“Economic Downturn Forced Japan Election, Says Analyst”

My last post was complaining about crappy headlines. And on that very subject, I’m reading this list of headlines and see one that I think is absolute nonsense: Economic Downturn Forced Japan Election, Says Analyst, written by Victor Beattie.

My first thought: who is this turkey of an analyst? Anyone with any knowledge of the Japanese political framework knows that an election must have been called by September, coming as it does four years after the last election in September 26, 2005, and the poor economy over the past year hasn’t forced an election, despite critics and pundits calling for an election. But reading through the article we see that Charles Morrison, president of the East-West Center in Hawaii, said nothing of the sort.

“The LDP under former Prime Minister [Junichiro] Koizumi was quite popular until 2005, but it’s had lackluster leadership and, of course, the economic crisis has not helped.”

Morrison said Japan has been hard hit by the global economic crisis because its export sales have been badly hurt by the downturn, although he expects a modest improvement next year.

Morrison said he does not expect a clear cut winner in next month’s election, given, in his view, the relative unpopularity of both the LDP and the opposition Democratic Party. And, he said, while the LDP has been the dominant party in Japan for more than 50 years, any change would not be significant.

“The opposition party is a split off from the LDP. There could be some realignment of parties, but it’s the same basic (political) elite that has governed Japan for some time,” he said.

There we go, a very vanilla analysis of the upcoming election. If I was Mr. Morrison, I’d be mighty pissed that Victor Beattie is warping my quote for his bogus headline.

13 thoughts on ““Economic Downturn Forced Japan Election, Says Analyst””

  1. I think many Americans feel themselves culturely close to British but
    I wonder if they even understand how Westminster System works.

  2. Not many journalists get to write or even approve their own headlines. It’s still fair to call attention to the difference between the meaning of a headline and the content of an article but the blame for that often doesn’t lie with the credited journalist.

  3. I kind of like the idea of an automatic election if the headline unemployment rate rises above, say, 6%.

  4. Yup it would be glorious.

    But hey it would be the same basic political elite, so who cares? Nothing significant will ever happen in Japan.

  5. I want to live in a country where non-basic non-elites run things. Maybe I should move to Venezuela? Fun in the sun and being berated for my lack of understanding of the dialectic should go well together.

  6. Don’t recent polls on “global happiness” show that places like Costa Rica rank top?

  7. Lots of criticisms out there concerning those happienss surveys. For example, some people who are “quantatively” happier (less stress from a medical pov, etc.) may rate themselves lower on happiness scales because they are optimistic about getting more happy in the future and thus may give themselves an 8 rather than a 9. Also, are these phone surveys in countries where only the decently well-off have phones?

    I remember that Fiji was ranked super high on a happiness scale and the next week there was a military coup, random attacks on Chinese businesses speaking to underlying tensions, etc.

  8. Charles Morrison was the name that appeared multiple times on Daniel Gross’s 10 day sJapan tour on Newsweek Japan.

  9. “Lots of criticisms out there concerning those happienss surveys.”

    Oh hell yeah. Hence the sceptical quotation marks around my original post. I gather that Costa Rica has many things to offer, especially for a Latin American country, but I am not about to up stakes, and I haven’t heard they have a major immigration issue. Hmm -maybe that is why they are happy….

  10. Well, Costa Rica has never had a military coup, and in fact is so peaceful that they haven’t even had a military whatsoever in something like 50 years-just conventional police. So clearly they’re doing something right.

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