Did Defense Minister Koike Yuriko really set up Vice Minister Moriya Takemasa--and a few others too--for a spectacular, humiliating fall?
Noooooo. It can't be. It is too good a story.
Here is the new version of the saga:
Moriya, who has let us say "a bit of an attitude problem," had a rather unfortunate habit of not answering his mobile phone at night when Minister Koike would call him, prefering to return her calls the next morning.
Sick of the lack of respect--and fully cognizant that not answering a Defense Minister's calls demonstrated a devastatingly stupid attitude toward the national security architecture--Koike determined that Moriya had to go, and soon.
Just how to arrange it was the question...and Amaterasu bless her, Koike came up with a doozy of way of delivering Moriya's comeuppance.
On the night before the story was to break, the Minister called Moriya, intending to tell him she had decided to fire him...and that the news of his dismissal would be in the papers the next day.
Just to give him a chance, she called him twice.
He did not take either call.
So Moriya learned of his dismissal not through "the proper channels"--which he likely could have stymied--but through his early morning perusing of the headlines.
He threw a snit, bringing in the big guns like Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki Yasuhisa to bear down upon Koike for her failure to follow the proper hiring and firing protocol. Which they did.
Creating the perfect moment for Koike to tell reporters today, "But I tried to tell Moriya beforehand. Twice. He just didn't take the call."