Tag Archives: Toby

If Toby Becomes Japan’s New Prime Minister, Will Japan Cease to Be a Pacifist Nation?

Toby’s at it again. The dream of having to never blog about Tokyo’s most famous bigot – who I hesitate to call anything other than Toby (explanation here) – has been short lived. A few days from now, the country will vote in a general election. Having been a governer of Tokyo for over a decade, Toby has proven that he is a stable leader, which has become an increasingly attractive quality for a prime minister here. Is it possible that he could become the leader of the country? And what would that mean for Japan?

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Everybody Hates Toby

The current and longstanding governor of Tokyo, who I affectionately call Toby, despite his birth certificate reading “Shintaro Ishihara,” is truly incredible. This controversial 79-year-old governor has publicly expressed his discontent with foreigners, gay people, and pretty much any other minority that overly conservative zealots tend to persecute. For the American audience, he’s quite like the Japanese version of Rick SantorumI wrote about his impressive ability to alienate and discriminate against individuals, but now I’ll take the opportunity to show how he manages to disgust the locals as well.

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Japan’s New Prime Minister, and the Shrine to War Criminals


Meet Yoshihiko Noda, who will officially become “Prime Minister Noda” in three days. I always prefer to stay away from politics here, but an election of the highest authority in the country is a valid exception. I’m not going to get into his political plans, like how he might raise taxes to help pay for the tsunami reconstruction (which is really the same thing as giving to charity, except they don’t ask for permission). But it may be helpful to know who he is, how he got here, and what the deal is with this “shrine to war criminals.”

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Land of the Scorching Sun – Part 1

The people of Eastern Japan are now in a constant struggle between resisting the fierce heat and trying to conserve energy. As I mentioned earlier, this makes for a very dangerous summer. So far we have not had summer blackouts, as the region has been quite successful in minimizing energy usage since the earthquake. However, we have come extremely close to exceeding the energy usage limit, and there are now scores of people being treated for heat-related illnesses. The humidity is as intense as ever, and people are still debating about whether certain drastic measures ought to be taken in order to further conserve power.

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The Incredible Mr. Toby

If you’re not up to date on Japanese politics, you’re probably unaware of just how screwed up they are right now. This has nothing to do with the earthquake. In fact, the earthquake might have actually made things more stable in terms of national politics. The fact of the matter is that Japan hasn’t had a prime minister in power for more than one year since… since that guy whose name I actually remember. …And he left in 2006.

You know… Koizumi Whatshisface…

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