The last PM lasted 9 months, which was slightly unfortunate because his government was really just getting into the role of ruling (one party has been in control of Japan for the last 55 years). But at the same time, it was necessary for him (Hatoyama) to step down. The campaign promises were too much to fulfil.
Hatoyama resigned last week which allowed the Finance Minister, Naoto Kan, to get support to become the new PM. I like Kan for a number of reasons, the main being that he is from humble beginnings, unlike most Japanese PMs, who tend to be the children or grandchildren of, or connected through marriage to, former Prime Ministers.
I watched Kan’s inaugural speech tonight, and aside from being based in realism and honesty, he alluded to another reason I like him and have hope for his term. He understands the problems of the Japanese economy. He basically gave hope in his speech be saying “The problem with the Japanese economy for the past 20 years is that taxes haven’t been raised.”
As I’ve said in a previous post, I paid 6.89% (10.83% including health insurance) of my 2009 salary in taxes. Sales tax is a mere 5%.
Not that I’m begging to pay taxes, but something’s gotta give if this country is to ever to be even half of what it used to be.