Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hatoyama and Hashimoto, Hatoyama and Ozawa, Hashimoto and Ozawa

Oscar Wilde once described the proper English gentleman on horseback chasing after a fox as "the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable." Yesterday on television, we had "the unbelievable examining the undoable" -- Hatoyama Yukio criticizing the "Ishin no Kai Version of Eight Policies From The Ship" (Ishinkaihan no sennchu hassaku). (J)

Nominally, having Hatoyama offering his opinions about the Osaka Ishin no Kai's long-range vision for Japan is a former prime minister calling upon his collected wisdom and practical knowledge to point out the flaws in the policy program of a popular protest movement whose emergence has jolted the political realm. In reality, it is having a man who does not know his own mind commenting about persons who are quite out of theirs.

Why go through this agony? Since Hatoyama has no opinions of his own, he might be channeling the thoughts of his ally/former puppeteer, Ozawa Ichiro. Just what Ozawa is thinking about the Ishin no Kai and its leader Hashimoto Toru is of great interest, as Hashimoto's movement and Ozawa Ichiro's plans for himself and his followers inside the Democratic Party of Japan (the "Is-he-in-or-is-he-out?" question) are the two most glamorized sources of potential disruption of the political sphere.

[Whether or not the two are the most interesting or likely sources of disruption is not relevant. Hashimoto and Ozawa are simply the easiest subjects to write about. In a sense, this concentration of attention is mostly about journalistic sloth.]

Hashimoto and Ozawa coming to some sort of quid pro quo regarding the toppling of the Noda government and the construction of a new political order after a snap House of Representatives election* has been the subject of fevered speculation (E). Just how Hashimoto's corporatism (the next person who calls it "populism" needs to find out how to use a search engine or a dictionary) meshes with Ozawa's Liberal Democratic Party socialism ("Ice cream for everybody now! We'll think about paying for it tomorrow!") has not been clarified, perhaps because elucidating a basis for these two autocrats reining in their colossal egos long enough for a coordinated overthrow of the current, constipated regime is asking too much of the domestic political wind machine.

Finally, for a bit of fun, check out the website for the newest buddy comedy crime thriller Osaka Ishin no Kai (Link). Yes, it does look like a movie version of what a website of a upstart political movement should look like.

As in the life of Hashimoto Toru, politics and entertainment blur.

* Yes, I know that holding elections at this time would be unconstitutional.  So do all the national political writers and politicians.  However, they still they write and talk about it.

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