Election shows Japan is more united than ever

the japan times

When I came to Tokyo last year, two real estate agents, both women in their 40s, took me to check apartments. It went well. I found one I really like. From them, I heard the name of Yuriko Koike for the first time. The two ladies were going to vote for her to be the governor of Tokyo. I still remember their enthusiasm for her. “She is going to win.” They were very certain. As we all know, she did.

A year later, when I saw the final result of the Lower House election, I was not surprised. Over a year, I saw Koike almost daily on TV. I am very impressed by her flawlessness. Her hair, makeup, clothes and accessories are always perfectly matched.

And the way she talks on camera is amazing. Indeed, she knows how to be good on TV. But, and here comes the big “but,” I am always disappointed by the things she says. There is nothing wrong in what she says. On the contrary, she is very skillful in picking her words. It is just the emptiness of it. I can’t agree more with the principles she says, but I just don’t know how she is going to tackle the problem specifically mentioned. No wonder I failed to find firmness and clearness in her new party, Kibo No To (Party of Hope), as well.

There has been much commentary about this election, including the article “Abe emerges stronger, but faces nation divided”in the Oct. 23 edition. It makes me ponder what “nation divided” means.

A recent example is the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The bitter and fierce confrontation between Trump’s supporters and Clinton’s shocked the world. But I saw none here. No mass tears, no direct verbal abuse, not to mention destructive protests.

Two-thirds of the ballots going to Abe’s LDP, while the largest opponent party gained merely a tenth of the votes. It doesn’t seem divided at all. It, in fact, shows how united Japanese voters are. Considering Abe has been in power over five years, the victory was hard-earned by deeds. It does look like a solid foundation to me.

As a Chinese, I never got the chance to cast any political vote. Frankly speaking about the election I witnessed here, I am more than a little jealous.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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