Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced two days ago that he’ll be resigning, less than one year after taking office. I’ve never been particularly interested in politics, but from what I hear there’s been quite a bit of scandal emerging in Japan recently. Some thoughts from an anonymous Kansai local (slightly edited to make the grammar readable):
On September 12, 2007 the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on TV that he will resign because “in the present situation, it is difficult to push ahead with effective policies that win the support and trust of the public.” Since then, already four of his ministers were forced to resign because of several scandals. The fifty million missing pension records were not helpful either.
Hakuo Yanagisawa, the health minister, called women “breeding machines.” Ok, that was bad. The uproar created by his remark forced him to resign. Toshikatsu Matsuoka committed suicide because of his involvement in a political funding scandal; there was an absolutely silent shock in Japanese government. Fumio Kyuma, the defense minister, resigned over his remark that the U.S. nuclear bombings of Japan “couldn’t be helped,” which I personally think was a huge misunderstanding.
“Toward a beautiful country Japan” has corrupted within a year. As a Japanese citizen, I can’t help but grow concerned about our political future.
As an American citizen, I feel your pain, man…I feel your pain.
Ben Ross, a blogger who just recently returned to the US after several years of living in China, wrote a really interesting post about his attempt to convince an old Chinese woman that “Americans aren’t all in love with war.” He talks about how our current administration has been alienating and demonizing Americans throughout the world, a phenomenon which I’ve felt personally on numerous occasions during my travels. Many of the comments on his article are quite interesting as well.
Living in another country really does change one’s perspective on things quite a bit. If you’re still young enough and have the means, I highly suggest giving it a try. I’ve been a globetrotter for most of my life, but even so, the nearly two years I’ve spent in Japan continue to expand and reshape the way I understand the world and its people.
The temperature in Kyoto has finally dropped to “pleasant” and the humidity has dissipated almost completely. Autumn is here once again. Things aren’t quite as exciting or lively around the city as during the Summer, but it’s nice to finally be able to sleep without a fan blasting in my face and without having to peel myself off a sweat-ridden sheet every morning.
And after a month of spending every weekend at the beach, I’ve finally managed to get back what semblance of a tan I once had. I’d like to hang onto it for as long as possible…so I’ve periodically been spending my lunch breaks laying by the Kamo River, reading, and sunbathing. Today was one such day.
After an hour or so by the river, I decided to ride my bike up North to Kitaoji Bus Terminal for a quick lunch at a Freshness Burger located therein. I recently discovered that their “Classic Burger” is actually a proper hamburger, almost as good as something one might find at Island’s Restaurant – and a bargain at only 450 yen!
Upon leaving the shop, I was surprised to notice that the sky had suddenly become completely overcast. Minutes later it was pouring rain. By the time I’d returned to the office I literally looked as if I’d jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed. I sit here now in a company T-Shirt and boxers with a stinky gym towel wrapped around my waist, looking out the window at a sunny blue sky.
Thanx, Japanese weather. And a lovely Darkfternoon to you too!