New Government Teaches Politics Can Be Entertaining; in Japan

Manila Bulletin, May 24, 2001 | Go to article overview

New Government Teaches Politics Can Be Entertaining; in Japan


TOKYO - The longhaired prime minister thunders about reform. His elderly finance chief confesses memory loss. The fiery foreign minister's trademark phrase is ''Give me a break!''

In the month since Junichiro Koizumi took control of the ruling party and became prime minister, the Japanese are learning something new about politics: It can be entertaining.

Koizumi's offbeat Cabinet and the controversial positions it has taken on everything from public works to defense have turned normally staid Parliamentary hearings into the surprise TV hit of the season.

Where bureaucrats once droned on about numbers, Koizumi's team seems to relish debate. Shouting matches break out then dissolve into laughter, and offthe-cuff comments make headlines.

"The atmosphere is totally different than before," said Mitsuo Tanaka, a construction worker from Okinawa. "We have a TV in the office and we turn it on more than we used to."

Koizumi took office a month ago vowing to shake up Japanese politics, and has made good on the promise. He stocked his Cabinet with a record five women, including the hugely popular Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka.

The new government has been a hit with the public. Newspaper polls show Koizumi logging support ratings in the 80 percent range.

For Japan's national broadcaster, NHK, the daytime hearings, in which the opposition questions the government, also have meant high ratings.

According to Video Research Ltd., more than 8 percent of Japanese households - millions of people - tuned in to watch the Parliamentary debate one day last week. The figure is nearly double the highest percentage that watched during the previous government of Yoshiro Mori.

Aside from Koizumi, the star so far has been Tanaka. When challenged, she resorts to straight, jarring informal speech. She speaks quickly into her microphone, then turns her back - without the usual bow - and marches imperiously to her seat. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

New Government Teaches Politics Can Be Entertaining; in Japan
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.