Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
I agree with Education Minister Makiko Tanaka’s speculation that retiring Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara is an “out of control senior” (“Ishihara ‘out of control’:Tanaka,” Japan Times, October 27, 2012). Japan is rife with geriatrics running the country and the economy into the ground. Maybe it’s unavoidable considering the low birth rate and declining population. And, maybe we should praise and congratulate seniors for continuing to be so energetic. But I expect an 80-year-old person to be long retired and gone away. Now the Governor is going to try something new once more. But I am wondering if he ever actually finishes anything? First he was a writer, but he stopped that. Then he was an Upper House member, but he stopped that, too. Next he was a Lower House member and a cabinet minister, but he stopped that. Finally he was the Governor of this great city, and he’s doing a Sarah Palin by prematurely stopping that, too. Maybe the Governor suffers from a juvenile attention span and is easily distracted by the next cool thing. It keeps him busy, and in Japanese culture activity is easily mistaken for accomplishment. Rather than praising the Governor for his many years of public service, maybe Tokyoites should think more about reprimanding him.
There are many things that variously augment and diminish my respect for people. Failure to finish what they start is one of the latter.
Printed on Thursday, November 8, 2012 as "Unable to finish what he starts."