Friday, August 28, 2009

DPJ Government

With DPJ Landslide a forgone conclusion, here is what rest of the world (especially non-China) expects from Japan:

1. Producing babies
That is the single most important job for Japanese. If it means public marriages or public 'whatever' so be the case. On a serious note, with so many women Parliamentarians it is expected that 'child care' services will be fundamentally rebooted and expanded in Japan along with extra generous terms for maternity leaves and retaining jobs for women in post-maternity life. This is easier said than done but for the very survival of Japan that is necessary when one looks at those dire warnings from demographers for years. May be there are all these generous benefits and it is the culture which is a problem. But then the new government has to be creative in transforming this very culture. No one said 'kids' are easy on parents, but that is what is needed now more than anything else in Japan. Needless to say with increasing population, consumption will be on upswing automatically which eventually will result in robust domestic market and economy. Just look at Indians, how prodigious have they been in procreation. We need Japanese 'endless seasons of Love and Babies' now.

2. Stop Corruption
With synonym of corruption - LDP - gone, it is expected that DPJ will make serious efforts to reduce the endemic corruption in the Japanese System. Jury is out there since both DPJ is made of LDP members of past and it is new to governance. But hope is public pressure of expectations and what DPJ has been campaigning for months will make them to be on leash.

3. Control Deficit
Overhang of deficit spending is there in Japan - national debt at 170+% of GDP. It is beyond sustainable level, especially given the shrinking population base and consequent reduction of tax payers. Unless Japanese do not aim to wither away like Russia or Italy, they better start managing their fiscal situation. Here DPJ's may be on a firmer ground compared to many other challenges they face.

4. No Sudden Foreign Policy Changes
If DPJ fallows their campaign voices of restraining relations with USA or re-examination of those ties; it will be hard for USA to maintain a good balancing pressure on China, bit of on N. Korea and over all in Asia. But within Asia also, Japan with strained relations with USA is unlikely to produce the counter balancing force on China. Overall for the stability of Asia, strong relations between USA and Japan need to continue. DPJ is ambivalent about this unlike the proven track record of LDP . Some Japanese may feel to throw away such a 'so-called subservient' relationship with USA. But it is up to them to conceive and structure a relationship with USA which is win-win for all without sudden jerks.

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