There are so many great things about Japan, but...

Good morning everyone,

There's not much new to say about the weather...it's going to be in the mid 30s all week. If I don't answer the door when you get to my school, it's because I've melted!

Of course the obvious choice to make about things that aren't great about Japan is 'summer' with this heat. However, summer has lots of good points as well, No, the real problem with Japan is...the politicians.

And here's a good reason why...

The Diet on Wednesday passed a bill, sponsored by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's party, to increase the number of parliament seats by tweaking the already complex electoral system. The bill is seen by many as the ruling party doing what they can to help the re-election of certain incumbents. The approval of the bill by a majority vote to add six seats to the House of Councillors, or upper house, came despite ongoing debates over downsizing parliament in a country with a shrinking population.

So, here' s the problem put simply. There's a huge imbalance in Japan between the value of a vote depending on where you live. Votes in rural areas can count for as much as 4 times as those in the larger cities.

This is caused by the population shift from rural areas to urban areas, but the LDP (PM Abe's party) is reluctant to redraw the voting map because they get most of their votes from rural areas so the current imbalance benefits them.

Two or three years ago, they made a slight change to combine 4 prefectures into two seats to fix the imbalance. However, that would mean that two of their seats would be lost, so they added six more this year to give the current Diet members a chance to keep their seats.

This, despite the fact that Japan's population is shrinking by about a million people every year. Because, you know, the one thing we need to do is pay more politicians, right? <--that's sarcasm.

Have a great day!

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