reply to post by wildtimes
Well, I will be fair - It's not entirely his fault for being the way he is. He is more the product and symbol of a system that is not equipped to
handle this kind of situation.
Let's back up a bit:
After WWII, the US occupation forces essentially removed the top layer of Japan's military/political/ideological establishment from power for obvious
reasons. But with no more of the top leadership around, the US was forced to turn the day-to-day running of Japan over to the mid-level
managerial/bureaucratic layer below them -- The people who "actually got stuff done" and knew the practicalities of daily life: what the roads were
like, where the sewer lines were, who to talk to if you need a truckload of oranges or nails or whatever, who could get the trains running again the
fastest, and so forth. People who were really more engineers than politicos. For after all, the US military, despite its great marital prowess, was
not equipped to rebuild the nation without the help of these types of people. Americans had little knowledge of the Japanese language, less of the
culture, and almost zero about the detailed mechanics of Japanese society. 1945 was a long time before the intertubes.
At the same time, the new postwar Japanese constitution, crafted under the careful scrutiny of the occupying high command, created a system where the
power was widely dispersed rather than centralized. At the time, this made a lot of sense -- to avoid a strong central government and fascist state
from reemerging, the power should be spread throughout the system rather than concentrated. Think of a very flat organizational pyramid rather than a
steep one. Add this to the fact that the new leaders of the nation were of the "engineer mentality," at home with the minutiae of practical planning
rather than the grand sweep of ideology, which had obsessed the mystico-militarists of the fallen regime.
There are a lot of important imacts of this change, especially in the way business in "Japan Inc." rose, thrived, and then hit the rocks in the
postwar era. To cut to the chase, the postwar system was characterized by weak central control, an engineering rather than an ideological mindset, a
good grasp of systems
of all types, and excellent teamwork and harmony underpinned by dispersed power.
It was a very stable system...as long as there was no crisis that required strong, decisive action. It was -- and is today -- a system designed to hum
along on smoothly on autopilot. This has a lot of advantages, but in times of crisis, its not only useless: it can be downright dangerous.
So my ultimate frustration against Kan is frustration against this system itself. And even if he left, the replacement would not be likely to be much
HOWEVER, even beyond the systemic failures, Kan himself is a particularly poor choice at the moment. He is from the DPJ, a party that recently assumed
control after a long, multi-decade near-one-party-state controlled by their rivals, the LDP. The DPJ, because it is new to power, lacks the deep
institutional ties and long experience that would allow the LDP to perhaps respond more smoothly and effectively. I have other personal reasons for
disliking the DPJ, based mostly on the way their foreign policy doctrines impact Japanese interactions with the nations of China, South Korea, and the
US. But I freely and honestly admit these views are formed based on what is personally advantageous to me in business, and other people of a different
bent would doubtless find more to celebrate in the current DPJ foreign policy direction.
edit on 5/11/11 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)