A week in Abiko is a long time (especially if you spend it getting up at 3.30am to watch England draw with ex-colonies in the World Cup). Here is all the news printed to fit. With NO SUBLIMINAL ADVERTISING AT ALL:
1. Our Man would like to report that Abikans are excited about the forthcoming elections for the Upper House of Thingamies in July. He'd like to, but they are not.
2. He did spot one Happiness Realization Party poster, and even an LDP poster, though think that has been there since the last proper elections back in August.
3. Our Man noticed the DPJ poster (above, on the side of a ramen noodle shop next to his local 7-11), because their candidate is HOT. Saw her at Abiko Grand Central Station shouting her name into a microphone recently, and while his second Vulcan earlid instantly blocked out the racket, he could not so easily ignore the image of her white-gloved fingers caressing her microphone. Ahhh, democracy.
4. The Kan factor. So Greater Abiko had a new leader, Naoto Kan. He's not wildly unpopular, has not done or said anything stupid and Jake Adelstein, author of the bestselling Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, thanks to his immersive reporting, readers suffer with him through the choice between personal safety and a chance to confront the evil inhabiting his city available at all good bookstores and online at Amazon and probably Jake's eBay store too, has met him twice and reckons he's a sound bloke.
5. That's good enough to crack Our Man, but his fellow Abikans have tougher nuts.
6. See, what exactly is Kan gonna do? Nobody cares about Futenma, so forget whatever he has or hasn't said about that. There is talk of doubling consumption tax (VAT) to 10 percent AFTER the election. This apparently is such a brilliant idea, because, er, the LDP were gonna do it but chickened out. Because it is a shite idea. Poor folks (like Our Man) will just buy less while the corporations get a tax break. More on that here.
7. Also, why can't we have candidates in Greater Abiko more like this fella from the Home Of Democracy:
8. Oh God. Run out of things to say, and still two more bullet points to go.
9. Hey, Our Man was asked the other day what his favourite Japan Times page was, and he of course answered the World Page, but no, think it's gotta be the Time Out page on Sundays, mainly because it carries columns by Philip Brasor (including this excellent roundup of envelopes stuffed with cash to journos - chance would be a fine thing - ed.) and a new one by Michael Hoffman that looks like it might get good.
10. Happy Father's Day.