Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Favored Next Prime Minister of Japan Criticizes at ‘US-led’ globalism

Wouldn’t it be great if American politicians started having this discussion about moving away from an unfettered globalization of the worlds economies? If a country can’t get its regulatory system in place to safe guard against another meltdown, then they should fail alone. From the Financial Times (subscription):

Yukio Hatoyama, the leader of Japan's opposition Democratic party who is strongly placed to become prime minister after elections this month, has condemned “US-led market fundamentalism” and vowed to shield his nation from the effects of untrammelled globalisation.

Japan should also work towards regional currency union and political integration in an “East Asian Community”, Mr Hatoyama wrote in an essay published in the Japanese magazine Voice.

Mr Hatoyama offered a robust defence of his political philosophy of yuai – fraternity – which critics have derided as wishy-washy wishful thinking, but which he declared a “strong, combative concept” and “banner of revolution”.
In his essay, Mr Hatoyama said:

1. The global economy had “damaged traditional economic activities” while market fundamentalism had destroyed “local communities”, citing the decision by the former LDP prime minister, to privatise Japan's post office.

2. “We will not implement policies that leave economic activities in areas relating to human lives and safety, such as agriculture, the environment and medicine, at the mercy of the tides of globalism.” Mr Hatoyama highlighted the need for better welfare, more child support and wealth redistribution.

3. “As a result of the failure of the Iraq war and the financial crisis, the era of the US-led globalism is coming to an end and …we are moving away from a unipolar world led by the US towards an era of multipolarity.”

4. Japan should "aspire to the move towards regional currency integration" and "spare no effort" in building the security frameworks needed to make union possible, adding that the example of European Union showed that integration itself could be the best way of defusing territorial disputes often seen as an impediment to closer ties.

5. Mr Hatoyama also emphasised the devolution of power to local governments within Japan as embodying his fraternal values … Dismissing the “Ministry of Finance-led theory” of trying to rebuild Japan's state finances through welfare cuts and tax rises.

He would aim to reform bureaucracy, regain trust in the pension system and give regions fiscal autonomy. “Resolving our fiscal problems is impossible without comprehensively rebuilding Japan's political systems,” Mr Hatoyama wrote.

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