It’s hard these days to be optimistic about Japan’s economy or have much faith in Japan as the Rising Sun, a global economic power, Asia’s industrial and technological powerhouse or about any other laudatory epithets, as the country’s political, bureaucratic and economic leaders determinedly squabble in a headlong rush to take the country from economic superpower to over-indebted Third World country.
But worst of all is what can only be called mindless political shenanigans. Leaders are playing children’s games to try to gain power.
The way they are doing it is taking the political debate dangerously far away from reality.
This is a tragedy for Japan, but it is also a danger for Asia and for the world.
The faltering economy crippled with government debts of 240 percent of GDP, twice those of Greece, and an overvalued yen driving companies offshore and hollowing out industry is bad enough.
Tensions with China, Japan’s biggest trading and investment partner, have merely added a damaging downward twist to the economic spiral.
Recent events demonstrate the close links between tragedy and farce.
Independent audit bodies discovered that 25 percent of $240 billion in funds supposed to help put the earthquake and tsunami devastated region of northeast Japan back on its feet have been diverted.
HONG KONG —
Special to The Japan Times – Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012,
A related news from Jiji Press
Ishihara launches new political party
Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara announced Tuesday the launch of a new party named “Taiyo no To.”
“I have been extremely dissatisfied with national politics for a long time,” Ishihara said at a news conference at a Tokyo hotel. “I’ve decided to work with trusted like-minded friends for the good of this nation.”
The new party is a remodeling of the Sunrise Party of Japan, headed by Takeo Hiranuma, a House of Representatives member.
he party will be eligible for 43 million yen in political subsidies from the central government for December that had been destined for the Sunrise Party of Japan.
Before the announcement, the conversion of the Sunrise Party of Japan into the new party, whose name can be translated as “the party of the sun,” was reported to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.
Ishihara and Hiranuma are co-leaders of the party.