A kimono dressed female diver holds a cash envelope,
an “otoshidama” envelope during an event in a famous aquarium in
“Otoshidama” are monetary offerings given to children
at the start of each year. Cash is certainly an issue
for Japanese and they look right at their elected
prime minister to address the Great Recession.
"He is out of the reality, he should do something,
they say, but not destroy what Japan achieved." I
heard this comment from lots of Japanese during the
new year holidays.
Here is an interesting opinion from the Mainichi
shimbun about how 2010 starts. Quotes:
The public's expectations that the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ) could revive Japan brought about a
transfer of power last year. It was a fact that the
economy remained sluggish, there were various social
problems and the social security and medical programs
were beginning to crumble prior to the August general
election. Rural areas in particular had been hit hard
by the economic downturn. Moreover, Japan's influence
in the international community had declined
Under these circumstances, it is natural that the
administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
declared that it would carry out the Heisei-Era
There is a glimmer of hope in the prospects for
people's livelihood and the social security system.
However, there appears to be a long way to go before
Japan puts the economy on a recovery track. The
fiscal 2010 budget draft has raised questions about
how the government will secure financial resources for
its policy measures.
The Hatoyama administration's poor handling of Japan's
relations with the United States, the core of Japan's
diplomatic policy, has caused friction between the two
countries. The government has failed to show a clear
national strategy, due to his preoccupation with a
political funding scandal in which two of his aides
have been indicted.
Considering Japan's current situation, it is natural
that the government tends to be inward-looking. There
are numerous urgent tasks to be addressed. At the
same time, however, Japan is required to proactively
work on global issues to fulfill its role as a
developed country in the age of globalization. Even
though the economy remains sluggish, Japan has
potential power. The country is expected by the world
to play an important role not only on environmental
policy, but a wide diversity of issues.
If Japan improves its ability to send influential
messages to the international community and draws
attention from the world, it will vitalize Japan. It
will also attract excellent human resources to Japan.
The government is required to have such a long-term
strategy to revive Japan.
End of quotes, here is the article