(This article is cross-posted at Voices without Votes.)
While Super Tuesday has come and gone in the U.S., conversations carry on in its wake among bloggers in the booming Japanese blogosphere. What do bloggers in the world's second largest economy think of the presidential elections of their major trading partner?
At the HAWK Blog [ja], one Japanese blogger reports on the Super Tuesday results direct from Washington D.C. [ja], commenting that:
I have the feeling that the more heated the presidential elections become, the more citizens’ awareness recedes from policy currently being implemented by the administration, so in this sense I don't think [the elections] are all a good thing. Listening to the American people around me talking about the presidential elections, the fact that everybody generally has their own views makes me kind of envious though.
I guess there are also differences in terms of system and national character, but when there is a change of prime minister in my homeland [Japan], there is the great problem of the tendency in Japan to perceive things, at the level of the individual, as in some respects the other person's problem; while it may take time, I think there is a need to change this mindset.
At the “North Korea Problem” blog, a Republican Party supporter blogs [ja] about an article in Asahi newspaper [ja] claiming that Russia supports Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama:
In any case, if the “intrusive entrance” of Russia drags down the whole Democratic Party and leaves a gap to fill for McCain, the major contender from the Republican Party, I think that would be great. Because there is no doubt that a president from the Republican Party, the sworn friend of Japan, is better for this country than a Democratic Party candidate that is close to China. Russia, please lavish mock praise on them or do anything, just please shake up the Democratic Party! I'm asking you, please.
Other bloggers were much more supportive of Obama, however. Blogger hot-hitoiki [ja], a human resources consultant, writes of Obama [ja]:
The reason that I kind of support Obama is that I think the path to becoming a president for an African-American, more so than for a woman, is still very difficult… This kind of chance does not happen very often — that's what I think.
But then there's Bill Clinton, who walks behind Hillary … The power relationship between those two is somehow interesting…
Barack Obama in his own words (オバマ語録 in Japanese)
Blogger Miepong [ja], meanwhile, a John Edwards supporter who lives in California, describes her experience [ja] following the primaries in the U.S. from a Japanese perspective, remarking that she sees the strongest support among young people for Obama and Republican Party candidate Ron Paul:
Over here there are many people who show their support for [presidential] candidates with stickers on their cars, but of course the ones that overwhelmingly stand out are stickers in support of Obama. I've never seen a sticker endorsing Hillary, but I have seen quite a few stickers in support of Ron Paul. Obama and Ron Paul have in common that they are very popular among the youth demographic. Even if they support Hillary, I suppose that the kind of middle-aged, middle-class people who drive expensive cars don't want them plastered with stickers.
I supported Edwards, who makes it clear that he is “anti-nuclear power” and does not hide his dislike of large corporations, and so I was very disappointed when he was not able to make it. I certainly understand the charm of Obama, but I also sense the accommodating nature of a person who could be completely enticed by crafty Washington insiders.
And what about Hillary? At My Daily Life [ja], mother of two and (according to her byline) politician's wife purebeauty [ja] blogs about her experience once meeting Hillary [ja] while living in the U.S.:
When I was a U.S. resident, I had a chance to see Hillary once in the classroom of the graduate school that my husband was attending, and so personally I support Hillary. (At that time, she had come to give a special speech as the First Lady. When I was waiting to see her in the university corridor, university teachers let me come into a classroom.) I don't have the right to vote, so I can't really same much, but I hold hopes for the coming of the “first female American president.”