Nuclear Tragedy in Japan

As i oft do, i let my optimist run over my realist.  I thought the new political parties in Japan which were formed from the dissatisfaction with the institutional corruption and pro-business and pro-nuclear orientation might gain control of the country.  I thought the huge weekly demonstrations, different from 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 since WWII, until 3 years ago.  But dont mistake LDS’s control of over half of the parliaments seats confuse you.  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 turn out since the war.

Shinzo Abe 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

Meet the new hawk, same as the old hawk

It is probably fear of China’s growing military and a nuclear weapons enabledNorth 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 ark day in Japanese history.