Japanese election: Pro-nuclear hawk wins

  • Published on December 16th, 2012

Japan Fukushima flag

As I oft do, I let my optimist run over my realist.

I thought the new political parties in Japan – formed as a result of  the people’s dissatisfaction with the old parties’ institutional corruption, pro-business and pro-nuclear power agenda – might gain control of the country.

I thought the huge weekly demonstrations, unlike anything else in Japan’s history, signaled something deeper in terms of political change.

But apathy, xenophobia and a distorted electoral system have triumphed.

The Japanese electorate has justly punished the Nodo government – by foolishly retreating into the arms of the LDS, which ruled the country continuously from WWII until 3 years ago.

But don’t let LDS’s control of over half of the parliaments seats confuse you that this was a big win for them. Japan’s election laws enable them to leverage only 30% of the popular vote to almost 60% of the seats. At the same time only 60% of the country voted, the lowest turnout since the war.

Shinzo Abe (pronounced “ah-bay”)will be only the second Japanese PM to return to the job since the war (and he is the youngest ever elected to the top spot). Sadly, the Japanese are choosing to forget his incompetent crony government from 2007 – complete with minister suicides and scandal driven resignations.

His low popularity made it impossible for him to keep Japanese troops in Afghanistan or pass repressive anti-terrorist laws, so he suddenly resigned. He is a revisionist Hawk, who wants to re-write school textbooks to eliminate Japan’s war crimes and add teeth to its military.

Meet the new hawk, same as the old hawk

It is probably fear of China’s growing military and a nuclear-weapons-enabled North Korea which has put Abe’s party back in power with him at the helm.

This destabilizes the region and promises reactors which should stay down in that country, will come back online.

It is indeed a dark day in Japanese history.

About the Author

Paxus was abandoned by his wolf parents and raised by liberals in the suburbs of Boston. He has hitchhiked on sailboats across the Pacific, danced top Russian tanks before Yeltsin made it fashionable, smuggled Tibetan monks across the Himalayas, navigated submarines on the ocean floor in Hawaii, worked on the oil rigs on the North Slope of Alaska and fought nuclear power plants in eastern Europe. At Twin Oaks he manages recruiting for the community and marketing for the businesses, makes tofu and tries to spark revolution when ever possible. He suffers from terminal immodesty and an inflamed funny bone. He is part of a polyamorous family and co-parent for an extraordinary 9 year old named Willow.