Friday, July 11, 2014

Live Blogging, Or Something, Suga Yoshihide's Press Conference

Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide at the Foreign Correspondents's Club of Japan. Chiyoda City, Tokyo Metropolitan District on July 11, 2014.

14:15 Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga reciting strings of statistics, with almost no interpretation or explanation in between. Note to self: it is very hard to argue against facts, even if they are cherry-picked facts.

14:25 More facts: "We are increasing the number of flight paths leading into Narita Airport..."

14:30 Sugar coating the establishment of a loyal, fearful upper level bureaucracy through the now politician-controlled Personnel Agency - "We have established a structure that will encourage bureaucrats to work for the nation."

14:35 Moderator David McNeill's "easy" question - "Why did the Abe Cabinet choose reinterpretation rather than revision?" Suga babbles on and on in response about protecting the country, the new elements of security and the exercise of self defense to the minimum extent possible.

14:40 Given a second chance to answer the question on whether the government should pay attention to public opinion polls, the short answer is, "Since we are already certain we are not acting outside the bounds of the Constitution, no."

14:50 Suga claims that he and Prime Minister Abe have the greatest understanding possible of the DPRK abduction issue, which makes them the best persons to be in charge of the process of negotiations with the DPRK.

Humility? Who needs it?

16:05 Pia Emilio reminds Suga that in Italy, when Prime Minister Berlusconi trumpeted his government's becoming the longest-lasting in the post-war era, the Berlusconi government fell only days later. Suga laughs for the first and ultimately only time.

16:10 Press conference ends. Applause pretty limp for a man who is is Abe Shinzo's right hand, his left arm, his head and his trunk. Must have been due to his overlong fact dump at the outset.


Anonymous said...

Should the talks with DPRK about kidnapped Japanese be extended, is it a good method for the North to avoid any long range US plan?

MTC said...

Anonymous -

The government seems unified in a belief that DPRK negotiations must continue, ignoring DPRK provocative behavior or declared/presumed timelines. Given that provocation, seeming reversals and delay are the tricks the DPRK deploys to camouflage the weakness of its negotiating position, GOJ stubbornness or even seeming insensitivity to insult is extremely wise.