Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fukuda (not surprisingly) purges Aso

Not surprisingly, Mr. Fukuda has acted quickly in replacing the LDP leadership. Mr. Aso is out as LDP secretary-general, Ishihara Nobuteru, his supporter, is out as PARC chairman, and Suga Yoshihide is out as election strategy chairman. Messrs. Nikai and Oshima will retain their positions as chairman of general affairs and Diet strategy respectively.

Stepping in are Ibuki Bunmei as secretary-general (vacating the education portfolio) and, coming in from the cold, Tanigaki Sadakazu as PARC chairman.

I can't say that the new party leadership is surprising, and I'm not altogether sure it's an improvement. Competent, maybe, and sure to do the bidding of Mr. Fukuda — but I guess that's what counts.

UPDATE — I mistakenly omitted the appointment of Koga Makoto as the election strategy chairman, meaning that, as MTC points out, the Fukuda cabinet has become a "faction head employment agency." All but three faction heads (including Aso) are now in either the cabinet or the LDP leadership. I'm not sure what difference it will make, if any. It certainly makes it harder for Mr. Fukuda to present himself as standing for a new LDP, as the DPJ has hastened to note. But will it mean that Mr. Fukuda is excessively deferential to factional interests?

1 comment:

Bryce said...

Of course he is going to oust Ishihara and Aso, and I get Tanigaki, but Ibuki? He may be fairly competent in the administrative aspects of his job, but boy is he gaffe prone.