Toru Hashimoto: the new force in Japanese politics

Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto proposes radical changes to Japan's political system (photo: dpa)
Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto proposes radical changes to Japan's political system (photo: dpa)

Political paralysis in Japan since the 1990s has prevented any serious attempt to cut the growing mountain of debt and social problems that threaten to drag down the world’s third largest economy. Japanese voters have become disillusioned with the political class, but for some, there does appear to be one bright hope on the horizon – Osaka’s young mayor, Toru Hashimoto. He is proposing a new political system which involves radical decentralisation.

JAPAN has often been described as the world’s foremost 4D economy, suffering from demographics, deflation, debt and dysfunctional politics.

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A sequence of six prime ministers in five yea...

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