I've always found it difficult that Japanese people generally avoid talking about anything political, especially about Japan specifically. They are, to an extent, willing to talk about political matters if it is about another country, such as politics in the United States. But when the subject turns to Japan, most people are unwilling to say anything substantial.
I do understand that it is, in part, due to the general observation that politics in Japan is dominated by powerful conservative interests that are untouchable to most people. In addition, these powerful interests are centered in Tokyo, despite the fact that the elected officials are supposed to be representing the interests of their constituents throughout Japan. The belief that these officials are no less removed from "The People" as the Daimyo were during the Edo Period leads many Japanese to believe that political discourse is useless–people have no actual power to change anything.
But this belief itself, to me, is something worth discussing. I want to know more why "our" voices can't be heard and whether there is anything possible that can ultimately affect the government of Japan.
While there are many other things that can make Japan difficult to adjust to, the nearly universal avoidance of discussion about political matters is, probably, to me the most frustrating. It isn't that I want to discuss political matters all of the time, but it is, I believe, a subject that should come out naturally in schools, families, and workplaces.
I try to raise "politically-charged" matters in a variety of settings by focusing on some specific things that are pertinent in that setting. For example, in rural Kyushu, I bring up subjects such as the unmanaged sugi (Japanese cedar) tree farms that dominate the mountains and the environmental hazards they pose. I find that many people realize that it is an important issue and that avoiding the subject altogether increases the risks that something bad will happen.
I'd like to know more what other kinds of things people find frustrating and share the strategies we use to alleviate them.