Yesterday, Democratic Party of Japan Secretary-General Koshi'ishi Azuma announced that some of the party's most senior and experienced leaders will be charged with the mapping out of long-term party strategy. The areas which will be examined by these party advisors and senior party post holders will include foreign policy, energy policy, defense policy and reconstruction policy.
The first two appointments announced yesterday?
For Foreign Policy: Former Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio
For Energy Policy: Former Prime Minsister Naoto Kan
No, I am not making this up. (J)
The opinions of these two men differ from the prevailing status quo just about as much as one can imagine. Rather than being wary of China and close to the United States, the Hatoyama program is to position Japan in between the two giants, effectively meaning Japan's having more intimate relations with China and more distant relations with the United States.
As for Kan, his experience in trying to manage the consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster has made him an adamant foe of nuclear power and close friend of the renewable energy industry, particularly biofuels. His views run counter to the Noda government's so far very quiet push to rehabilitate nuclear power. (E)
It remains to be seen whether these appointments represent a Japanese version of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson's quip regarding J. Edgar Hoover or an honest attempt to integrate the contrarian views of these two senior politician into the pool of ideas that the party can draw upon when drafting its next electoral manifesto.
Let us say that this cynical would say it is the former, while the hopeful would pray it is the latter.