Saturday, November 13, 2010

APEC Leaders Lose Their Shirts in Japan

Photo via website of the President of the Russian Federation

So far, this year's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit being held a hop, skip and a jump away from Temple Valley has been a major downer. Not only do the residents of Temple Valley have to put up with the constant drone of security helicopters buzzing above their roof tops, the periodic cavalcade of police buses (some 21,000 police have been deployed to secure the Summit site) and checkpoints have snarled up traffic routes so much  that nobody can easily get to their favorite eatery in Yokohama's Chinatown, located a stone's throw away from the summit. The APEC leaders aren't the only ones who have lost their shirts at this year's summit. Chinatown restauranteurs have noted a steep decline in patron numbers and related earnings since the arrival of the APEC delegates and all the extra security measures, etc. that have come along with them, so much for economic cooperation. 

What's even more disappointing is that Japan has opted to forgo the donning of the silly shirts (see photo above) at this year's APEC Summit. Many analysts have suggested that this decision fits the staid national characteristic of Japan, but there is a back story here that they have overlooked.

It was less than a year ago that a vote of non-confidence in Japan's former prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, swept him out of office. What triggered Japan's highest legislative body's loss of confidence in the former leader you ask? Just take a look at the ousted head of state's sartorial style:

アップロード者 mintianjohns3. - ウェブカムでもっといろいろな人と出会いましょう。

Style always trumps substance. Japan's leaders have learned their lesson and vowed, "never again."

Related AFP story: In Japan's largest Chinatown, people avoid politics

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