New Prime Minister

5 Jun

Yukio Hatoyama was the most recent Prime Minister of Japan…but he resigned yesterday due to his inability to keep his campaign promise to have some of the U.S. military bases in Okinawa moved off of the island.

Many people outside of Japan are surprised that he’s quitting for that reason. Politicians often make campaign promises that they’re unable to keep but in Western countries (America, etc), those politicians stay in office for their entire term no matter how unpopular they become.

But in Japanese culture a leader is expected to enforce the will of the people and if he is unable, he should step down to express his regret. Japanese people respect that more than someone who stubbornly refuses to admit his failure.

In the twenty years that I’ve been living in Japan so far, I have seen fourteen different Japanese Prime Minister in office.
But in those same twenty years, only four different men have been President of the United States.

It’s almost certain that Naoto Kan will be Japan’s newest Prime Minister.

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6 Responses to “New Prime Minister”

  1. tornadoes28 June 5, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    I understand the Japanese way that if you fail in your promises you should step down. But I also think a leader needs a certain amount of time to make accomplishments and even if not popular.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 5, 2010 at 10:00 am #

      >a leader needs a certain amount of time to make accomplishments

      Of course, but if you promise to have some foreign military bases moved out of the country…and then agree to let them stay, no amount of time will change that broken promise.

      Like

  2. Sir Pent June 5, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    Politicians are generally terrible no matter which government. I think there has to be something just a little bit wrong with a person that wants to lead that kind of life in the first place.

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 5, 2010 at 9:57 am #

      Yeah, I guess we need politicians so I’m glad there are people that want that job…but it’s not for me.

      Like

  3. Dad June 5, 2010 at 1:42 am #

    There are a few politicians in this country that I wish would follow his example!!!

    Like

    • tokyo5 June 5, 2010 at 2:02 am #

      Yeah politicians in America stay in office until the end of their term even if all of the people who elected them wish otherwise.

      Like

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