The upcoming elections are a tough call on voting strategies for the people who reside in the disaster-struck regions of Japan. They are utterly disappointed with the way the authorities are progressing with the reconstruction work and the finances being allocated to rebuild lives. So much so, many just don’t want to vote, saying all politicians are the same.
Currently, both Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), led by former prime minister Shinzo Abe, stand to lose voters confidence if they don’t step up their game and instill some kind of sense of belonging towards them. Many people from the Kamaishi area are skeptical and feel that the politicians will carry on with nationalistic agendas like nuclear power plant concerns, energy supply and economic stagnation rather than focus on the needs of these affected regions.
If we talk about hard facts then evidence shows that the money collected for the reconstruction of the affected areas is not being spent for the right purposes. Somewhere down the line the money has trickled to irrelevant projects while the key affected people are left grappling with life in temporary shelters and prefabricated housing.
As far as aid for businesses and employment is concerned, some people like Masahiko Numari, who runs a fish processing company in Miyako, were able to rebuild their factories with government help. However to grow and expand they need more financial aid. Citizens have low expectations and if opinion polls are accurate then about 40% of the voters are reluctant to cast their vote in favor of any political party. Somehow this doesn’t surprise us.