"You must be out of your mind."
Well, maybe Shiozaki did not say exactly that, but would you have not loved to sit in on that meeting at the Kantei?
It seems that Minister Koike was not clear on the concept as to how Vice Ministers get appointed--either that or somebody decided it would be just the very most wonderful thing if the public learned about Koike's wish to appoint a Police Agency bureaucrat as her lieutenant at Defense before the Appointments Committee did.
Now all her plans are down the drain:
防衛次官人事を凍結 内閣改造後政府判断 西川氏の起用撤回もSo Moriya stays on through the to the selection of the new Cabinet; Nishikawa's candidacy is withdrawn; the Defense Ministry bureaucracy scores against its own Minister; and the Abe Cabinet suffers another black eye.
Well, at least somebody came to a rules-based decision quickly.
Though the slap stings, Koike will likely survive it. Her indiscretion left the government little choice. If Shiozaki--and by extension Abe--had acquiesced Koike's appointment of her favorite to a ministry so spanking new and so high on itself, then the resulting internal rebellion would have made the Tanaka Makiko-MOFA war look like infatuation.
If Shiozaki had only had the vulpine ruthlessness to punish every foolishness committed by any of the Friends of Shinzō over the last ten months--or to tell off the media when it obsessed about trivialities! Rather than looking like the man from yesterday, Prime Minister Abe could right now be reigning over a constitutionally acceptable near-dictatorship.
To think after learning such hard lessons, Shiozaki's days too are numbered--as all reports having him handing the reins of the Cabinet to the man with biggest pipes in the Diet, Mr. Excitement, Nikai Toshihirō.
Oh it is just all so unfair!
Okumura Jun provides further detail and analysis over at Global Talk 21.