In a collapse the news media will be hard pressed to not portray as highly symbolic, Finance Minister Yosano Kaoru fell ill at a campaign rally today (English report here).
A quivering Yosano Kaoru's having to be carried away by a group of supporters on the very first day of the formal campaign for the House of Representatives election would not have to be the talk of the town -- though only 70, he has had a history of serious health problems, including a bout with cancer -- only, it that it was not such a hot day in Tokyo today, at least not in terms of Augusts past...and Yosano has been the actual prime minister of Japan since around April, whatever Asō Francisco Tarō might say or think.
In a better world, after the heroic efforts Yosano put in this year and his poor health, he would be allowed to retire with dignity to his Go, photography, astronomy and golf. Twelve Liberal Democratic Party Representatives aged 70 or more are hanging up their cleats this year, as is 67 year-old former Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichirō, the man whose landslide swept Yosano back into his old Tokyo District #1 seat. With the utter collapse in the popularity and power of the LDP inside Tokyo, Yosano faces a huge uphill slog to keep the Democratic Party's Kaieda Banri from reclaiming the seat he lost in 2005.
The LDP's pathetic hopes are not worth such sacrifice.