Sunday, September 11, 2005


Well the big day in Japan has come at last (perhaps it's not so odd that they chose 9/11). Today's the day we'll all find out the answers to the big questions that have been roiling in the fevered mind of the electorate for much too long a time now: will Koizumi be victorious?

Will the Post Office, the world's largest 'bank' (Japan's post office is also a banking system), be privatized and all those trillions in very idle cash - now earning peanuts for the savers - no longer be the pork-barrel piggy bank of the Old Guard who institutionalized the wearing of white gloves at election time to show how clean their hands appeared to be? Or will all that cash be fed to the shark-filled money pool of Kabutocho and all the salivating Wall Streets of the world?

In Hiroshima, will gloveless "assassin" Horie, lively young tycoon, defeat the plodding Kamei, who wears the apparently whitest gloves of all? In Gifu Prefecture, will the good-looking "lipstick ninja" who has allegedly had several affairs with married men defeat the rather staid but post-office-enamored incumbent lady?

In Nagano, will the erotic novelist-cum-governor of the Prefecture prevail in his purely platonic affection for the postal tradition? What does it all mean? Will Japan at last open its doors to cherry pie? Generally available chocolate ice cream? Genuine Doritos? The potential for change is staggering (as always), were a trickle to become a flood!

Voting has already started (at a much higher turnout than usual) and ends at 8pm, when victory roses/carnations will be issued to the banzai-ing winners and the losers will just disappear. I was going to say tune in here for ongoing updates on the election that will determine the future of Japan and its Post Office, but there’s no such site!

Perhaps this lack of current info will change, and the election system too will become that much more democratic! (Breathholding not recommended.)

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