Climbing the value chain
11 hours ago
Could you explain what a "Satsuma thing" is for those of us who normally think of Satsuma as a sweet potato?I of course have an idea what I mean. However, to make my proposal more substantial I stopped by the local library.
Holding over his head a piece of paper with the words "+0/-5" written on it, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo runs out into a rainstorm saying, "I'll be fine with this!" A flash of light marked "Unconstitutional" zigzags down. In the distance, figures holding umbrellas cry out to the PM, imploring him, "Wait!"
The punning caption: "More than the opinions (iken - 意見) of the opposition, he fears unconstitutionality (iken - 違憲)."]
Constituency reform bill gets green light(Link)
The Yomiuri Shimbun
The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to rezone single-seat constituencies that would reduce the number of lower house seats by five to address vote-value disparities.
The bill is expected to be enacted before the current Diet session ends June 26.
The bill to revise the Public Offices Election Law was passed at a plenary session with a majority support mainly from the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito. Five opposition parties--the Democratic Party of Japan, Your Party, the Japanese Communist Party, the People's Life Party and the Social Democratic Party--voted against it. Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) lawmakers were absent. The bill was then sent to the House of Councillors...
Don't Kaieda and DPJ know how to say anything other than 'No'?(Link)
There was a stark contrast between Prime Minster Shinzo Abe and Democratic Party of Japan President Banri Kaieda during their debate in the Diet. Backed by the recent surge of stock prices and a high public approval rate, Abe looked confident--even relaxed--while Kaieda's attacks on him made no impact.
As long as the leader of the largest opposition party continues such a lackluster performance, Diet debates will have no vigor.
On Wednesday, Abe and opposition party leaders had their first debate under the second Abe Cabinet.
Kaieda emphasized the projected side-effects of Abenomics. He said the Abe administration's massive monetary easing would hurt people, especially those living on pensions, by raising the cost of living. He also expressed concern about the government's ongoing discussions on deregulation that could pave the way to increased job cuts at companies.
Abe responded by saying that the amount of pension benefits will go up as commodity prices rise, and stressed that inflation will eventually lead to wage increases.
"We have created 40,000 jobs in the past three months, something the DPJ-led administrations never achieved," Abe said.
Since the launch of the Abe administration, the excessive appreciation of the yen has been rectified, and stock prices have been hovering at high levels.
If Kaieda does nothing more than harp on his concerns about Abenomics, we can never expect constructive Diet debates. We expect the DPJ president to express his own views on how to end deflation and spur growth. In other words, Kaieda should present concrete counterproposals.
It was Abe who brought up the issue of the bill to rezone electoral districts in the House of Representatives by eliminating five single-seat constituencies without adding any. It seemed the prime minister was trying to take the upper hand in debating the topic. Abe, who is seeking to pass the bill ahead of other electoral reform measures, asked for Kaieda's cooperation.
Abe said: "The public has been demanding that we rectify disparities in the value of votes. As members of the legislature, don't we have the responsibility to meet this demand?"
Kaieda refused to go along, saying that the main promise [between the DPJ and the LDP] on electoral system reforms was to slash the number of seats. However, we have to say his remarks totally miss the point.
In November, a lower house electoral reform bill to eliminate five single-seat constituencies was enacted, and we have to remind Kaieda that the DPJ agreed on passing it. However, now the party opposes the rezoning bill, which would prepare an environment for the realization of the first bill, insisting that more drastic reform is necessary. It is apparent that the ruling parties would never agree to such an unreasonable demand from the DPJ.
The DPJ, saying that eliminating five single-seat constituencies is insufficient to rectify vote-value disparities, has submitted a bill to cut lower house seats by 30 in single-seat constituencies and 50 in proportional representation blocs. However, other opposition parties refused to go along with the DPJ's proposal.
Parties' divergent interests
The ruling parties have submitted the rezoning bill to a related lower house special committee. However, in protest of the move, the DPJ, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), Your Party, the People's Life Party and the Social Democratic Party refused to participate in Diet deliberations on Wednesday.
Such actions cannot be expected to work, and only give the impression to the public that the opposition parties are putting party interests before all else and ignoring the issue of rectifying vote-value disparities.Because we all remember how ferociously The Yomiuri Shimbun criticized the LDP for its constant saying of "No" to anything the DPJ-led governments proposed; how the paper was up in arms about unrectified voting disparities giving unnatural permanent majorities to the LDP; and how the editors have never stopped haranguing the members of the LDP for their putting their own and their party's interests above those of the nation.
..Sam Jameson, former correspondent and bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times in Tokyo, former president of the FCCJ and life member of the Club, died on April 19 at 2 a.m. at Kitasato Hospital in Tokyo of a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 76 and had been hospitalized since March 24.。.Sam -- he never stood on ceremony, at least not when speaking in English -- was a raconteur and an antiquarian, carrying inside his head a vast library of knowledge about Japan's politics, from the time of Kishi and Ikeda to the present.
Samuel W. Jameson first joined the Club in 1963 when he arrived here as the first Tokyo Bureau Chief of the Chicago Tribune and then moved to the Los Angeles Times as Tokyo bureau chief in 1971...
One of his proudest achievements was helping to arrange the first-ever formal press conference of the Showa Emperor with the foreign press, in 1971. Since leaving the L.A. Times in the early 1990s he worked as a freelancer...
The insurgency beganOn
And you missed it...
- REM, Begin the Begin (1986)
栄誉賞Of course, readers of my post on the response to the announcement of the government’s intent to bestow People’s Honour Awards upon Nagashima Shigeo and Matsui Hideki would know that the food item has reason to feel hopeful.
tsugi wa boku da to
The People’s Honor Award
Next on the list is me
Says fried egg