Yurinomics, you’re in trouble.

The Japanese political world has gotten a much needed shot in the arm recently with the rise to prominence of Yuriko Koike. After falling out with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Koike swiftly created her own party and became the first female governor of Tokyo.

Now she’s hoping that momentum will carry over to the national level with her newly formed Party of Hope (Kibo no To). As leader of the party, Koike is once again under the gun to rally enough of the entire country to wrestle leadership of it away from its perennial rulers, the LDP.

As the opening salvo, the Party of Hope has released its manifesto which includes their economic plans dubbed “Yurinomics.” This is of course a knock at the LDP’s own “Abenomics” named after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but if you’re like me and have the type of mind that my mother calls “special,” then saying “Yurinomics” out loud will no doubt cause you to giggle.

But aside from the childish notion that Yurinomics is simply the act of pissing away money, there actually is a word “urinomics” which is defined as: “the identification of the components of an organism’s urine.” While a noble pursuit, it’s probably one outside the wheelhouse of politicians.

Unfortunate wording aside, the Party of Hope is certainly living up to their name with a very ambitious set of goals which they are calling “The 12 Zeroes.” These are twelve things that the party aims to eliminate from Japanese society.

1 – Zero Nuclear Power
2 – Zero Concealment (i.e. full transparency of government)
3 – Zero Contributions from Companies and Organizations
4 – Zero Children Waiting for Admission to Nursery Schools
5 – Zero Second-Hand Smoke
6 – Zero Crowded Trains
7 – Zero Culling of Stray Animals
8 – Zero Food Waste
9 – Zero Black Corporations (i.e. unethical businesses)
10 – Zero Hay Fever
11 – Zero Restrictions of Movement for Disabled People
12 – Zero Utility Poles

The list certainly hits on a lot of subjects of concern for people in Japan from various walks of life. No utility poles would certainly be a major improvement to the look of the country and it would really be swell if companies stopped killing their employees.

But the promise that surprised most is the elimination of hay fever from Japan. It’s intriguing to say the least, but leaves many wondering just how the Party of Hope can accomplish that without wiping out all plant life in the process.

“‘Zero hay fever’ sounds like the promise of some shady ‘health food.'”
“So are they just hoping for zero hay fever, or do they actually have a plan?”
“Do they plan on replacing Japanese sugi trees [which cause the most hay fever in Japan and is widely used for wood] with some other form of lumber? If so I wonder if there’s some shady dealings going on.”
“It sounds like a SoftBank commercial: ‘Zero this! And zero that!'”
“They might be insane.”
“And now I have zero trust in them.”

Although overly cynical as always, netizens are right to point out the unbelievable size of the hurdle the Party of Hope has erected for themselves. On the other hand, Koike’s Tomin First Party surprised people prior to the Tokyo election by promising smoking restrictions, even on private homes and cars while children are present.

At the time it seemed like an unbelievable promise that would never be delivered, but the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly has just approved that very ordinance on 6 October and it will begin to be enforced in April of next year… although I use the term “enforced” loosely since there isn’t actually a punishment for it.

So it’s hard to say what will happen on the 22 October election day. A lot of people might get swept up in the high energy approach of the Party of Hope, but then again there’s still plenty of time for another missile to fly overhead and cause people to revert to a more experienced ruling party.

▼ Keep an eye out for an extremely noisy campaign truck
coming to your area soon!

All I can say is that the 12-year-old inside of me is strongly rooting for Koike in the hopes she will set up a space program called YuriNASA, or establish a civics awareness campaign called YuriNation.

Source: Career Connection News, Naver Matome, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Wikipedia/epSos.de