also doesn't help that the PM's don't get the time to address the problems Japan is facing when they are replaced 1 year later.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7137 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2305 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):
but you all know what happens when Americans get pissed at their government.

The way I see it is that americans don't do much except take and ring up talkback radio, now if you had said the French who really do something when they are pissed then I'd agree with you.'

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):
The Emperor is reportedly royally pissed (excuse the pun) that nothing's getting done in his country.

Does the Emperor have any powers or is he just a figurehead?


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2270 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):
People get fed up with the PM, and he resigns under political pressure.

Resignation when something does not go as expected and 'embaresses' the government, or private company, is a part of the Japanese culture. It's not something that always occurs, but does happen enough that it is not surprising.

Quoting United Airline (Reply 2):
You seldom see one being in the office for 8 years or above like George W Bush or Tony Blair etc etc

If the US politicians operated as the Japanese do, every US President since and including LBJ would have resigned early. Japan is different than the US or UK. Not saying any of those is the 'Right Way' - just different. You cannot expect a different culture to operate a government the same way.

That said, the change of PM so frequently in Japan does not have the depth of effects that changing the PM in the UK or the President in the US would have. The Japanese government is not as much a reflection of the PM personal beliefs and leadership style as the US and UK.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
Does the Emperor have any powers or is he just a figurehead?

Real power - no. Influential power - some. Not as much as Queen Elizabeth, but some ability to influence things behind the scenes if he chooses.


User currently offlineneutrino From Singapore, joined May 2012, 605 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2221 times:

For as long as I can remember - and that is many decades - Japan and Thailand had seemed to me that they have the most frequent change of heads of government in Asia if not the world. At least the average for both in recent times have been a year or more. It used to be that every few months (and at times even days for Thailand) they changed their Prime Ministers like changing their clothes.
How different that the reigns of their heads of state who are from their revered monarchies are stable and very much respected.



Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6530 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2177 times:

Maybe that's part of the problem ? Having a powerless head of state that is respected for no good reason makes any politician that has to play the dirty game of politics look bad in comparison ?


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineB2443 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 703 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2126 times:

Just my personal view...ever since they lost the war, they have lost their say in many things, i.e. military, politics, economics etc. It may have the best Sony and Toyota but politically it has zero international influence. If anyone has any issue with Japan, they come to the White House. You stay as PM when you work with the U.S. If not, you are gone. Koizumi was known for keeping the US happy and he was there like forever. It is a sad as a country in that they are unable to determine their own fate.

[Edited 2012-09-20 16:33:00]

User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7210 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2113 times:

Quoting ha763 (Reply 3):
This is the Japanese shoganai attitude that is pervasive in their culture. Also, Kan (just shy of 1 year and 3 months) has so far served longer than Noda (just barely 1 year).

Ah my bad, thanks for the correction   

Quoting ha763 (Reply 3):
The PM always have some grandiose plan to do something, but in the end nothing really changes. It also doesn't help that the PM's don't get the time to address the problems Japan is facing when they are replaced 1 year later.

The thing they should try- and I know a lot of Japanese probably won't like this - is maybe change to a federal system where THEY elect the PM (or would become president) instead of the party. I don't know how well that would work though.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
The way I see it is that americans don't do much except take and ring up talkback radio, now if you had said the French who really do something when they are pissed then I'd agree with you.'

Or they go and strike out in the streets, or block people from getting to their actual jobs (that actually support THEIR jobs    I'm talking about the occupy movement}

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
Does the Emperor have any powers or is he just a figurehead?
Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 5):
Real power - no. Influential power - some. Not as much as Queen Elizabeth, but some ability to influence things behind the scenes if he chooses.

Influential power- LOTS actually. The guy is somewhat still regarded as sacred. Only talks to the public when something warrants it, i.e., the earthquake last year. However he often travels around to meet with people, and he has the widest support possible.

Quoting B2443 (Reply 8):
Just my personal view...ever since they lost the war, they have lost their say in many things, i.e. military, politics, economics etc

Japan is more or less run by their conglomerates when their government begins to falter. It's not like the corporations are omnipotent and run the country, but rather, they step in and funnel money to places that need it when the country is having political problems. These companies are the reason why the nation hasn't gone belly-up after all this crap.



One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7137 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2037 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 9):
I'm talking about the occupy movement}

One small demonstration held by a bunch of lefty nutters doesn't mean squat, it's when the middle classes get involved is when people really start to take notice.


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7210 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1994 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 10):
One small demonstration held by a bunch of lefty nutters doesn't mean squat, it's when the middle classes get involved is when people really start to take notice.

You kidding me with "small?"
First of all, it was incredibly disruptive and disrespectful. I had eggs thrown at my car when I was driving through downtown Cincinnati with my parents. Horrible horrible disrespect, calling my mom a whore too.
Second, most people not involved with occupy didn't give a shit about them, however, the only thing that came from it was a hatred of people who are successful. How pathetic    But i digress...this thread is about Japan



One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6530 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1990 times:

About Japanese apathy, I saw that there was quite a few anti nuclear protests and now a path out of nuclear energy has been announced, so things can happen.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8021 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1858 times:

Quoting B2443 (Reply 8):
It is a sad as a country in that they are unable to determine their own fate.

This is the result of both massive cultural ambivalence and a stoic realization that they've never been able to do so historically.

Quoting B2443 (Reply 8):
It may have the best Sony and Toyota but politically it has zero international influence.

Zero international influence is an incredible understatement. The Japanese government doesn't make a big show of anything it does, but there are a number of ways in which Japan is quite influential. JICA is one of the most active volunteer NPOs in the world and Japanese retirees in particular who join do a lot of important work around the world.

The Bank of Japan/Finance Ministry have been one of the primary sources of lending capital for ailing European economies over the last 18 months and since Japan remains heavily flush with foreign reserves, they will continue to be a net creditor for the US and others as well. Japan is often criticized for its heavy debt-to-GDP ratio but with 90% of that debt held and serviced domestically, and trillions in foreign reserves, it actually remains in a very favorable position.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 9):
The thing they should try- and I know a lot of Japanese probably won't like this - is maybe change to a federal system where THEY elect the PM (or would become president) instead of the party.

Japanese people, showing up for an election? Are you kidding?? めんどくさい!



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
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