Friday, August 31, 2007

Bring me the head of the Liberal Democratic Party

Ozawa Ichirō has more tricks up his sleeves--even if they are Abe Shinzō's tricks.

Ozawa appoints Maehara as vice president, urges Abe to quit
Kyodo News

Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa appointed former party president Seiji Maehara as vice president and upper house member Masayuki Naoshima as chief policymaker Friday in a shakeup of the party leadership aimed at stepping up the rivalry with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

At a news conference just after the appointments, Ozawa urged Abe to leave office following a crushing setback for his Liberal Democratic Party in the House of Councillors election last month and reiterated his opposition to the antiterrorism law being extended beyond its Nov. 1 expiration.

"Since (the LDP-led ruling camp) lost a majority in the upper house, the very person who should be reshuffled is the prime minister," Ozawa said.

A neat replay of the "bring the internal critic inside" tactic. Abe dared Masuzoe Yōichi to join the Cabinet and take up the poisoned chalice of the Health & Welfare post. Maehara Seiji, despite his history of American Alliance First noises will be expected to hove to the Ozawa leadership line--as he's part of the leadership group now--even as he believes he will be influencing its final port of call. Whatever happens, he will at least serve as a convincing feint, the unwitting (?) straw dog able to draw the LDP into desperate, self-delusional negotiations with "the reasonable DPJ guy" time slips away...

Why do I feel Maehara's battlefied promotion is more in the nature of a trap than a concession to his stated views?

It might have something to do with the fact that there are seven--count 'em--seven DPJ vice presidents.

Kind of makes Ozawa's gesture a little less impressive, doesn't it?

No comments: