The blog has learnt to be sceptical when new political leaders announce new directions for their country, after winning elections.
But its Japanese friends emphasised at EPCA that real change might be taking place in Japan, after 50 years of LDP government.
This, of course, could have a major impact on Asian politics. Japan is also the world’s 2nd largest economy, with GDP of $5trn, and a leading player in global chemical markets.
New prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, certainly set out a new direction in his speech to parliament today, claiming that “we’re standing at a crossroads whether to go down a declining path by holding onto traditional thinking or find a new road fostered by new aspiration and ideas.”
He also played down hopes of a quick economic recovery, noting that “the financial and economic crisis has had a serious impact on the economy and unemployment, and things are still in an unpredictable state.”