Yoshihiko Noda is Japan’s 6th prime minister since 2006 and it’s no surprise that over half a decade of gridlock has left most Japanese people feeling either cynical or apathetic towards politics.
Recently, a thread emerged on popular Japanese internet message board 2 channel that highlights just how much people don’t care about what their political leaders are talking about.
According to the initial post, an official video of a public address made by Prime Minister Noda regarding comprehensive reforms of Japan’s social security and taxation systems had received no more than 300 views after 4 days of being uploaded.
The video was posted to YouTube on February 23 by kanteijp, the official YouTube channel of the office of the Prime Minister.
Considering that Japan is beset by a number of serious public problems—including but not limited to post-disaster reconstruction, an ongoing nuclear crisis and a national debt twice the size of the economy—you would think more than 300 people would want to listen when the prime minister starts talking about “comprehensive reform.”
Yet 2 channel viewers showed no surprise at the lack of the video’s popularity, commenting that “it’s probably not worth watching” and “I can most likely guess what he’s saying even without watching the video. It’s be better use of my time to watch something more interesting.”
At the time of writing this article (Feb 28, 17:00), the video has reached 7,794 views.
However it wouldn’t be surprising if most of those were redirected from the 2 channel thread, especially when looking at the low view numbers of the other videos posted to the prime minister’s channel:
Policy Speech by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to the 180th Session of the Diet → 65 views (Uploaded January 24)
Press Conference by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda → 56 views (Uploaded February 10)
Second Cabinet Meeting Regarding Measures Concerning Heavy Snow → 22 views (Uploaded Februrary 23)
Okay, so maybe that last one was destined from the start to stay under 100 views, but you get the picture.
For comparison, let’s take a look at some of the recent videos uploaded by the official White House channel.
Weekly Address: An All-Of-The-Above Approach to American Energy → 25,501 views (Uploaded February 25)
2012 State Of The Union Address: Enhanced Version → 2,561,688 views (Uploaded January 24)
Backstage at the White House: Warren Haynes → 10,917 views (Uploaded February 26)
Looking at the figures above, we imagine the White House could probably post a 5 second video of a presidential aide eating a banana and it would get more views than the cumulative total of poor Noda No-Views’ channel.
While it’s easy to take sides, it’s arguable that the apathetic Japanese and the clueless, out-of-touch politicians are equally to blame for the current state of affairs.
And while inviting a legendary blues guitarist for a jam session in the oval office may work for America, Japan and it’s people will need to think of their own way to breathe new life into the country’s politics.
Source: Yahoo! Japan