The Youth of Japan

Last Sunday Japanese people took to the polls in a snap election called by the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. You can read countless stories on The Japan Times website, as well as every other major newspaper, online or in print.

Despite winning again, according to statistics, 51% were dissatisfied with him. Why then, would they vote him in again?

Some say that it’s because there wasn’t a lot of other choice, but to be honest, isn’t this always the way with politicians and elections no matter which country you’re in?

What I found most fascinating though is that unlike my native country of Australia, voting is not compulsory and with the typhoon and rain last weekend, many people simply did not go to vote.

Secondly, many young people both in the media and ones I spoke to said there was no point: 2/3 of the population are over 60 and as the majority of them are conservative voters, there was no chance of anyone else but Abe winning the election.

I am watching with interest and wondering what will happen when all those old people finally die and the population of Japan has the decreasing youth who will be in charge of the country.

Knowing a lot of the radical students who are already breaking tradition in Japan, I think the future will be very different indeed. I suspect that people like Abe will be cast aside for new blood that will restructure the face of Japan. Many older people wish that Japan was more like it used to be, but like everything in life, you can’t go back. The youth of Japan, with their fascination with foreigners and the Western ways and ideas of life will change Japan in the end. Sure, Japanese culture will still be there, but it will never be what it used to be.

Prime Minister Abe has his work cut out for him.



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