- The troglodytes over at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology have had to take it on the chin ans suspend their quixotic battle to recover, on paper, the Liancourt Rocks from the evil forces of the Republic of Korea.
- The Chinese government has not rejected out of hand the participation in the Sichuan earthquake rescue efforts of short takeoff-and-landing C-130s from the Air Self Defense Forces.
Web patriots in China are reportedly going bananas over the idea of ASDF planes landing on Chinese soil.
- The huge gamble on the policy sincerity of the opposition appears to be paying off: Kyōdō News is predicting the bill proposing major revisions to the Basic Law on the Bureaucratic System will pass the House of Representatives with support from the Democratic Party of Japan and the Socialists.
A Chūnichi Shimbun editorial has the DPJ's Hatoyama Yukio telegraphing his party's willingness to forgo the easy hit in favor of cooperation with the government on the bill, saying:
"If no reform bill gets passed, then the only ones who will rejoice will be the career bureaucrats."As the editorial notes,
"To be able to get the ruling and opposition parties to pool their knowledge and show the will to put together a solution -- this from out of a 'Twisted Diet' -- is huge."Enjoying a spell of good luck are we, Mr. Prime Minister?
Later - The House of Representatives has passed the bill amending the Basic Law on the Bureaucratic System.
Before we shout out our three "Hip, Hip, hoorays!" -- let us admit that the pace of reform remains leisurely. As the Jiji Press article notes, the implementation of this legislation creating new rules and selection procedures for the bureaucracy is predicted to take...five years.