Monday, October 31, 2005

A new alliance, a new constitution and now this

A thought for the day—what we are about to witness over the next few hours time is not just a unique cabinet selection process, but a political act bordering upon the perverse. Prime Minister Koizumi is picking a Cabinet by himself—not even the LDP general secretary, if we are to take him at his word, knows who is being selected for what post.

Some time this evening, most all studies of Japanese politics—all the papers, all the op-eds, all the textbook entries—will become moot. Goodbye to nemawashi, goodbye to factional balancing, goodbye to ryotei politics, goodbye to “plus ca change...”

Koizumi alone is acting. All others are just spectators (Koizumi gekijo indeed).

The closest parallel in Japanese history today's events is probably Ito Hirobumi's solitary authorship of the Imperial Constitution. The closest parallel in modern history may be Lee Kuan Yew's construction of the modern Singaporean state (I.C. is invited to comment).

The Koizumi penchant for surprises has inured us to epic scale of the change he is attempting. Today he will be crafting a representative government for his people out of the extension of his will, according to it the structure of his mind, and with the backing of an overwhelming majority in the country's legislative branch

I hope he knows what he is doing. This one-man strategy has the potential to piss off just about everyone in some way.

Happy Halloween!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where's Fukuda?
And taking over Takena's portfolio, including the consolidation of the state-owned financial institutions, Yosano is now a player. So, you've got it half right so far, more than can be said for a lot of pundits. And in a year's time, you could have even more to point to.