“Private Citizens” Will Influence Fate of the Abe Administration
Look to “Citizen Education” Which Produced President Trump
【ニッポンの新常識】Common Knowledge Revisited 128
 On August 3rd, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffled his cabinet. For the closely watched Minister of Defense he chose Itsunori Onodera, who previously held this position. Otherwise, he chose seasoned veterans such as Kamikawa Yoko as Minister of Justice, who was a former Minister of Justice, and Yoshimasa Hayashi, who was a former Minister of Defense. I hope Primer Minister Abe will finally press forward with his long-cherished wish to amendment the constitution.

 It is highly likely that the leftist media, which is bent on preventing a constitutional amendment, will continue to engage in biased reporting. Politicians and the people must not give in to this journalistic terrorism in the guise of being fair and neutral.

 If the opinion polls of the major media are to be believed, an unexpectedly large number of people have been deceived by so-called wide shows and news reports into thinking that the “Kake Gakuen” issue was a serious scandal, leading to a shift in the “non-approval ratings of the Abe administration.”

 In one sense, these people are victims of biased reporting, but they can also be said to be perpetrators in the sense that they are harming the national interest. People who do not confirm objective facts but rather are swayed by prevailing moods do not qualify as true citizens of a democratic nation.

 In the United States, junior high school students learn to debate in order to acquire logical thinking and presentation skills. They learn to suppress anger and tension through experiencing the exact opposite, namely victory and defeat. High school students learn the techniques of propaganda so that they will not be unduly influenced by the media. True citizens of a democratic society who cast their precious votes are nurtured in this way.

 If this kind of education did not exist in the United States, Donald Trump would never have become president.

 The democratic systems in the United States and Japan are very different. In the U.S., the administrative head of government, who is the president, and the law-making legislators are chosen in completely different elections. In the current U.S. government, not only Mr. Trump who was successful in the real estate business, but also Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had no political experience before assuming office.

 Japan has a parliamentary cabinet system whereby the prime minister is chosen from among the legislators, and he appoints the ministers of state. The majority of ministers must be appointed from among legislators (Constitution, Article 68(1)). In Japan, the prime minister, who is the head of the government, is always a member of the national legislature (Diet).

 It is uncommon for someone who is not a Diet member to be appointed as a minister of state. In the approximately 70 years since the current constitution was adopted, only 30 non-Diet members have become ministers of state. [In the four-and-a-half years] since the second Abe administration began, not one person from outside the Diet has been appointed.

 When ministers are appointed based on their faction affiliation within the ruling party, the number of times they have been reelected, and personal preferences, they are often looked down upon by the opposition parties, the media, and the bureaucracy, who then work against them.

 I think that the future of the Abe administration will be determined by whether it is able to harness the abilities of a wide variety of private citizens who are not members of the Diet.

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