Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
the one thing is really intriguing it is sudden drops and rises of popularity in opinion polls. how on earth Hatoyama got initial 70% then if for no apparent reasons his rating tanked?

I think there should be questions about selection process used by japanese pollsters and if everything seems OK then there should be sociological studies explaining such political volatility. Do you know of any?

As for consequences of his resignation I think they should be minimal, I remember he only rhetorically tried to chart new course for Japan. Well oiled government machine is functioning albeit slowly.

by FarEasterner on Wed Jun 2nd, 2010 at 12:01:09 PM EST
You are right that polling is not very accurate. Although the sample size is not small (about 2,000), almost always only half of them are willing to respond.

There are other factors playing in the Japanese media, in my view. First, conservative media (which control 2 terrestrial TV channels) were determined to do whatever they can to throw out Hatoyama. They kept making the corruption charges, which was initially brought by Asahi, the paper with a strong tie with the prosecution.

Second, after 60 years of one-party rule, there is a strong network (and the country is small) among those who believe are important among LDP politicians, bureaucracy, business, and media. The task of a political writer in a major media outlet has always been to be a friend of a (LDP) politician to gain inside access, and they even had some influence over the policy.  It was a cosy, interesting job, and I suspect they all miss those days which suddenly ended last year. Third, there is a pro-Washington group whose asset is ties with those in power there. Their latest version was brought up during Bush.

Despite their talk of democracy, they want to remain in the comfortable role they played when LDP was in power. Hatoyama, who began inviting non-major media to governmental press conferences was no friend of them.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Wed Jun 2nd, 2010 at 10:14:08 PM EST
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to the right wing media environment in south korea and taiwan. i korea they even got the former president to (allegedly) commit suicide over the corruption charges,m and in  taiwan chen shuibian remains incarcerated for essentially the same crime that got the current president ma yingjiu a mere slap on the wrist.

it's the old singapore model, really.

by wu ming on Sat Jun 5th, 2010 at 12:56:17 PM EST
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According to a local source I have, the Taiwanese situation is much more dire.  The KMT, horrified by their temporary loss of power, are doing everything possible to prevent the opposition from ever again attaining political power, democracy be damned.  
by Zwackus on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 at 05:21:38 AM EST
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the EFCA  free trade deal with china's a big part of that. should be fascinating to see what happens if the DPP looks like it's going to win back the govt. taiwanese are pretty stubborn, feisty people, when it comes down to it.
by wu ming on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 01:49:47 AM EST
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