'Hitler' Hashimoto comes to Japan fed up with status quo
Bloomberg -- May 30
Toru Hashimoto boasts an approval rating more than twice that of the prime minister. Osakans love their mayor's crusade against Tokyo's dysfunction and absolute power over the country. It has Japan's old guard running scared and comparing Hashimoto to Europe's most notorious genocidal fascist.
If the world needs anything, it's a moratorium on Hitler analogies. As much as one may dislike Barack Obama or George W. Bush, neither bears even the most fleeting resemblance to the maniacal German leader. Suggestions to the contrary are beyond ignorance and vandalize history. Yet for Japanese to turn to a man in this rarefied company speaks volumes about where Japan finds itself in a volatile global environment.
The desire for change reached a fever pitch after last year's earthquake and tsunami. Even before the earth shook, the waters rose and radiation leaked on March 11, 2011, Japanese sensed Tokyo had lost its way. Many just hadn't realized how much. Hence the Tea Party-like dynamic inherent to Hashimoto's popularity. His drive for greater accountability, decentralized decision making and fresh ideas is as well-timed as it is frightening to the establishment.
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