Japanese Bloggers on Super Tuesday

A small portrait of the translator

February 6, 2008 @ 22:32 UTC

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Countries:
none
Candidates:
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Ron Paul
Issues:
Diaspora, Economy & Trade, Gender, International Relations, Government & Politics, Nuclear Proliferation
 

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:

大統領選が白熱すればするほど、現在の政権が実施している政策から国民の意識が遠のいていく感じがするので良いことばかりはないと思うが、自分の周りにいるアメリカ人に大統領選の話を聞くと、大抵自分なりの考えを持っていることがある意味羨ましい。

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.

制度や国民性の違いもあるだろうけど、母国の首相が交代する際、メディアによる盛り上がりは見せつつも、個人のレベルではどこか他人事のように捉える感が漂う日本の風潮は、大いに問題であり、時間をかけてでも意識を変革していく必要があると思う。

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:

 いずれにしても、ロシアの「ちゃちゃ入れ」によって民主党全体の足を引っ張り、その間隙を縫って共和党の有力候補者マケイン氏が大統領になってくれればいいと思う。中国べったりの民主党候補より、日本を盟友とする共和党の大統領の方が日本にとっていいに決っているのだ。ロシアよ、褒め殺しでも何でもいいから、大いに民主党を揺さぶってください。お願いします。

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]:

私がオバマ氏をちょっと応援している理由は、女性が大統領になるよりも、アフリカ系アメリカ人が大統領になる方がまだまだ道は険しいと思うから。。こんなチャンスはめったにないのでは?と思うのです。

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.

でも、ヒラリーの後ろを歩くビル・クリントン・・なんかこの2人の力関係が面白い。。

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)
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:

こちらでは車のステッカーで候補者への支持を表す人も多いのですが、やはり圧倒的に目立つのはオバマ支持です。ヒラリーを支持するステッカーは見たことがありません。あとはけっこうロン・ポール支持のステッカーも見ます。オバマもロン・ポールも若者層に人気があるという共通点があります。高い車に乗るような中年のミドルクラスはヒラリー支持だとしてもあんまりステッカーをべたべた貼ったりしないのでしょうね。

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.

私は「反原子力」を明確にし、大企業への反感を隠さないエドワーズを内心応援していたので、彼がなかなか浮かび上がれなかったのは残念でした。オバマには確かに魅力を感じるのですが、なんとなく老獪なワシントンのインサイダーたちに篭絡されてしまいそうな人の良さを感じるんですよねー。

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.:

私はアメリカ在住時に、夫の通う大学院の教室で、ヒラリーを見た事があるので、(当時、ファーストレディーとして特別講演に来ていたのです。ヒラリーを見に大学の廊下で待ち伏せしていたら、大学の先生が教室に入れてくれたのです。)個人的にはヒラリーを応援しています。選挙権がある訳ではないので、大きな事は言えないのですが、「女性初のアメリカ大統領」の誕生に期待を抱きます。

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.”
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  • 3 comments

    1. Miepong Says:

      Hi, thanks on featuring my blog, and wonderfully translating it.
      Since I got married to my American husband, I sort of get to “vote” through him.
      (He was not political at all until we got married.)
      Please come and visit my blog again!

    2. Chris Salzberg Says:

      Thanks Miepong!! Please tell your husband to have a look at this site to read more views from bloggers outside of the U.S! (^_^)

    3. Global Voices Online » Japan: Japanese bloggers on Super Tuesday Says:

      […] (This article is cross-posted at Voices without Votes.) […]

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