There have been some strange parallels going on between Japan and North America in the last couple of days.
Last Tuesday, the United States...or half of them....re-elected Barack Obama as their President in a culmination of nearly 2 years of steadily hysterical campaigning that has left the electorate exhausted after record numbers of them came out to vote, except now they're facing the Fiscal Cliff. Meanwhile in the last 24 hours, PM Noda was basically forced to dissolve the Japanese Parliament by the Opposition led by a supposedly rejuvenated former PM and current LDP leader Shinzo Abe. What will follow is a month of white-gloved and loudspeaker-manned-truck campaigning before the Lower House election on December 16....for which there will most likely be very anemic voter turnout. In another parallel, Obama gets back into the Oval Office, no longer as the Man of Change or Yes We Can, but as a hardened Chief Executive who beat a Republican candidate who just seemed to beat himself up. On the other side of the Pacific, the Democratic Party of Japan led by Yukio Hatoyama seemed to be the hopeful new engine of a Manifesto when they trounced the once-unbeatable Liberal Democratic Party 3 years ago. But as of today, the DPJ's Manifesto is pretty much a verboten word and the governing party has half the support that the LDP currently has.
And the same thing can be said about transit crime. A couple of days ago, there was a kerfuffle in which a TTC driver had been suspended for being a Good Samaritan by abandoning his post and trying to chase down an alleged sexual assaulter who ran from his vehicle (luckily, the driver has been re-instated with full pay). Over in Tokyo, a prominent NHK morning anchor for the weekend, Takeshige Morimoto, has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a lady on the subway on Wednesday night. Since we have TV Japan, his face was a regular one to see at home. When we turned on NHK tonight to see the morning news (Tokyo is 14 hours ahead of us), he was obviously not there, and there was not a mention of his name. At this point, he is persona non grata....until things get cleared up. Apparently, Morimoto had been drinking at the time, so I guess he was pretty dissolute. Just wondering if his career is gonna be facing dissolution as well.