Friday, June 13, 2014

Not Heeding The Doctor's Orders

At The Economist Japan Summit 2014 conference held on the eve of President Barack Obama's visit to Japan, Columbia University Professor Gerald Curtis was assigned the delicate task of providing instant analysis of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's keynote address (Link). Professor Curtis said much, but his main message to the PM and his team was that their movement faces a moment of truth. For the Abenomics train to keep rolling, the PM had to chose four or five big reforms right now out of the Abe and Co. potpourri of ideas, commit to this handful of reforms in a public way and then together with his Cabinet and his ruling coalition complete all work on these selected reforms by November.

"Yes," I remember saying to myself at the time, "But Abe-san won't do that, will he? And since he won't, it is probably best not to ask him to. We saw how well telling him not to go to Yasukuni went, didn't we?"

In the news today, evidence that Team Abe Shinzo really does not share Dr. Curtis's sense of proportion and moderation. Rather than a handful of big items to tackle with dispatch, the Third Arrow reforms suggestion list is a grab bag assortment of TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY (yep, 2-3-0) items. (Link - J)

That is a lot stuff to just read through, much less enact.

Monday, June 16 is going to be a very, very interesting day.

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