New Japanese government shaping up

Bloomberg article (may be time sensitive!)

Bloomberg has the best of the bunch that I’ve read.

It looks like the new cabinet is finally in place. Most of the membership is old guard from one party or another. And most are men. I think there are just two women. Mizuho Fukushima got the ministry of consumer affairs. She had asked for the environmental post. I was glad that she had been in there for something significant.

Consumer Affairs is a big issue in Japan, because the consumer had been pissed on for the better part of 60 years. Although Japanese-made products are known worldwide for high quality, the actual treatment anyone got here as a customer—for anything outside of manufactures and retail service (like convenience stores or restaurants)–was not so good. Retail service you get treated like a king. You would be amazed how quickly you lose your royal standing when it comes to dealings with landlords, other service providers, or bureaucrats.

So good for Fukushima-san that she got a ministry with weight and one that impacts so many people.

I think the new Finance Minister (Fujii) is someone who had been in the role during the brief non-LDP government around 1994.

The member who represents the district I live in here (Tokyo’s Seventh District), Nagastuma Akira, is also named to the cabinet.

A few commentators around criticized the lack of woman and the fact that many of the members of the cabinet have been around government for some time. Just last month, many of the comments were going to whether DPJ had the depth and experience to lead. So which is it?

I think a large number of the DPJ rank-and-file members are women. So it will be interesting to see how the interaction between the male senior bench and the sizeable female contingent of the members will go. You are probably going to see a generation gap.

Meanwhile, in America, President Obama is still left to fill major positions below cabinet in his still young administration. Most of this has to do with Senate obstruction. What else is new.

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