Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
Less than a month until the International Olympic Committee’s selection of the winning city in the 2016 Olympic bid campaign, and the IOC in a report Wednesday has the candidates in a dead heat.
“Be nice to kids too,” shouts a kid with his hand raised.
“OK, OK. Here, I’ll give you 26,000 yen worth of toppings,” responds the ramen chef who looks suspiciously like Japan’s opposition Democratic Party leader Yukio Hatoyama, as he sprinkles more toppings on a bowl of noodles.
With Japan’s long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party at risk of losing power for only the second time in more than a half-century in an election on Sunday, the party is stepping up its campaign against the opposition with a new series of Internet attack ads – a rarity in a country that has leaned towards the polite and boring in election tactics.
Pollsters are predicting that the opposition Democrats will win by a landslide, ousting the conservative party that has ruled for nearly all of the past half-century.
In the rural prefecture of Fukushima, north of Tokyo, you can’t help but notice it: The opposition Democrats are quite simply younger than their ruling Liberal Democratic Party counterparts.
The youngest member of the Fukushima prefectural assembly, Tomo Honda, is a 34-year-old Democrat. On a visit to the local LDP headquarters, though, I failed to spot anyone whose hair was not grey.