Well, now we know why Fukuda Yasuo was so nervous...he does not have the party behind him.
A nonchalant LDP Secretary-General Ibuki ("Gumby") Bunmei, flanked by New Komeitō Secretary-General Kitagawa ("Magilla Gorilla") Kazuo, practically shrugged his way through the press availability after the Prime Minister's announcement. Ibuki's stunning revelation that...
"This is the Prime Minister's idea. Not the party's. We must support the Prime Minister."
...and Kitagawa's vaguely disgusted look as he echoed Ibuki's sentiment indicated they were testing out a new meaning of the word "must"-- and they did not like it. It was a "must" somewhere near "have to" only minus enthusiasm, interest or any commitment to any outcome.
Has an LDP prime minister ever gone out on a limb without making sure his party secretary-general was out on that limb with him? Has an LDP PM ever just done his own thing, without seeking the assent or the understanding of the General Council (sōmukai) or at least some ad hoc council of party elders?
If this bold, last minute maneuver does not work out--and the DPJ leadership has already prepared the groundwork for rejecting the new proposal--Fukuda really cannot go on.
At least not in any way that my poor brain can understand.
What now for Abe third time round
11 hours ago