Japan By River Cruise

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Former pumpkin farmer Jake Adelstein and amateur firefighter Derek Wessman fill us in on everything you ever wanted to know about Japan's new Prime Minister, but he didn't allow you to ask.

Show Notes

Former pumpkin farmer Jake Adelstein and amateur firefighter Derek Wessman fill us in on everything you ever wanted to know about Japan's new Prime Minister, but he didn't allow you to ask.

For real though, Derek worked as an aide to a member of the Japanese diet, and Jake is Jake, so they were perfect for walking us through all of the stuff that Bobby and Ollie should really have already been at least somewhat aware of.

Topics discussed on this episode range from:
  • Prime Minister Abe's resignation
  • Jake's "two minute" summary of Japanese politics since the 50s
  • The connections Jake sees between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Yakuza
  • What the LDP wants
  • What Derek thinks about the idea of a return to Japanese Imperial Glory
  • Why Jake thinks Abe failed to accomplish his goals
  • The reasons that Abe is resigning NOW
  • The effect of the Emperor's abdication on Abe's momentum
  • Derek's sympathy for conservative political donors
  • Summaries of the Kake Gakuen and Moritomo Gakuen scandals, Sakura wo Miru-kai scandal, and other scandals
  • The ways in which Japanese politicians avoid consequences for their involvement in scandals
  • SONTAKU as the Japanese version of plausible deniability
  • If we accept that the LDP is nefarious and corrupt, WHY do Japanese people vote LDP?
  • How Prime Ministers are selected and politicians are elected in Japan
  • Abe's approval rating track record with the public, and his reputation within the LDP
  • How Derek thinks the LDP maintains their power by wielding funding
  • The New Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide: Who he is and what he's done
  • How Jake credits Suga with destroying Japan's freedom of the press with a "candy and whip" strategy
  • A quick minute of mocking Foreign Affairs Minister Motegi Toshimitsu
  • The veracity of the coverage of Suga as a simple farm boy
  • What Derek thinks about the way the media covers Japanese politicians
  • How we ALL HATE people who make Sugar jokes out of Suga's name
  • How Suga helped contribute to the sontaku trend
  • How Derek thinks Japan traded a problem with bureaucratic red tape and immobility for a very different problem
  • Derek's expectations for Suga as a reformer
  • What Abe and Suga as his successors platform of reform ACTUALLY consists of
  • What happened to Womenomics? What did Abe do for gender equality, and why we don't expect better from Suga.
  • What it takes to run for office, and how the conditions effectively prevent average people from holding office?
  • How Japanese TV would rather debate who invented the hand job than discuss the above point.
  • How Jake plans to get more involved with the props on production of Tokyo Vice.
  • Ollie's recent TV pitch failures, and other reasons to be depressed
  • Derek explains party loyalty in the Diet, and the consequences of that
  • What Jake and Derek expect from Suga's tenure as Prime Minister
  • What's up with Koizumi Shinjiro
  • Jake's take on the worst case scenario for Suga's Japan, which is pretty god awful, but also maybe inevitable?
  • Political rumblings around the consumption tax
  • Derek's twitter call out of the totally off base summary of the situation by CNN's Will Ripley
  • How that illustrates huge problems with international reporting about Japan
  • What some foreigners think about how balanced Jake's takes are
  • Derek and Jakes overall takeaways on Suga
  • Suga's unflattering nicknames
  • An indication of how Japanese Derek and Jake have become
  • Everyone's predictions for the length of Suga's stint as Prime Minister
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Content Links:
Jake's Daily Beast Article:

Japan’s Ruthless New PM Is a Control Freak Who Muzzled the Press

Black Lives Matter
Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Runnymede Trust
Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust

Social Media Links:

Derek Wessman: Twitter

Jake Adelstein:
Twitter | Homepage

Ollie Horn: Twitter | Instagram

Bobby Judo: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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What is Japan By River Cruise?

Stand-up comedians Bobby Judo and Ollie Horn purport to report on the Japanese river cruise industry each week.