Japan election commentary thank you

Trans-Pacific Radio Election Coverage 2009

Well, as Curzon said: the party’s over. Last night the ruling party of Japan’s 54 year streak of power was finally broken. One could say that a political earthquake has struck Nagata-cho. Or that a tsunami has left them washed up. Or a typhoon has blown a wind of Change™ through the halls of power. No matter how many hackneyed phrases I use I will never measure up to the amazing political coverage provided live on uStream last night by the guys at Trans-Pacific Radio and Mutantrog. Their guerilla pundit show was most excellent. I was amazed at the depth of knowledge these guys had of all the local politicians. I have been long fascinated with international politics and political philosophy, but the minutiae of electoral politics has never been very appealing to me. I also never collected baseball cards. It must be a personality type.

In the age of the internet, when domestic and international politics cross lines all the time, not having a grounding in at the lowest level of political analysis is a weakness. That is something I am aware of, and also the reason I read and listen to the gents at TPR and MF, along with our other blogfriend Observing Japan to get indepth English language commentary on Japanese politics. You should too. Last night the LDP received a royal kick in the knads from the Japanese public, and it was all the more enjoyable with the informed commentary of the TPR, MF and OJ crew. Thanks lads.

About Younghusband

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was a British explorer, army officer, military-political officer, and foreign correspondent born in India who led expeditions into Manchuria, Kashgar, and Tibet. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest and journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (alt. c.19,000 ft/5,791 m) of the Karakoram mountain range in modern day Pakistan. Convinced of Russian designs on British interests in India, Younghusband proactively engaged in the nineteenth century spying and conflict over Central Asia between the British and the Russians known as the Great Game. "Younghusband" is a Canadian who has spent a number of years bouncing back and forth between his home country and Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia. He graduated with an MA from the War Studies Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he focussed on the Japanese oil industry and energy security issues. He has recently returned to Canada from Japan, and is working in the technology sector.
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4 Responses to Japan election commentary thank you

  1. Garrett says:

    And here we thought we just talked too much.
    Thanks for the kind words, my good man. (And, yes, I collected baseball cards, followed by comic books, as a kid. I then amassed a massive amount of records and CDs, which led eventually to books being stacked on every flat surface in my house, including the floor. It’s a type.)

    The coverage went off like a charm mostly because Adam Richards, of Mutant Frog, is such an astute and insightful, yet understated observer of politics, which played off quite nicely with the voracity of Mr. Gunson – some people dig deeply, he drops mine shafts. All I had to do was bounce a comment or question off whichever of those two was next to me, thus making my part easy. (Helpful, as I doubt I could keep up with either one of them for too long.)

    Most of all, though, it was great to get so many questions from the people watching and great to see that there was a healthy amount of chatting going on. The next time something big and political and/or breaking comes up, we’re hoping to stream video again – maybe a budget breakdown, maybe just having fun and covering every election we can – contest too small. Anyone care to join us for the Nagoya Middle School No. 3 Student Council race? Taro-kun of homeroom D says he’ll get some new baseball equipment, but everyone knows there’s no way he’ll be able to pay for it and still have ice cream at the school festival. It’s a hot race.

    In addition to Observing Japan, I myself find Shisaku and GlobalTalk 21 invaluable in trying to get my head around much of what goes on. There’s a good crowd out there – plenty of good reading and listening for what promises to be a very interesting year in politics..

  2. s says:


    i presume you guys have seen the propaganda, we from other countries need to thank youtube for the facilitation.

  3. kurt9 says:


    This is Japan. Do you guys really think that the DPJ being the majority party is going to make any difference? I lived in Japan for 10 years and never paid any attention at all to the politics.

    Sure, the DPJ promises to reduce the power of the bureaucracies, relative to the Diet. I seriously doubt they’re going to make any dent at all in the power of the bureaucracies. The DPJ wants to square up Japan’s wartime history and to reconcile its differences with the Asian neighbors. This is something that worth doing and should have been done a long time ago (like the 80′s, perhaps?). The other stuff the DPJ wants to do, removing the tolls on the kosokudoros and making high school free, are relatively minor.

    There are a few other useful things that the DPJ could do. One would be to get the U.S. to remove some of its troops from Japan. The 20,000 marines in Okinawa would be a good place to start. Getting the U.S. to give back Yokota so that it can be made into a commercial airport is another. I think the time for us to have our troops in Japan has long passed. The cold war is long over and the North Koreans are pikers compared to the old Soviet Union. There is no longer any need for us to have our troops in Japan.

    Nonetheless, I maintain that DPJ rule in Japan will be little different than that of the LDP.

  4. KC says:

    I’m so glad that you guys took the effort (and, presumably, the caffeine) to give some useful commentary to what’s happening. I kept up with the numbers pretty easily with various Japanese newspaper sites, but understanding only the kanji can only go so far in terms of knowing details.

    Nonetheless, Adamu made the better commentator because he got the Sora Aoi reference that popped up in the chat at one point.