With the Obama vs. Romney daitouryou sen (Presidential election) just days away and Japan facing its own senyko (election) in the not-too-distant future, the time is ripe to familiarize yourself with some political lingo.
The first obvious phrase that comes to mind would have to be Nihon de wa touhyou dekimasen (I’m not allowed to vote in Japan), which could be followed by senyouken ga hoshii (I want the right to vote). Americans might be asked if they can vote in the US election from Japan, which should be answered with Hai, fuzaisha touhyou de (Yes, I can vote by absentee ballot).
Suffrage aside, you should also commit to memory a few lexical items regarding the political system in Japan. Two important terms are yotou (ruling party) and yatou (opposition party). The yotou for the time being is the Minshutou (Democratic Party of Japan), while the party that has ruled most of post-war Japan is known as the Jimintou (Liberal Democratic Party).
Both parties are characterized by division into a number of habatsu (factions), which are regularly involved in habatsu arasoi (factional disputes), while simultaneously trying to stay out of sukyandaru (scandals). Unfortunately, seiji (politics) and oshoku (corruption) seem to go hand-in-hand, which is more than likely the main cause of seijiteki mukanshin (voter apathy).
Don’t let all of this get you down, however. Get out there and have a say.
|大統領 (daitouryou)||President (of a country)|
|日本では投票できません (Nihon de wa touhyou dekimasen)||I can’t vote in Japan.|
|不在者投票 (fuzaisha touhyou)||an absentee ballot|
|与党 (yotou)||ruling party|
|野党 (yatou)||opposition party|
|民主党 (Minshutou)||Democratic Party of Japan|
|自民党 (Jimintou)||Liberal Democratic Party|
|派閥 (habatsu)||a (political) faction|
|政治的無関心 (seijiteki mukanshin)||voter apathy|