Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Democracy in action

Yesterday was the official kickoff of the election season. As a result the election speaker trucks were on the road:



That is a DPJ(民主党) truck preaching the message about why Koizumi needs to go. Before then I had come across a Communist Party truck and all they could talk about was America no Sensou...(アメリカの戦争)(America's war).

There is more. Here is the speaker, a rather elderly gent speaking in impassioned terms about Koizumi and the issue of postal reform:



What is amazing to me is that there was a crowd listening:


You cannot see it in the picture, but there are cameramen actually taking pictures and video of the event. Simply amazing! I had been down in Yokosuka for some training and decided that, rather than go back with the herd in the van, I would take the train back, go to Tokyo, and get drunk in my favorite expat pub in Meguro. Scott, the bartender, is one of those guys who can draw you into a conversation whether you want to be or not. He is a great soul who has been through a lot to stay in Tokyo. He loves cartoons. I had not seen him in about 3 months when I walked in, and yet it was like I had never left the fold.....That, is my kind of bar!

Regretfully for Scott, his father passed away last year so some of the "bounce" was out of his step. Nonetheless, he still provided a friendly atmosphere and some good times. If you come to Tokyo, I strongly recommend it.
In the meantime, life in the deep south sucks thanks to Katrina. More and more its apparent that the devastation there is huge.

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