My Only Worry About Japanese Politics

Last weekend, I went to vote the Japanese general election. This was my 1st time that I was able to vote the Lower House (The House of Representatives).

Since I spent the most of my 20s in Los Angeles. I didn’t really get chance to vote. We had to go through a very complicated paperwork in order to vote overseas. And you had to go to Japanese Embassy or Consulate by yourself to register? Downtown LA? Too much traffic and expensive parking… And you were only able to vote the parties, not the candidiate themselves.

However, from this time’s general election, we could register and vote the local candidiate according to the local district. So I assume more Japanese people who live overseas had a chance to get involved the General Election.
Anyway, I’m not going to talk about the policy of Democratic Party of Japan this time, but I do have one concern….. which is the timing of hand over.
Too quick? The 20-days hand over process
15 years ago, Liberal Democratic Party once lost its ruling party position, but it didn’t last long. LDP was able to gain back the power within a year. Also, since it was just a coalition of opposite parties, they had a hard time organizing everybody together.
But due to the overwhelming victory of DPJ, I think it will last this time.
But only 20 days to call the Parliament, and elect the new Prime Minister?
And under such a hard circumstances?
If you think about it, although Japan is a small country, the government is still big.
According to the number from Japanese Government Statics Bureau web site, the number of Japanese government official is over 300,000 in 2007.
It’s still a huge organization.
And they only switch the boss within 20 days, whereas Obama spent almost 3 months to organize until the presidential inauguration, and he had 100 days thereafter.
In last 60 years since the World War II, the Japan have had only one ruling party, LDP, except the short period of coalitions parties era.
Japanese people are not accustomed to the switch of their ruling parties. And they won’t understand how much work it may take for DPJ to learn the entire system of Japanese government.
And I’m kinda sure that Japanese government officials themselves don’t understand how hard it would be either since it’s been 15 years since last time…. many Japanese government officials have never experienced the switch of the ruling party.
And DPJ have overwhelming number of newly elected house members. DPJ themselves has to educate these rookies as well.
Yesterday, the upcoming Prime Minsiter, Hatoyama announced that he wants to review all the government spending of 2010 fiscal year from the scratch by the end of the year…..
Yeah… if you want to re-review the budget of 300,000 government within 3 month without understanding the entire system of the government?
DPJ may have to spend 3 month to get used to, and 100 days to really start executing its Manifest… at least
In my opinion, as the US Government usually take 3 month to switch the office…, DPJ would have to spend at least 2 month to learn the system and get organized everything…. (since it’s a smaller country)
However, they already have to start working right away…. probably…. they will end up spending 3 months to get organized. And finally their actual “100 days” begins.
In my personal opinion, you will probably see the actual change in 300 days….
But I have to see how well DPJ can explain how long it will take to learn the government system, and calm the impatient Japanese people down next 4 years under such acute economy.
But it’s very uncommon, and abnormal that one party rules the country over 50 years except the dictatorship.
So Japanese and Japanese government will have to pay its price that they didn’t change the ruling party in the last 60 years. But I think this is necessary sacrifice to spend with the fact that we will lose the 2nd position of GDP in the world this year.
So be patient, guys. The change will come… slow but for sure…