Hans' YouTube Book Japanese Society and Culture in Perspective

Photo © Hans Brinckmann

Habri Opinion Habri Diary Attention!

Welcome to the July/August 2016 edition of our website.

This month's Habri Diary devotes much attention to the startling outcome of the June 23 Brexit referendum, its consequences for Britain's place in the world and for London as the leading financial centre, and its effect on Japan. Those who voted for "Leave" will be proud to see Britain regain its full independence, as magnificently symbolised by royal statues such as the one above, the Albert Memorial in London's Kensington Gardens.

Japan had its own vote recently, the July 10 Upper House election. The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito won more than half of the 121 contested seats, bringing their total to 145, or 60% of the chamber's 242 seats. And this despite the low popularity of the LDP's nationalistic leader, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, amid rising concern over the failure so far of his Abenomics policy and his intention to amend the country's Constitution to permit an enhanced role for Japan's armed forces. Many voters who felt uncomfortable with his leadership and agenda either didn't bother to cast their ballot (the turnout was a mere 54.7%, compared to 72% for the Brexit referendum), or voted for the LDP anyway, perhaps because they couldn't find an acceptable alternative. A very worrisome situation...

We wish our readers a happy summer. We'll be back in September or October.