【PART 1】 Mystery of Okinawa: Military Bases and the Constitution

 

【5】 June 2010: Collapse of the Hatoyama administration and the Democratic Party of Japan

 

Finally, what made a timid person like me take such a chance? It was, simply, the outrage I felt at that time over the awful collapse of the Hatoyama administration and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).

I think the historic assessment of Mr. Yukio Hatoyama is varied. From the viewpoint that politics should be judged by outcome accountability, his marks would inevitably be low. Indeed, when you compare Japanese politics before and after the Hatoyama government, it has deteriorated dramatically. He bears great responsibility for that. Many Japanese probably don’t want even to be reminded of the DPJ. I’m actually one of them.

In August 2009, however, many Japanese felt it was high time for the change promised by the DPJ. Japan had been doing fairly well ever since the war. By being the “junior partner” of the U.S., it had climbed up all the way from the position of a defeated nation to becoming the second largest economy in the world. But many people must have realized that this method had reached its limit.

This led to the first full-fledged change of power after the war. It received enthusiastic support of the people, who commonly thought, “Maybe the new government will make something happen and show us the path for change, which is so necessary now.” Since then, the DPJ government’s reputation has plummeted, but at the time people had enormously high hopes for it.