Japan from the inside out

Learner’s permit

Posted by ampontan on Monday, December 13, 2010

AT A PRIVATE GATHERING with several hundred supporters in Tokyo on the evening of the 12th, Prime Minister Kan Naoto had the following to say about his first six months in office, according to a report in the Asahi Shimbun:

“I’ve taken various things into consideration until now. In that sense, until now I’ve been operating on a learner’s permit…Now it’s about time for me to use a real license. I hope to receive your support…Starting now, I want to start (conducting government) in the real Kan Naoto manner.”

In its Japanese-language article, the Asahi notes that in his speech at the start of the October Diet session, Mr. Kan said:

“We have reached the stage of making this administration fully operational…(This will be a) Cabinet that puts its words into action.”

Mr. Kan was first elected to the Diet in 1980.

Really, is there any reason to read fiction when you can read stories such as these in the newspaper every day?

This time for sure!

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4 Responses to “Learner’s permit”

  1. Julia Gillard had a similar moment when she realized that, if she used the phrase “going forward with Labour”, or some such BS, again, she would be openly laughed at, in the last election campaign in Oz.
    So she said we would now have “the real Julia”!

    What is it with politicians? They realize we know they lie?

    Good post!

    I bet you can’t wait for wikileaks to get onto Nippon!

  2. Gray said

    I think you mentioned recently about a septuagenarian politician who used the analogy of graduating from elementary school as a successful stump speech. Seems like Kan was aiming for the same thing here but manages to fail on every level. Governments do enter a ‘breaking in’ period when they attain power. New relationships need to be developed and adjusted to and a certain amount of leeway is given by the electorate during the honeymoon phase. This in no way amounts to a ‘get out of jail free’ card that can be used to nonchalantly excuse any blunder.

    In what job can you insult your business partners, overturn long-standing practice, scupper carefully developed future plans and fail to sustain promises made in your hiring interview and simply say, “Hey, I’m new here” and not expect to be fired on the spot for either the incompetence or, possibly worse, sheer hubris on display?

    The only positive incentive I have for keeping up with the news at the moment is that there are now so many politicians I dislike that negative repercussions will (surely?) have to hit some of them sooner or later (and if you’re listening Santa, I’ve been a good boy so please let Fukushima be the first).
    G: You left one out! If the DPJ did have a popular mandate for a specific course of action, it was to rein in the administrative state, i.e., the Kasumigaseki bureaucracy. The bureaucrats seem to have legitimately concerned immediately after the election, but they knew they were (and still are) in the driver’s seat before the end of last year.

    – A.

  3. Tony said

    Perhaps Kan meant something along the lines of “You haven’t seen anything yet. If you thought we were doing a bad job before, just wait and see how bad we can be now that we’ve warmed up”. That would be just as plausible after watching the first 6 months of stumbling about.

  4. toadold said

    They may have all gone to Tokyo University but there is some evidence that they attended or at least did graduate work at Whatsamata U……Along with Rocky and Bullwinkle.

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