I should kick myself for having missed the wide shows this morning.
I did not get to check whether or not the guests and the hosts of these programs are mulling over or even propagating the theme floated by Suzuki Muneo--that the late Matsuoka Toshikatsu wanted to quit or at least put on a huge show of contrition and remorse but was prevented from doing so by Prime Minister Abe Shinzō.
[See the impressive rundowns of the reigning interpretations of Matsuoka's death at Observing Japan , Liberal Japan and Mutant Frog Travelogue]
If the chattering classes or the editorialists (not at the Yomiuri Shimbun of course) cleave to this new very subversive and corrosive narrative--that Abe failed to respond to depth of Matsuoka's despondency over remaining in his post-- then Abe's ability to remain Prime Minister will become tenuous indeed.
You can be crooked. You can be duplicitous. You can be naive. You can be hideously ugly. You can be flatulent. You can be boring. You can all of the above.
But if you want to be accepted as a leader in Japan, you cannot for one instant be thought to be lacking in ninjō (人情、人の情け = human empathy）for your subordinates.
And I hate to tell you (What is that, a phrase you found in a box somewhere? - Editor) a review of the record since Monday afternoon would show Abe-san a little short in the other-than-rote expressions of ninjō department.
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