Behold, a New Power Rises in the East
Well, that did not take very long.
The Koizumi Children are already a force to be reckoned with in the House of Representatives. Twenty three times during Prime Minister Koizumi's 14 minute and 36 second inaugural address, the second briefest address in postwar history, the Children applauded their leader. In comments to reporters afterward, Maehara Seiji, the new leader of the Democrats, derided them as "the applause crew" (hakushu yoin).
Certain television networks whose names need not be mentioned (i.e., TV Asahi and TBS) sliced and spliced the post-address interviews with various newcomers into montages that made it seem as though all they were all echoing each other:
"The Prime Minister sounded strong."
"The speech was extremely strong."
"Strength was what the prime minister was showing us."
"I came away with an impression of strength."
Convicted felon Tsujimoto Kiyomi added her two yen's worth, calling the Children "creepy" (bukimi). But she softened her comment by grinning broadly while she said it.
Speaking of the felons, due to the vagaries of the party-centered seating arrangements, all three of them are bunched together in the cheap seats near the left field foul line, so that a shot of the dais speaker's right profile has all three of them full frontal.
The Little Village People
The former Ozato Group, which has been leaderless since Ozato Sadatoshi chose to retire rather than run in the September election, has selected Finance Minister Tanigaki Sadakazu as its new leader. Former secretary-general of the Defense Agency Nakatani Gen takes over as the group's #2. The Tanigaki (?) Group will have 11 members in the House of Representatives and 4 members in the House of Councilors.
Say Goodnight Gracie
Keidanren Chairman Okuda Hiroshi paid a visit on China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Beijing on Monday. Okuda told Wen that Prime Minister Koizumi said, "Pass on my best regards to Prime Minister Wen...because I am a member of the 'Friends of China' wing of my party."
Wen's response, according the Mainichi Shimbun: “Me too.”
I need to see the Chinese original on this one.
Photos: Around the World With Shinzo Abe
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