Elections and Exports in Japan

I’ve been wrapped up in other things lately and haven’t been paying much attention to the news for a few weeks.  My reader is overflowing, so I’m spending some time getting caught up today.  Of course, I still have been getting information about the state of Japan mostly through word-of-mouth and observation.  Surprisingly, the two main themes that I seem to have been hearing are reflected in the news right now.  Which is the chicken and which is the egg, I’m not sure.

Local Elections have been taking place across Japan, and it’s nice to see some of the Anti-Nuclear people winning some seats.  To be sure, I’m not actually against Nuclear power itself, but having them in an Earthquake prone region is a different issue. At the very least, I would hope for some ridiculously high safety standards (…that don’t change with the level of disaster), and maybe some minimal separation regulations for any plant from the Ocean coastline. Also, at the very least, I think any sort of variety of opinion injected into the government is a good thing.  I was wondering about how elections might turn out, and this seems to be a good sign.

The other major concern people seem to be talking about is the economic effect that this will all have on Japan.  That probably won’t fully be seen for a while, but already food exports are a problem. I’m not sure how big Japan’s food export industry is, but I’m guessing the bigger problem will be in electronics and cars, as I’ve heard some people talking about sales in other countries of Japanese made good dropping. I know companies like Sony do about 80% of their business overseas. As I think I mentioned before, these disasters could end being a tipping point for something bad for Japan’s economy.

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