Why a great country like Japan gets such boring Prime Ministers

BY Philip Patrick   /  24 January 2019

They used to say Italy was the most democratic country in the world – everyone got to be Prime Minister. That joke never worked in Japan though, where the turnover of premiers is just as rapid. There have been ten so far this century and around fifty in the last hundred years. How many can you name?

If you managed more than one, award yourself the Order of the Rising Sun. And don’t worry if you couldn’t name any, the Japanese would not be offended, as even to their own constituents the country’s leaders have long been regarded as ineffectual anonymous placemen, inspiring neither respect nor affection, and often barely recognized outside the Nagatacho bubble.


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