The mood on US bases is pretty bad in Okinawa, the moving of the Marines base has been a contentious issue for the last few years and unless I missed something, still hasn't been resolved.
From what I understand, it's set to potentially be even more contentious in light of recent activities of the SDF. Setting aside the constitutional issues, the SDF's operations in the Iraq War and ongoing peacekeeping operations have really rallied public support for their own armed forces, and depending on how long the DPJ's power coup lasts, we may witness a renewed push for increased defensive sovereignty. That was certainly one of Kan's big policy promises when he was running.
The weird thing about the high turnout rate is how it's actually that high when everyone seems to hate their politicians so much. In pretty much every poll I've seen that asks 'Which party are you likely to vote for?', support for the LDP and the DPJ hovers at around 20% each, and 50%+ of respondents answer 'No Party'.
The Japanese have always struck me as being apathetic when it comes to specific support of a particular candidate or party, but EXTREMELY reactionary in terms of government officials making unpalatable policy decisions. When the Japanese public views a leader as being bad (or not good enough), they quickly show it in terms of protest and outcry. Naoto Kan's term is a good recent example, but admittedly that was under pretty extreme circumstances.
Edit: I typed up a brief bio on Taro Aso, in case you're interested in adding it to the OP.
In some ways responsible for the LDP's massive fall from power, Aso's infamy was sealed not only because of his extremely short term (one year before being voted out of office) and engineering the general house election that resulted in a crushing defeat for the LDP, but because of the myriad scandals and controversy surrounding him. Heavily prejudiced against the Burakumin (Japan's equivilant to India's 'untouchables'), Aso was caught multiple times making bigoted statements in regard to LDP campaign opponent Hiromu Nonaka's suitability for Prime Minister. There was additional controversy stemming from his mining company's history of using Allied POWs and conscripted Koreans as slave labor. Finally, Aso became known for mispronouncing/misreading commonly-used words during speeches.
Politically, Aso was most known for being extremely hawkish in his foreign policy, being openly hostile to China and Korea and highly supportive of the global war on terror. Aso also recognized Taiwan as an independent political entity, which didn't exactly win him points with the Chinese government. Other noteworthy points on Aso include his being the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit the Obama Administration, and for being one of the very, very few Roman Catholics in Japanese government.
FunkMonkey fucked around with this message at Jun 26, 2012 around 22:30
|# ¿ Jun 26, 2012 20:54|
|# ¿ May 26, 2013 06:13|
I had no idea Ozawa was this unpopular.
It's been only three years since he got rocked by the funding scandal, and he was only just acquitted of a more recent indictment over misappropriation of funds:
The man's nothing if not resilient; who knows what will happen once the heat dies down.
He's also had a long track record of working behind the scenes through proxies, and the voting public may be uncertain as to his ability to take a more prominent role. This is only supposition on my part, though.
|# ¿ Jun 27, 2012 18:17|