Defense chief calls himself an amateur
The Japan Times
New Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa called himself an "amateur" regarding security issues, but excused his lack of expertise by saying that's what the concept of civilian control of the military is all about.
His remark, made Friday after he assumed the post in Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's new Cabinet, may call into question Noda's ministerial appointments.
"I am an amateur regarding security issues, but this is what you call the real 'civilian control,' " Ichikawa told reporters...
What I cannot tell about this appointment is whether Noda's people accepted the suggestion to appoint Ichikawa knowing he would self-destruct, thereby discrediting Ozawa -- or that Ozawa suggested Ichikawa knowing that his self-destruction would discredit Noda's people.
As long as Ichikawa is in office, the LDP will keep up a drumbeat for his resignation. If he resigns, 5 to 10 percentage points will get knocked off the support ratings for the Noda Cabinet. If he stays, 5 to 10 percentage points will get knocked off the support ratings for the Noda Cabinet.
A Hobson's Choice.
That a resignation will hurt the image of the Cabinet has me leaning in the direction of Noda's people or Noda himself simply not thinking seriously about this appointment.
The MOD post is not a trash position, like the Defense Agency post used to be. The MOD is a realy ministry with real issues and clout. It has to provide half of the answers (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs being responsible for the other half) to the questions posed by the rise of a great power to the East, a new nuclear power to the Northeast and a rejuvenated power to the North. The MOD needs a smart cookie with extensive experience in security matters at the helm, or someone like a Kitazawa Toshimi who had sense enough to listen to what smart people had to say before he opened his mouth.