Monday, July 20
Soft Power Discussion no 7: The End of Rozen Aso?
With impending fall of Premier Taro Aso, his stimulus program for Japanese softpower which including establishment of pop art center/"anime palace" that will showcase manga and anime is now very much in doubt. DPJ, opposition party already mounting offensive on Taro Aso's plan to strengthen Japanese softpower (164 billion USD right now), citing it is non sustainable and export reliance will not guarantee Japanese economy revival. DPJ argued for trimming budget and more cuts on domestic front to ease the fiscal pressure instead of Keynesian economics practiced by Taro Aso.
Taro Aso popularity slid into red zone prompting his own party seniors to ask him step down to prevent LDP complete defeat in upcoming snap election scheduled on August 2009. His approval rating is 18.6 percent, polled on 15th July 2009 by local media which pretty much nailed the end of his era as Japanese premiership.
Even domestic anime industry did not really embrace Aso's vision and setting up of anime palace plan (called National Center for Media Arts), citing it has no real goal and inadequate budget to help the ailing industry in meaningful manner. Some even feared possible censorship from the proposed body, stomping on freedom of expression.
Only a miracle can save his doomed government.