I do not side with Communists very often as I do not believe, as they seem to, that nearly every one of Japan's problems can be solved by providing more day care centers for working mothers (not that providing more day care centers would help solve some problems, mind you).
However yesterday, the Communists in the Tokyo Metropolitan District Assembly were dead on when they tried to stop the passage of a resolution on an official invitation from the TMD Assembly to the International Olympic Committee for the TMD to be the host for the 2020 Summer Games (ja).
With the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito, who are at each other's throats in the assembly -- the other major item of business yesterday was a no-confidence motion against the Speaker of the Assembly, Wada Muneharu of the DPJ, sponsored by the latter two parties -- all voting for the measure, the Communists' principled stand was doomed to failure. Nevertheless the Communists tried to appeal to their colleagues' sense of reason, arguing that the money spent on mounting a bid would be far better spent on bolstering Tokyo's disaster preparedness than on what is no more than a recurring vanity project of the ailing Governor Ishihara Shintaro.
Local public opinion polls generally show an even split on whether or not Tokyo should reprise its bid for an Olympic Games. The question, however, is always put to respondents in a vacuum, without ever acquainting the respondents with the likely costs associated with hosting an Olympics. If the cost estimates were laid out, the overwhelming majority of Tokyoites would likely scream "No! Never!"
Just to add insult to injury, the resolution states that Tokyo's holding the Games nine years after the triple disaster in the Tohoku will be a celebration of the nation's recovery and the sign that Japan is a safe place once again. If you think I am making this up, here is the link (ja).
I do not care if this bunch was just elected in April -- recall the whole blinking lot of them, Communists excluded.
China challenges Russian influence in Kazakhstan
7 hours ago