Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Policy Speech by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to the Diet

In his first policy speech before the Diet, Noda said a politician must have 誠心誠意 (seishin seii) - a “sincere spirit and just intent.” Then he said Japan would proceed forward with the existing plan to relocate Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. So much for sincerity and a just intent. He also said Japan would not become “inward-looking” during his administration. I’ll believe that when I see it.

Noda did have one interesting thing to say in his speech.
We now hear certain mocking comments from overseas suggesting that ‘procrastination and the inability to show political leadership’ are ‘the Japanese way.’ The trust and confidence that our country has earned up to now is currently in real danger of being lost.
Presumably, Noda was referring to Japanese political theater. Interestingly, his remarks imply that political theater is somehow new, when in fact it is very, very old. In fairness to Japan, every other democracy seems to be doing the same idiotic thing.

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