Sunday, August 26, 2007

Reshuffle day — LDP leadership

NHK has just announced the new LDP leadership, and in general it looks to be a better team than that which served for the past year.

As expected, Aso Taro (Aso faction, 66) has been moved over to party headquarters to become LDP secretary-general; whether this will be a career cul-de-sac for Aso remains to be seen, but it does mean that the face of party has some popularity with the public, given that Aso is something of a henjin. (It also suggests that Abe will be sharing power — Sankei is already calling it the Abe-Aso system.)

The new general affairs chairman, meanwhile, will be outgoing Kokutai chairman Nikai Toshihiro (Nikai faction, 68). Given the state of unrest within the LDP, Nikai may also be an improvement, being a voice of reason and compromise in the midst of ideologues.

Most interesting is the appointment of Ishihara Nobuteru (no faction), son of Tokyo governor Shintaro, as Nakagawa Shoichi's successor as PARC chairman. Ishihara, who turned fifty earlier this year, held ministerial portfolios under Koizumi and is generally regarded as a future leader of the LDP. He is also a dedicated Koizumian, if the statement at his webpage on Japan in the twenty-first century is any indication.

Another Koizumi veteran, Oshima Tadamori (Tamura faction, 60), a MAFF minister under Koizumi, has been named the new Kokutai chairman. And Suga Yoshihide, who until recently was a candidate for a significant ministerial post, has been given the lowly post of election strategy chairman.

3 comments:

Taro Tanaka said...

ISHIHARA Nobuteru may be interesting but will probably be a liability for ABE. His policy instincts are right but he has very low credibility and power in LDP. He was alright as regulatory reform minister (though not achieving much) and useless as MLIT minister as he proved useless to take on the bureaucrats. The appointment of ISHIHARA will be certainly be criticised for "friendpolitics". Nobuteru ISHIHARA SUGA is involved in a Money Scandal and that is why he has to step aside this time.
Koizumi did hardly represent any other policy than "change", so it is difficult to brand any one Koizumian.

Japan Observer said...

Ah, yes, but as we've discussed on another thread, image matters more than policy. The Koizumi "revolution" may have been nothing of the sort, but it was excellent marketing — so why can't a politician be branded a "Koizumian"?

Taro Tanaka said...

Ishihara Nobuteru may qualify as Koizumian if we use in the sense meaning "a person with no fear taking on vested interests" he might qualify but he has lost much of his credibility as reformer by his failures in the Koizumi Cabinet. Unlike Koizumi, Ishihara is knowledgeable about policies and therefore unable to use one-liners with the same authencity as Koizumi did. Ishihara is, furhtermore, socially gifted which is a liability if you want to be a Koizumian.