Saturday, March 7, 2009
Yomiuri TV Wake Up! Plus
This morning, I had a great time appearing on Yomiuri TV's Wake Up! Plus - a refreshingly substantive, balanced program that airs nationally in Japan every Saturday from 8-9:30am. The first half of the program focused on Japan's latest political scandal - the arrest of the top aide to Ozawa Ichiro, the most powerful opposition politican, on suspicion of accepting bribes from a construction company. The timing of this arrest is spectacularly bad for both Japan and Ozawa's party, the Democratic Party of Japan (now ironic motto: "People's Lives First"). Not only was the DPJ on the verge of snatching power away from the old guard Liberal Democratic Party, but the country is facing its greatest economic crisis in decades. Things are only going to get a lot worse - Japan's 4.6% unemployment rate, slightly more than half of America's, looks like a one-way bet. The second half of the program focused on China's economy. My esteemed fellow guests were quite concerned about the demands for greater democracy. There are certainly more demands for accountability and transparency than ever before, and my research into labor lawsuits suggests that once you tell people they have rights under the law, they don't forget.