Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New PM Takes Office & Mental Condition of Japan

President of the Liberal Democratic Party, Yasuo Fukuda (left), has been elected to serve as Japan's Prime Minister since Shinzo Abe stepped down earlier this month.

Fukuda has announced he would like to have most of Abe's cabinet remain in his constituency despite many of them leaving after Abe already.

Fukuda, it would seem, was an easy choice for PM on such short notice (even though his victory was de facto after the House of Representatives failed to come to an agreement on a new PM); he has spent several years in Japanese government aside from being the LDP chair, and his father, Takeo Fukuda, was a past PM as well.

Abe (right) is recovering from health issues which caused him to resign, but Mainichi Daily News reports that many Japanese celebrities have been having health issues related to their careers, like Abe, on top of a record three million Japanese seeking help for their mental illness and stress in 2005 ranging from insomnia to depression, in addition to Japan having "one of the highest suicide rates in the industrialized world".
Generally, seeking mental illness treatment is not looked upon favorably in Japan.

Some say Abe's "sickness" is a part of a trend that suggests many of Japan's leaders tend to develop a sickness when they are facing inquires from the Diet.

(Part one in a two part series.)

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