Chieko Tagami’s Weblog

Japan’s new cabinet

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rubber masks of MP Hatoyama (right) and ex-MP Asou (left)

rubber masks of PM Hatoyama (right) and ex-PM Asou (left)

From the bottom of my heart, I am pleased with the result of the last election in Japan. For such a long time, I have been hoping that Japanese regime would change and be administrated by a party other than LDP.

Today the new cabinet members were selected. I am especially happy with two female ministers. They are both qualified lawyers. One is the Minister of Justice, CHIBA Keiko, who is the representative of parliamentary members of Amnesty International. I do not know the system of China or America, but in Japan, an execution of death penalty needs a signature of the Minister of Justice. There were constant executions so far with the former Ministers (15 were executed last year and seven, this year). I believe that death penalty is nothing different from murder, and it does not solve anything. The Minister Chiba will not sign to execute anyone and I hope that she will stop this anachronistic system in Japan finally.

The other is the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Population, Gender Equality, FUKUSHIMA Mizuho. She has already been working on gender equality, including the equal work rights and separate surnames for married couples. Yes, couples in Japan cannot have different surnames in the 21st century, unless they are married to non-Japanese. She has a partner and a son, but she chose not to legally marry to her partner. It is very rare in Japan with the conservative social and legal system which discriminate de-facto couple and an ‘illegitimate child’. Gender equality is non-existent in Japan. Still this time, the female representation in the cabinet is very low. People are so much used to the inequality and many even do not realize it. I hope that will change under the administration of the Minister Fukushima.

I am also glad KAN Naoto is the Deputy Prime Minister. I have been his fan since when he found and exposed the evidence of failure of the Ministry of Health in relation to the spread of HIV-tainted-blood.

Japan is a beautiful, technologically advanced country with rich culture, history and foods, but it faces so many critical problems, too. According the analysis of my teacher Karel van Wolferen in Amsterdam University, Japan has been basically ruled by bureaucrats and it was difficult to reflect the direct administration of statesperson, meaning the will of Japanese people who voted for the statesperson was not really reflected. Japanese mass media, ruled by big enterprises which were given privileges by LDP, has been the main basher of parties other than LDP. Japan’s deficit is already more than one quadrillion yen (USD 10 trillion) at this moment (see the real time deficit counter– Japanese only, but numbers are in Arabic). It is the well-known fact that more than 30,000 commit suicide every year for the last 11 years. The new regime has to deal with too many issues accumulated and procrastinated so far. Japanese people should warmly watch over the possible trial and error of the new government rather than getting impatient when things do not change immediately. I certainly hope that Japan will shift to the more matured society.

The new cabinet members:)
Prime Minister: Yukio Hatoyama, DPJ
Deputy PM; National Strategy Bureau chief: Naoto Kan, DPJ
Finance: Hirohisa Fujii, DPJ
Foreign Affairs: Katsuya Okada, DPJ
Economy, Trade and Industry: Masayuki Naoshima, DPJ
Defence: Toshimi Kitazawa, DPJ
Environment: Sakihito Ozawa, DPJ
Justice: Keiko Chiba (female), DPJ
Internal Affairs and Communication: Kazuhiro Haraguchi, DPJ
Health, Labour and Welfare: Akira Nagatsuma, DPJ
Education, Culture, Sports and Science: Tatsuo Kawabata, DPJ
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries: Hirotaka Akamatsu, DPJ
Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism: Seiji Maehara, DPJ
Chief Cabinet Secretary: Hirofumi Hirano, DPJ
National Public Safety Committee Chair: Hiroshi Nakai, DPJ
State Minister in charge of Administrative Renewal: Yoshito Sengoku, DPJ
Financial Affairs, Postal Reform: Shizuka Kamei, PNP
Consumer Affairs, Population, Gender Equality: Mizuho Fukushima (female), SDP


Written by chiekot

September 16, 2009 at 9:18 pm

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