Monday, September 24, 2007

Yosano out, Machimura in

It looks like Mr. Mori will get his wish.

Mr. Fukuda, in advance of his assumption of the premiership, has named Machimura Nobutaka to the post of chief cabinet secretary. Readers will recall that Mr. Mori was insistent during August that Mr. Abe named Mr. Machimura to the post of chief cabinet secretary, unsolicited advice that Mr. Abe chose to ignore.

As expected, Mr. Mori will once again be a force to be reckoned within the party — and that's probably not a good thing for anyway.

Mr. Machimura's promotion means that, as Jun Okumura notes, the foreign affairs portfolio is free for Mr. Aso to reclaim it, provided that Mr. Fukuda — and his backers — want to reward Mr. Aso with such a high profile post, especially given the differences in how each man thinks Japan should deal with North Korea. For my part, I'll be surprised if Mr. Aso returns to the Foreign Ministry, not least because he has adamantly rejected the idea of taking a major cabinet portfolio.


Anonymous said...

You seem to be returning to the theme of deploring the return of factional politics to the LDP after Koizumi had supposedly destroyed the factions. From my perspective, I believe the factions allowed for a kind of weak limited checks and balances mechanism within the LDP. Given that the opposition to the LDP is still in formation and at serious disadvantages because of changes like the single voter districts, I think the return of factional politics is a good and not a bad thing.

Japan Observer said...


No, I don't buy the "old system is back" meme, because there is no going back to the old system.

In fact, I think I've written in the past how the factions provided some form of accountability in a system with a dearth of checks and balances.

As for the Fukuda cabinet, I'm not quite clear what influence the factions will exert on policy, if any — do they have any coherent interests other than getting their leaders in important positions?