Asahi Shimbun, July 11, 2016
Let’s the show begin.
Now that our beloved Abe has an absolute majority in both houses, he can start playing around with the constitution. He might not attack the sacred Article 9 right away, but he will try to change the conditions required to be able to modify the constitution, making it easier for him to touch it again later. After lashing out at the media and talking about reducing freedom of speech, what will happen? I am not sure I am excited about knowing.
What is pretty amazing is that this government did basically nothing for common people. It raised consumption taxes (one of the most unfair taxes you can imagine), lowered corporate ones (in order to “keep the money in the companies, so that they can distribute higher wages”… who believes that?), removed TV anchors who did not follow the official line, started to organize the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when nothing is done in Tohoku, cut aids to (self)evacuees while trying to coerce them into going back to Fukushima, and, most of all, is on the verge of changing the peace-related clause of the constitution.
Will all of this make Japan a “normal country”? I doubt. But apparently many Japanese people do not believe that an alternative solution is possible. The socialist party has exploded a little while ago, the communist party is too lefty and the other parties are still terribly small. After letting the liberal party govern for decades, it might be difficult to believe that other partie could run the country. It is basically how it is in Singapore: people believe that no alternative is possible. The government did a great job increasing the economic stability of the country, giving better conditions of living to its population. Freedom is not important if you’re comfortable. It might even be better to be comfortable than free. That’s at least what Kampfner wrote in Freedom for Sale, and I do agree with him. They sold their freedom of speech and thought in order to get a better material situation. Will they regret it? Well, it might be too early to give an answer. But looking at Singapore, it might be possible to just turn a blind eye to the situation and to enjoy economic growth.
I feel frustrated, angry and sad. Japan is a second home for me, and it’s taking the same path as the UK. When will France join the movement? That’s the question…