In response to Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi's sending a letter of reprimand to Colonel Nakazawa Takeshi for his having made a disparaging reference to the Prime Minister in a speech at the opening ceremony for a joint U.S. Force Japan-Japan Self Defense Forces drill last week, the Liberal Democratic Party's defense tribesmen are denouncing the disciplinary action. Ishiba Shigeru, the defense otaku and head of the LDP policy research council, complained, "What the colonel said was actually self-evident...When you say, 'It's outrageous!' it is troubling that you are not saying what it is that is so outrageous." Nakatani Gen, a former SDF officer, chimed in with a suitably duplicitous, "If you punish someone in front of the troops simply for indicating the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance, you will damage morale."
Nakatani-san, Colonel Nakazawa probably did not receive his stiffly worded letter because he was expressing a high opinion of the Japan-U.S. security relationship.
Anyway, Mssrs. Ishiba and Nakatani have through their protests almost certainly locked up the frustrated former SDF officer vote.
A voting bloc both of them already had in their pockets anyway.
Then again, when the LDP is growing more feeble and fissiparous by the day, it is perhaps best to make sure one has nailed down even the most loyal of loyal constituencies.