I had not really thought of the similarity of Japan in the 21st century to the vaguely stated goals of the neofascist nationalists such Trump et al. Part of the problem is my forty years of involvement with Japan, Japanese society, and history not to mention technology. Sadly the failure is mine as the points you make are all correct. Abe in his call for snap election is playing on fears of North Korea but also the a positive wave of approval for Trump who who was obviously fed points that would make him popular with Japanese. This surprised me in that he played the kidnapped Japanese that is a cultural hot button in Japan. Perhaps even more so than the threat of North Korean missiles over Hokkaido. This is incredibly dangerous. And obviously this plays into Abe and his wife’s involvement with Japanese nationalist schools and and long suppressed dogma.

Up to now my focus has been on the complex minefield of Korean and Japanese history with the emerging Chinese century casting longer and longer shadows around the planet. The presence of a buffoon such as Trump and his incompetent neofascist cohort in this arena is frightening beyond belief as can be seen by our quick lurch into 19th century war lordism.

While Japanese culture is a source of wonder and artistic excellence it’s drive to education and hard work has been deformed into a self defeating and self destructive downward spiral for the Japanese. Japan desperately needs immigrants and they know it. At this point they are taking a short term view of using their technical talents to produce robot helpers to assist their aging population. This is a healthier approach to approaching AI domination of the workplace as they are already dealing with.

The point of concern that you make on the damage to the Japanese family and the distortions shown by the hikikomori are deeply disturbing. It would appear that nationalist traditions have already frozen this in place with few answers except expansion of the Jieitai (Self Defense Force).

Having said all of that I still think that Japan has a better chance, primarily for cultural and historic reasons, to find a path through the transformation to a self sustaining, stable non-work future than the most anyone else. There is a chance that Abe will error out in this election but there isn’t much of anyone else to turn to given political clan structure of Japanese politics.

Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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