However, a while back -- a very long while back -- I wrote a post on House of Representatives member Kobayashi Koki's departure from the Democratic Party of Japan. I was unkind toward the little-known (well, outside of this blessed land, at least) legislator. I wrote in conclusion:
So long you Tokyo University Faculty of Law graduate, former Ministry of International Trade and Industry bureaucrat, former Liberal Democratic Party district seat holder, expelled from the LDP by Koizumi Jun'ichiro for opposing postal reform and stripped of your seat by Koike Yuriko, only to be returned to the House of Representatives as a proportional list seat winner for the DPJ -- you will most certainly not be missed.A commenter asked for a rationale for my vehemence:
huh?I admit, calling Kobayashi "one of the total wastes of human skin Ozawa Ichiro brought into the Democratic Party of Japan for possibly no reason other than to make himself look better" seems an inordinate investment of invective for someone who is a minor character -- and not a particularly nasty one, either.
opposing postal system "reform" and the consumption tax hike on the middle class doesn't seem to be worthy of such animus.
what am I missing?
However, Kobayashi, the uncrowned king of the retreads, is the gift that keeps on giving, back in the tiny print for his boundless opportunism.
Kobayashi, a proportional seat holder -- i.e., someone who has a seat because of his party, not himself -- defected from the DPJ in August, ostensibly in opposition to the bill raising the consumption tax -- a vote that took place in the House of Representatives in June. Kobayashi quickly started a political cohabitation with Kawamura Takashi's Tax Reduction Japan (Genzei Nippon) proto-party -- helping the Nagoya mayor and irrepressible buffoon in gathering under one umbrella the five Diet members he needed for TRJ to register as a party eligible to run candidates in the proportional seat races (Link).
Earlier this week the anti-tax Kawamura went a-courting Hashimoto Toru's Japan Restoration Association, a party which advocates a raising of the consumption tax to 11% -- a wooing that earned Kawamura a scornful tongue-lashing from Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko all the way from Phnom Penh.
Kawamura went away not only empty-handed, but minus Kobayashi, who dropped off his letter of resignation from TRJ. Kobayashi had taken a gander at the JRA and decided he wanted a piece of Hashimoto's action.
Kawamura, bereft of a fifth former Diet member for TRJ, went running yesterday into the arms of Anti-TPP, the anti-nuclear power/anti-Trans Pacific Partnership proto-party of Diet pinup boys Kamei "Pavarotti" Shizuka and Yamada "Mr. No To Everything" Masahiko. The trio agreed to a merger, giving their new party the catchy moniker of the "Tax Reduction Japan - Anti-TPP - Withdraw From Nuclear Power Party" (Genzei Nippon - Han TPP - Datsugenpatsuto).
Anti-TPP, which Kamei and Yamada founded on November 19, sets the new gold standard for party lifetimes. It bests the record set by Ishihara Shintaro's Party of the Sun, which, by lasting 4 1/2 days before merging with Hashimoto's JRA, had set a seemingly unbreakable record for brevity of a party's earthly existence. (Link)
Getting back to Kobayashi, it turns out that he did not, prior to handing in his letter of resignation from TRJ, actually talk to anyone at JRA about his joining that party. Lo and behold, when asked about Kobayashi's desire to switch parties, JRA party secretary-general Matsui Ichiro replied, "We have not discussed it. And we are not going to."
Cue Kobayashi returning, hat in hand, to TRJ. Asked about Kobayashi's letter of resignation, Kawamura replies, "I am going to hang on to it." (Link - J)
As I admitted, Kobayashi is not an enemy of the people. However, he is, despite his education and training, a raging mediocrity, a lurid illustration of how badly led and cheated -- a member of the House of Representatives costing the taxpayers, in total, about 100 million yen per year -- the good citizens have been.
Later - Reviewed some of my previous posts on Kobayashi. I had forgotten all about the Paul McCartney montage.
Ah, the Koizumi years...