"Neither the Liberal Democratic Party, neither the DPJ, neither the Your Party and the Osaka Ishin no kai will be able to seize a majority [of seats in the House of Representatives if there is an election]. Since instability in politics will lead to the unhappiness of Japan, I would like to avoid this situation." (J)Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh! Oh, oh, my brain hurts!
Ozawa Ichiro wants to avoid instability in Japanese politics. Ozawa Ichiro!
Up is Down. Left is Right. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength!
OK, let us forget, for a moment, the last 19 years. Let us just concentrate on this month, where Ozawa Ichiro has:
- led the first meeting of an anti-consumption tax rise study group, attended by 101 members of the Diet. (12.02.09 - the same day he made the above statement - J)
- done nothing to discourage (i.e. - encouraged) Hirono Tadashi, a member of Ozawa's support group, to resign as the director of the DPJ's public affairs unit. Hirono's reason for quitting: he cannot countenance the Noda cabinet's plans to offer legislation raising the consumption tax. (12.02.09 - the same day as Ozawa made the above statement - J)
- invited Aichi Governor Omura Takeaki, who is trying to establish a regional anti-tax party based in the prefectures surrounding Nagoya, to speak at the Ozawa Juku, Ozawa's annual convention for training politicians. Omura will be speaking to the trainees, most of whom are members of the Diet loyal to Ozawa, on February 11. (12.02.07 - J)
- met with former Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio to form a united front against the Noda government's plans to raise the consumption tax. When asked whether his actions were not in tune with the party's policies, Ozawa replied, "Which is the canary that has forgotten his song?" (12.02.03 - J)
Granted, Ozawa's anti-Noda Cabinet activities can be said to be grounded in principle. He thinks it daft to impose a rise in the consumption tax during a period of deflation -- which is sound in economic, if not in governance, terms (even in good economic times, no Japanese prime minister since Hashimoto Ryutaro has had the intestinal fortitude to raise the consumption tax -- despite all projections showing a rise was necessary to cover increasing social welfare costs associated with the aging of Japan's population). Ozawa's stance is also smart politics, for he predicts, with historical precedent and common sense as his guides, that raising the consumption tax will lead to a DPJ wipeout in the next elections. (J)
For Ozawa to claim, however, that his in-your-face anti-consumption tax activities do not make him a opponent of the DPJ leadership is disingenuous, nay, mendacious.