I set out from my home in the port city of Yokohama early in the afternoon last Friday, and shortly before 3 p.m. I checked into my hotel in the Shinjuku neighborhood of Tokyo. I usually spend three or four days a week there to write, gather material and take care of other business.
The earthquake hit just as I entered my room. Thinking I might end up trapped beneath rubble, I grabbed a container of water, a carton of cookies and a bottle of brandy and dived beneath the sturdily built writing desk. Now that I think about it, I don’t suppose there would have been time to savor a last taste of brandy if the 30-story hotel had fallen down around me.… Seguir leyendo »
Last week, some news outlets called it a revolution when the Democratic Party of Japan unseated the Liberal Democratic Party, which had been in power here almost continuously for a half-century. The old guard was out, replaced by a breath of fresh air. So why don’t people look happier?
The Japanese people are realizing that no government has the power to fix their problems. But this is a good thing — Japan is finally growing up.
Our news media have been dispatching reporters to ask men and women on the street what they hope for from the new administration. Citizens lean into the microphone and answer with simple honesty: “I want them to improve the economy” or “beef up social security” or “solve the unemployment problem.” But the melancholy expressions on their faces belie their stated expectations.… Seguir leyendo »