Thursday, June 3, 2010

Talking about Kan on CNBC

12 comments:

Kyle A. said...

Nice job. (You've gotta love the satellite delay!)

That final question -- what's it going to take to make the Japanese people really demand change -- is the key one. And the hardest to answer. You struggled with it, and for good reason!

Tobias Harris said...

Yeah, definitely a good question — just not easy to answer.

Lionel W said...

there's silence after your final answer, which might be the newscasters not knowing what to say about a japan resigned to it's own decline

isn't change already afoot though, relative to where we were two years ago? the LDP is out and continues to disintegrate, now Hato and Ozawa are gone too. child allowance starts soon and kan seems convinced that japan will become a bigger version of greece if the deficit isn't confronted

if beats the stagnation of 2 or 3 Prime Ministers ago, at least

(i recommend that PMs are henceforth adopted as a unit of time measurement)

Anonymous said...

Sir I'm sorry but I just can't agree with your final comments, there is no way I will ever accept a Japan resigning in regards to a decline.
それは絶対いけません!Why give up! I really dislike the word しょうがない! I am tired of idiocy honestly.

It's time to revive the ganbaru だましい and reverse this.
Sure the Japanese are to blame for their mess absolutely, it's their bad no kidding.
But I never ever want to see a Japan go from a prosperous first world nation, to a poverty stricken third world nation. As a Japanese American I want Japan and U.S to continue to be good first world nations. Want Japan to be cool again!
 Japan is like a Phoenix Yes we Kan! がんばりましょう!

Tobias Harris said...

Dear Anonymous,

I appreciate your passion — and I certainly want to be wrong.

But in regards to the question I was asked (a tough question to answer on the spot), I don't know what it will take to motivate the public to embrace sweeping economic reforms. The DPJ wasn't exactly elected on a platform of far-reaching economic change.

Also, I don't think the choice is between Japan as a first-world nation and a third-world nation. Decline is relative, not absolute. I'm thinking decline more in the way that Britain and other European countries have declined: still absolutely wealthy, but less wealthy relative to others and, more than that, less interest in the global struggle for power and influence.

Like I said, I hope that I'm wrong. But I just don't see much evidence to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

We Japanese cannot lose our ambition and drive. 継続、忍耐、一生懸命   continuation, perserverence, and going with the flow and making the best of it.

なれにさからわずベストをつくしなさい。

We just can't be lazy. Too much negativity out there Harris-san, and we all gotta turn the negatives into positives.
Sure you're right, in this highly competitive economy it's win or lose no doubt there.

And from the previous generation Japan rose from the ashes from honest to goodness hard work.
Don't want Japan to be the setting Sun.

I just believe Japan can be way way better, just know it can and I strongly want it to be better and I just cannot accept failure, and excuses. It's all about the 考え方、野心満々は大事です!  The way of thinking and ambitious is important I'm saying. Again I say ganbarimashou! I know in my gut yes we can! and will do my best and hope we Japanese together with the world will do the very best.

As a half Japanese American I want nothing but the best for these two cool countries and the best for the world!

I want the best future, the future will be a veryincredible time and it will be only be possible if we do it right and are smart!

PaxAmericana said...

Good job - and a tough question.

Perhaps a big part of the problem is that there don't seem to be any economic models to emulate. Very few of the neo-liberal or neo-conservative economic "reforms" around the world over the last 20 years or so seem to be worth copying.

Everyone agrees that reform is needed, but it may take bankruptcy to make any serious change possible. Then again, that may be the case with Europe and the US, too.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong about looking like Europe? Last time I checked Paris was pretty nice. And taking a national holiday for the whole of August seems like a good trade-off to me!

Delta said...

Japanese people demanding change? Was that not exactly what they did at so many elections, giving Mr. Koizumi a mandate to privatise the post office, making clear they disapproved of Mr. Abe's handling of the disappearing-pensions scandal, electing governors like Higashikokubaru Hideo and Hashimoto Toru, electing the first non-LDP government since 1955 etc.? The Hosokawa government, I might add, came about because of a rebellion within the LDP rather than a general election.

Tobias Harris said...

There is, however, a difference between demanding "Change" and demanding economic reform, which was the subject of the question I was asked. Even in the case of Koizumi I'm not entirely convinced that the public was interested in economic reform, and certainly since his departure it is difficult to find public support for radical economic reform.

Anonymous said...

Support rate for DPJ surged to 36.1 percent, with 57.6 percent expressing
high hopes for Kan according to Mainichi Shinbun.

I do not think Japanese people have accepted Japan's decline with the feeling of resignation.
Many people still hope the government could bring genuine reform
to adapt to ongoing hard times (and maybe coming catastrophe).
The figures in surge definitely reflects that hope.

However, in order to realize genuine and drastic reform, Japan
need to have the political center which can set order of priority
and make political decisions, and is accountable to citizens.
That cannot be done by bureaucracy by any means.

Kan is the politician who has strongly recognized necessity of creating
political center and taking power back from bureaucracy.

Anonymous said...

Support rate for DPJ surged to 36.1 percent, with 57.6 percent expressing
high hopes for Kan according to Mainichi Shinbun.

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100606p2g00m0fp039000c.html

I do not think Japanese people have accepted Japan's decline with the feeling of resignation.
Many people still hope the government could bring genuine reform
to adapt to ongoing hard times (and maybe coming catastrophe).
The figures in surge definitely reflects that hope.

However, in order to realize genuine and drastic reform, Japan
need to have the political center which can set order of priority
and make political decisions, and is accountable to citizens.
That cannot be done by bureaucracy by any means.

Kan is the politician who has strongly recognized necessity of creating
political center and taking power back from bureaucracy.