Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Hey look, we shrank the budget


Japan’s ruling Democratic Party has long vowed to wrest power from the country’s bureaucrats. Now it’s taking its battles with them over spending onto live internet TV.

Three government backed budget-cutting panels operating from temporary premises in a Tokyo gym, have called in a series of bureaucrats to answer for projects deemed unnecessary or too expensive. The live internet broadcast of the resulting stand-offs can make for compelling viewing.


It’s also pleased voters concerned about Japan’s national debt, which is set to approach 200 percent of GDP next year. The website almost crashed on the first day of the hearings, when thousands of people tried to watch the broadcast at once, the Yomiuri newspaper said.¬†

For those who don’t follow it live, edited highlights appear nightly on news programmes, often focusing on Democratic lawmaker Renho, a stylish former TV presenter, as she grills squirming bureaucrats.