Tag: Bob Hawke

Reminiscing: The First Time Australia Mattered in Kangaeroo’s Japan

How the now defunct Daily Yomiuri reported on Australian politics in Japan in 1991.

Kangaeroo has lived in Japan since the late ’80s, just as the Showa Era (reign of Emperor Hirohito from 1926-1989) drew to a close.

Japan back then had possibly an even stronger fascination with English than it does even today, especially as it was far less accessible in a slower, less connected world.

But English and overseas meant America and Japan had an obsession for the United States. Occasionally, news would filter through from other powers, such as then recently reunited Germany, France, Italy, Britain and the crumbling Soviet Union and Russia.

It was rare, pretty close to unheard of, really, for Australia to attract much attention in a Japan then apparently poised to overcome the U.S. as the world’s leading economy.

So unheard of, actually, that when Oz did make news, it was enough for Kangaeroo to grab a copy of the English paper from a kiosk at Shibuya Station. And keep it for more than 30 years!

Paul Keating had just successfully challenged Bob Hawke as prime minister and took over leadership of a country in a deep recession. Here’s how the Daily Yomiuri reported the matter in its lead story for the December 20, 1991 edition.

Paul Keating New Premier Of Australia

SYDNEY (AP) – Australian Prime Minister Bow Hawke’s record eight-year reign ended Thursday when he was deposed by his former deputy, Paul Keating, in a Labor Party coup.

Keating’s victory was the culmination of two years of bitter rivalry between Australia’s two most powerful and charismatic politicians.

Hawke, whose standing with the public and fellow party members had tumbled along with the economy, called a special meeting of the Labor Party’s 110-member parliamentary caucus to decide the leadership issue which has split the party and divided the nation.

In a procedural move preceding a planned confidence vote, Hawke resigned and offered himself for reelection. Keating, who quit as treasurer when he failed in his first challenge on June 3, won the secret ballot 56-51. Three party members were not able to attend.

“It’s a very humbling experience, and I feel the poignancy of the moment,” Keating said as he emerged from the caucus room.

“The thing the government must do is get coinfidence in Australia going again…confidence of the people and confidence in the business community,” Keating told reporters later.

For his part, Hawke seemed on the verge of tears at a news conference but also joked with reporters. “I fought the good fight. The fight is over,” Hawke said.

“If this was 11 years ago, I’d be getting pretty thoroughly drunk,” the former world champion beer drinker-turned-teetotaler said when asked what his immediate plans were.

“I leave the prime ministership proud of my accomplishments. The Australia of 1991 is a profoundly better place than the one in 1983 that I inherited…more tolerant, more compassionate, more competitive.”

Hawke congratulated Keating and vowed to support him.

Keating launched his bid for leadership claiming Hawke had promised to stand down as prime minister after the election in March 1990.

Keating (left), meeting with then Emperor Akihito during a meeting at the Imperial Palace in September 1992.

That would have given Keating enough time to settle in before leading the party into the next parliamentary election, which legally must be held by 1993. The party winning the most seats also win’s the prime minister’s seat, with the party leader becoming the prime minister.

Among Keating’s first duties will be to host U.S. President George Bush’s visit to Australia on Dec. 31-Jan. 3. He also faces the daunting task of healing the deep wounds that Labor has suffered from the leadership struggle.

Calls for more forceful leadership have become increasingly strident as the economy wallows in recession. Figures released last week showed that unemployment climbed to 10.5 percent in November, the highest since World War II.

The Labor Party, already suffering from sinking popularity, has fallen further behind in the polls in the weeks since the opposition coalition announced plans for a major revamp of the tax system.

Hawke recently fell behind opposition leader John Hewson for the first time in opinion polls. The man who once boasted a 75 percent approval rate has seen it plunge to around 25 percent.

The party has badly missed the 47-year-old Keating in a Cabinet role. While viewed as somewhat cold and sometimes brutal to antagonistic questioners, his uncompromising and forthright style as treasurer won respect from the international finance community.

The leadership issue has been simmering since Keating’s first challenge on June 3 and came to a head last Thursday when a group of six Cabinet ministers, all strong supporters of Hawke, met with their leader to suggest he quit.

