Bad Analysis/Articles on Japan’s election

There’s a lot out there, but these two took the cake:

Next first lady feels affinity with Michelle Obama
Miyuki Hatoyama, who has a certain bug-eyed similarity to her alien-looking husband, has said she feels affinity with Michelle Obama. Next weird line: “He is blessed by his ancestors and his supporters and protected by their power, so whatever happens, he should be all right,” she said.” Man, I would have loved to see that in the original Japanese, if such an article exists perhaps some intrepid googler can track it down for me. She also wants their son, a shy engineer studying in Moscow, to run for office soon, a statement not exactly in line with the DPJ’s pledge to end hereditary politics.

Japan’s Underpopulation Crisis Led to Recent Election Upset Demographer Says, an anti-abortion news site based in the US, has said that Japan’s demographic crisis led to the DPJ win. Without explaining the logic behind that assertion, we heard that legalized abortion is the cause of the upheaval — which I declare to be complete nonsense considering the frequency of “dekichatta kekkon” in Japan, although I don’t have stats to back me up.

6 thoughts on “Bad Analysis/Articles on Japan’s election”

  1. Curzon, great finds.

    The first article indicates to me that this woman is doing everything to make her husband seem “different”, when in fact he is not far from the archetypical impotent Japanese PM. If he *can* somehow channel the protective spirits of his ancestors, I beseech his Wondertwin powers to get in touch with the brain of Kazuo Hatoyama, his great-grandfather, and the first official Hatoyama bad-ass.

    The second article is frightfully opportunistic in its nature. That demographic swings to older generations propelled the DPJ to victory is not only contrary to popular thought, but unfounded; and for what? Mr McLerran’s anti-abortion agenda? He should gather the data on legalized abortion, gather anecdotes on apparent black market for abortions, analyze them, and tell us why the results show that abortions affect the vote, or Japanese demographics at all, in a significant way. Otherwise spare us the scientism.

    P.S.: “Dekichatta kekkon” to me doesn’t say anything significant about demographics. It tells me more about attitudes towards the timing of marriage. Now the popularity or seemingly gained acceptance of “double happy” weddings may lead to first children being born at earlier ages for the parents, in which case demographic changes could result. I’m not quite convinced of that change yet.

  2. With regard to “DK,” I certainly notice a habit in Japan to get married when relatively young couples find out they are pregnant. In the US, I noticed a lot more, “Gosh, that’s inconvenient, I guess we need to get an abortion” from couples in the same general economic background. Whether this is correct, and whether or not that impacts demography in both countries, remains to be seen. Certainly the later article is pitifully opportunistic, as you rightly note.

  3. Back when I was living in the countryside here I did the much maligned “priest” job for weddings (lots of fun btw). The chapel I was at was more expensive than average, and I figure that about 75% of the ceremonies were dekichattakon! These were the ones they told me about though (in case the bride felt ill) so I’m sure there were many that went undercover. Frankly, I was pretty shocked at how many already pregnant couples were there, but I must admit that these couples are less likely to do traditional weddings since kimonos and pregnant bellies don’t mix well and you can’t extrapolate this to the population. Still…

  4. Hm, banning abortion doesn’t even come up in discussions on the birth rate. Wonder what the estimated impact would be?

  5. “kimonos and pregnant bellies don’t mix well”

    Best way to hide that is with the oiran look. Might not be the _ideal_ dress to get married in though.

    Apparently Mrs Hatoyama thinks she was abducted to Venus 20 years ago. And it was all green and verdant. Since Venus is a roasting hellhole with a surface hot enough to melt lead, this would be impressive.

  6. Michael,

    The shock for me is only that they will walk down something they call a “virgin road” to the altar.

    For the most part, the industry has caught up with the trend, companies like Recruit are working to give DK more euphemistic names, and wedding dress makers are coming up with new lines to offer to women who have protruding bellies.

    Still, no big demographic swing for me. The real enemy is…

    …pets. Add the increase in pets to the population, and my bet is that the swelling population pyramid will simmer right down (provided the pet ages are not counted in dog years).

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