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Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012

VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Osaka: What do you think of the new mayor, Toru Hashimoto, and his plan to merge the Osaka city and prefectural governments?


By RAY FRANKLIN

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Aaron Buckey
Translator, 36 (American)
I'm very skeptical. It seems his main goal is to create a larger organization to boost his own power. I'm also worried by his cult of personality; he is a leader based on his charisma, and is not selling the plan on its own merits, but rather on his fame as a former TV talent.

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Jennifer Ito
English teacher, 42 (American)
Hashimoto is terrific! We haven't had a real leader for a long time, so I say give him a chance, since he is the one with a vision and strategy for the future of Osaka. Time will tell if we love or hate him five years from now, but he was elected with a plan, so he should go for it!

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Tokiko Wake
Housewife, 60 (Japanese)
I don't understand well about the idea of creating Osaka-To, but Japan is now very depressed. I hope Japan has energy to go forward and upward, and I expect Hashimoto to kick-start this process. So I support him, and I hope Osaka beats Tokyo economically!

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Mike Walker
English teacher, 58 (British)
I think it's a good idea. Although some jobs may be lost, it will streamline the government and reduce paper-shuffling, so Osaka should become more efficient and easier to administer. If it's just one organization instead of two, it'll have better communication and cut expenses.

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Hisako Masui
Math teacher, 55 (Japanese)
His explanation about what to do with Osaka is not clear yet. I cannot figure out his idea or clearly see the reason to merge. He speaks very casually and often contradicts himself. I do not feel he has a full vision. Osaka's problems are too big for just one person to solve by himself.

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Yusuke Ota
Salaryman, 36 (Japanese)
I hope that Hashimoto's plan to merge is not just because he wants to build a casino in the middle of Osaka! But generally speaking, I believe simple is best, so if it makes the government more simple and easily understood, that would be good.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp


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