Keating (left) meeting with then Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama during a visit to Japan in 1995

Keating would go on to lead Australia for the next five years, including an election win that was totally unexpected and increased Labor’s majority in 1993. He became a strong advocate of Australia fostering closer relations with Asian nations, including Japan, and remains so to this day. Keating lost the prime ministership to John Howard in 1996 and Australia would lurch strongly to the right and cling ever closer to the Anglosphere in a trend that remains pretty much unabated to this day. Keating’s pro-Asian stance would also usher in the racist Pauline Hanson, a polarizing figure and apparent far-right extremist when she emerged on the scene as a member of the Liberal Party in the mid-1990s, her views as leader of her own party, One Nation, are now regarded as almost mainstream. Indeed, Mark Latham, a former Labor Party leader once strongly likened to Keating, has become her closest and most outspoken political ally. Howard was strongly criticized as prime minister when he refused to condemn Hanson’s racism.

Hawke and Keating would patch up their differences and resume their strong friendship, which held until Hawke died in 2019. The recession that ended Hawke’s leadership and led to the Keating era was over the quarter the news reported above. Australia’s economic growth would continue uninterrupted for over 110 quarters until the pandemic hit.

Japan and Australia have since 1991 built an extremely strong relationship that it becoming even closer as the two countries deal with the looming threat of China.

Nonetheless, news of Australia remains a rarity in Japan, largely relating the annual bushfire season and occasionally a prime ministerial or sporting visit. But Australia is an undisputedly more significant presence in the Japan of 2022 than it had been in 1991.

RIP to a Ripper Bloke, Bob Hawke

Australia’s last man of the people to become prime minister is no longer.

Robert James Lee “Bob” Hawke died earlier this week, just two days before his beloved Australian Labor Party is expected to re-take office in the May 18 federal election following six years of misrule by an incompetent LiberalNational Party coalition government.

Hawke was 89. He was a popular prime minister whose time in office went from 1983 to 1991.

He remains the longest-serving Labor prime minister in Australian history.

Hawkey didn’t really have much to do with Japan during his time in office. Perhaps the closest project involving Japan was the disastrous Multifunction Polis proposal that sparked widespread outrage at a time when there was popular discord against Japanese investment in Australia.

Bugger me, Bob! 豪州元首相の豪俗語が外交的な事件になりかけた頃

Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke in 1983.

オーストラリア元総理大臣であったボッブ・ホーク氏は、最近日本から勲章を受けたが、1980年代初来日したオージー英語によっての時激ヤバ「事件」になりかけたこと、と豪州オンライン・ニュースサイトnews.com.auが今週報道した
今週勲一等旭日大綬章を受章した同氏は、1983年から1991年の間豪首相であり、その間4回も日本を訪問した。
 労働組合出身のホーク氏が1回目来日した時当時有名だったオーストラリアの過激的な組合活動について聞かれた。ホーク氏の返事は「騙されんぞ」だった。しかし、当然日本語ではなくオージー英語でその答えを出した。それは「They won’t play funny buggers」という表現だった。
 問題はbuggersという言葉だ。オージー英語及びイギリス英語ではbuggerが「やつ」とか「野郎」などの意味がある。しかし、もう一つの意味は英語圏諸国が中心となるコモンロー下の犯罪buggeryを起こす者の意味もある。Buggery罪は、「肛門性交行為」のことだ。
 news.com.auによると、ホーク氏の「They won’t play funny buggers」が日本語に通訳された時にオージー英語訳の「騙されんぞ」や「変な振る舞いをする」ではなく本来米語の意味で「面白い男性同性愛者」と訳されたといい、在日オーストラリア大使館がまいていたという。
 この話は本当かどうか分からないが考えRoo.comのようなサイトを見ればこのようなオージー英語かストラインのミスがないだろう。

豪キャブラリー: Skull

Bob Hawke

Skullは、普段の英語では頭蓋骨の意味だけど、どうにかオージー英語では「イッキ飲み」の呼びかけ方になったのだ。当然、イッキ飲みが危なくて絶対に勧めないが、全国若者がビールなどを早飲みするゲームが万国共通な青春伝統ではないかなと思う。ちなみに、1980年代(厳密に言えば1983年~1991年)オーストラリア総理大臣だったボブ・ホーク氏は、1950年代オクスフォード大学の学生時代ではイッキ飲み世界記録を敗れギネスに載ったのがオーストラリアでは有名な話しだが、総理大臣になったドタンに断酒し、今に至って続けている。

英・米語日本語
SkullDrink wildly, chug-a-lugイッキ飲み