Thursday, July 16, 2009


Is the Nakagawa rebellion fizzling out already?

After loudly proclaiming that he had received enough signatures to force a meeting of LDP Diet members within in the next week, it turns out that Nakagawa Hidenao's campaign to unseat Asō Tarō is falling victim to the pusillanimity of his "supporters."

Some of the 133 signatories have claimed that they did not sign in the hope of unseating the prime minister but merely in the hope that it would force Asō to reflect on the party's defeats in local elections and resolve to work harder in advance of the general election. It seems that members of the Tsushima and Koga factions in particular are looking to remove their signatures from the petition. (Yamamoto Ichita has more on this here.)

What a sorry excuse for a rebellion, and a testament to Nakagawa's deficiencies as leader of the LDP's reformist anti-mainstream.


Michael Turner said...

"Pusillanimity"?! Watch out, somebody might sick William Safire on you, for that one alone. Especially coming on top of your T.S. Eliot quote from "The Hollow Men", not so long ago.

I have to say, maybe you're not a Japan Hand yet, Tobias, but as Japan Fingers go, you're doing us proud: you're turning into a real upstanding Naka Yubi. (That's the pseudonym under which you may quote me as one of your authoritative anonymous sources. Or, y'know, whenever you feel the need to just make something up.)

So am I reading this right? A Diet member can actually remove his signature from a petition? Jeez. Surely, then, there will soon be gibes in the press about seijika who write in disappearing ink . . .

Anonymous said...

@Michael: But isn't that exactly the point that describes the untenable situation in Nagatacho very well? Most "experts" are not really able to predict what will happen because Japanese politics has not much to do with contents or coherent behaviours, it is a simple outcome of a game of alliances, a bit mixed with the interests of big companies and attempts from Kasumigaseki to influences politicians that do not understand the issues they are dealing with?
Example: Aso's surprising statement to undo the postal reforms, shortly before the visit of Clinton in Japan, was a deal with big Japanese companies that wished to deter American companies that would compete in this business, from entering the Japanese market. So the deal was perfect, the PM made the statement, and of course nothing followed to it. It was win-win for Aso and the Japanese companies - who cares if Aso's statement is followed by concrete action? He doesn't. Why should he try to be coherent? Is any one? No, it’s a game of alliances and you have to adapt everyday in order to look out for some others to support you. So, let’s see what will happen now with the movements away from the factions and to some new alliances… but don’t expect to find any depth in those movements.