Thanks for all your input. The blog is much easier for me to read now that all the comments are relatively short, and it’s nice to see more and more people contributing to the discussion.
The problem with the Old Boys’ Club is that it creates a vicious cycle. I think the situation was best summed up by Animal Farm with this comment:
the older people tend to choose older people. Politicians tend to favor people who vote for them.
Because the politicians are elected by old people, they have to follow policies that favour the old at the expense of the young. This makes young people worse off and therefore less willing to start a family, so the population keeps falling.
The forthcoming rise in consumption tax is a good example of a policy that robs from the young in order to pay the old. Older people today paid little or no consumption tax while they were working, so cars, houses, and household goods were all cheap. Now that they have retired, however, they need medical care and social security, so the young people have to pay more tax in order to support them. Raising the consumption tax doesn’t really affect older people because they do not buy a lot of expensive things now anyway.
I read an interview with a woman in Tokyo the other day who said she was voting for her chosen candidate because “he understands the problems of senior citizens.” What that means, of course, is that he will enact policies that transfer money from the younger generations to the older ones, and so the cycle will continue. It’s a difficult problem, and I can’t imagine how Japan will solve it.
Anyway, here is some feedback on your comments.
I am wondering if politicians are trying to use this policy as excuse for their clinging onto the positions.
I am wondering if politicians are trying to use this policy as an excuse for clinging on to their positions.
One of the sixteen candidates was 35 who works for an IT company.
One of the sixteen candidates was a 35-year-old who works for an IT company.
Yes, indeed. It is really embarrassing to the world.
Yes, indeed. It is really embarrassing.
Though I couldn’t vote in the Tokyo governor election, if I could, I would not know which person were better, Mr. Masuzoe or Mr. Hosokawa.
Even though I wasn’t able to / eligible to vote in the Tokyo gubernatorial election, even if I had been, I would not have known whether to vote for Mr. Masuzoe or whether to vote for Mr. Hosokawa.
they seem to be much more genki and far more fond of the jobs than younger people.
they seem to have much more energy and be far more wiling to do the jobs than younger people. (This is a good point. I’m not saying that old people should not be politicians, just that we need some young ones as well.)
encouraging younger people to live on their own might be the fastest way to get them vote!
Nice sentence, and a good point. Young people in Japan are taught to trust their elders for everything without question. This means relying on their parents at home, on their bosses at work, and on senior (=old) politicians to run their country.
but I think it’s not necessarily connected to social responsibility.
but I don’t think that is necessarily connected to people’s sense of social responsibility.
It seems almost impossilble for politicians to escape from bonds with powerful groups.
This is true in every country, but it is especially problematic in Japan. I had a friend in Sapporo whose father worked for a construction company. He was arrested for bribing public officials, but he told my friend that he had no choice as that was the only way for construction companies to be awarded contracts. He was just unlucky enough to be caught. I find it strange that giving money to public officials is a crime, but offering them a well paid, easy job after they retire is fine! Surely it amounts to the same thing.
But I think the situation of Japanese government hasn’t changed.
However, I don’t think the situation within the Japanese government has changed.
Have any of you heard of Youhei Miyake?
I hadn’t, so I googled him. I think Japan needs more people like him!
That’s all for today. Have a great weekend.