Osaka Mayor Hashimoto’s “Restoration” Movement And The Need for Change in Japanese Politics

Japanese political parties are assemblies of special interest-representing hacks, combined in factions headed by big money commanding scions of political dynasties who accept power as a birthright (or, rather the “family business”) and have no new ideas for resolving Japan’s problems.  The parties are without clear or (especially) consistent policy platforms, defining themselves almost exclusively (issue-by-issue) in opposition to whatever the ruling or other opposition parties are proposing.

Thus, the Japanese national political scene is shifting, unpredictable, largely unproductive, and hugely (for citizens) frustrating circus-like affair, a kind of diversionary entertainment, but only for people of the mind that likes riddles, puzzles, and the occasional histrionic protest.

Read the rest of the story: Osaka Mayor Hashimoto’s “Restoration” Movement Auguring Change in Japan’s National Politics.

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.