Osaka’s Mayor Calls for Change

Toru Hashimoto is the product of a fed-up country. He is also its chief rabble-rouser.

The telegenic Osaka mayor wants wholesale changes to Japan’s sleepy status quo. He would like to transfer power from Tokyo to a collection of new regional fiefdoms, bigger than the existing prefectures, that would collect taxes and make streamlined decisions. He holds a tea-partyish small-government philosophy, but he speaks about it in such forceful terms that critics here have given it a different name: Hashism.

“It will be a creative destruction,” Hashimoto said, describing his vision for reform in a television appearance this year. “Dismantle everything and start from scratch.”

Read the rest of the story: Behind Hashimoto, Osaka’s telegenic mayor, a sign of Japan’s discontent.

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