SLAMMING into election season

Somewhat randomly, the Wall Street Journal has recently started up a Japan blog called Japan Real Time (partly, it seems, to provide content to their new Japanese language site). Great stuff, welcome to the party. But being a mainstream media blog, it can’t seem to shake some conventions, like our pet-peeve (or is that favorite?) synonym for sharply criticizing someone:

Party Heads SLAM Tax Plans

Naoto Kan’s proposal to raise taxes, part of a broad fiscal reform package, has hit his popularity ratings and sparked plenty of discussion.

On Tuesday, several party heads made clear that they oppose the tax increase, accusing Mr. Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan of everything from “hocus-pocus economics” to potentially pushing suicide rates higher.

Here’s what they had to say:

Sadakazu Tanigaki, Liberal Democratic Party: The LDP is more or less on the same page as Mr. Kan’s DPJ — it proposed the tax hike to begin with — but Mr. Tanigaki sought to differentiate the two, criticizing Mr. Kan for not being clear on how the tax money will be used. The LDP, Mr. Tanigaki said, made clear in its policy statement that the money would be used for social security spending.

I like the frowny Tanigaki picture they chose (stolen above).


In other news, campaigning has heated up around my station. The other day I took a pamphlet from the Happiness Realization Party guy, and this morning the freak actually tried to talk to me on my way to work. If it weren’t so freaking humid a chill would have run down my spine. Those people have a few good ideas (bigger houses, more linear trains) mixed in with the crazy (attack North Korea preemptively, retirement age of 75, do everything to make Japan the world’s top economy by GDP), but zero respect for democracy. Funnily enough, part of their platform is to abolish the upper house of parliament, which just happens to be the very body they want the people to elect them to!

(thanks to Joe for the link)

12 thoughts on “SLAMMING into election season”

  1. Wonderful picture. A nice alternative to the index finger-raising contemplating-philosopher Tanigaki posters which seem to have popped up everywhere just over this past weekend.

  2. “The LDP, Mr. Tanigaki said, made clear in its policy statement that the money would be wasted on shit”.

  3. See Tanigaki’s mouth there? That’s called the shikame-Fuji in Japanese. Similar to the korae-Fuji, which would be the shape of his mouth if he were passing a kidney stone.

  4. I wonder if the original Batman series had ever used SLAM! as one of the written “sound effects” like BAM!, POP!, OOF! (I don’t know if they actually used OOF!, either, it’s just by way of example.)

    Probably the only reason they had to rely on the Caped Crusader and his Boy Wonder is that Mayor Lindseed and Commissioner Gordon were just too far removed to SLAM! anybody.

    Those were the days, when America, or at least Gotham, had civility.

  5. Wait, granted i know nothing about these guys and don’t subscribe to their newsletter, but why are bigger houses a good idea?

  6. As I was packing up my apartment in Ayase a couple of weeks ago, I heard a loudspeaker blaring from the park downstairs. I went out to the balcony, and there was some long-haired youngish guy wearing flannel and a trucker cap reading a speech into a loudspeaker mounted on the back rack of a mama-chari bicycle. He was apparently a Communist candidate of some kind.

  7. Perhaps the Communist Party should do what all the other good lefties have done elsewhere; paint themselves green so they seem about as threatening as they actually are. There is a militant connotation to the term “communist” that I just do not see in today’s JCP.

    Communists were very strong in my area. They would march past my apartment on their way around town on a monthly or fortnightly basis when the debate about the yuujihousei was on. They weren’t particularly intimidating, and were probably champagne Marxists in any case. The area I lived in was particularly wealthy, due to its role as the hometown of a certain piggy-back philanthropist. My previous landlady was also a member of the party, but while she talked about politics a lot – complaining in particualar about the LDP and the poor people killed in American wars overseas – she never really couched it with what I would call Marxist doctrine.

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