Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The other tabi drops...

One conspiracy-mad would scream, "Aha! I knew it!"

Or perhaps, more correctly, "They knew it!"
Japan princess pregnant: reports
From correspondents in Tokyo
February 07, 2006

PRINCESS Kiko, the wife of the Japanese emperor's second son Akishino, was pregnant, reports said today, potentially influencing the debate on historic moves to end male-only succession.

Princess Kiko, 39, would have her third child in the autumn, Kyodo News said, quoting the Imperial Household Agency.

An agency spokesman had no immediate comment.
While the sex of the child is unknown, this pregnancy removes the imperative to examine the Imperial House succession law. Nothing needs be done during Koizumi's remaining days in office.

Koizumi and his remaining loyalists must be thrilled: revision of the succession law was becoming a costly distraction. Aso's and Tanigaki's defections were especially painful and divisive.

Now if Mr. K can get Nakagawa to fall upon his sword over the tardy beef inspections, Horie sprung for lack of evidence and links uncovered between corrupt Defense Agency officials and some of the Cabinet's political opponents, he will be right back in the swing of things.

"If only," you say.

But who says lightning cannot strike the same place twice...

[Later] Well, he sure was not one of those in the know

Just around two o'clock, in the middle of interpellations, an aide showed Koizumi the news of the Princess Kiko's pregnancy. From the look of surprise on his face, the PM clearly had heard nothing of this story before today.

As Koizumi read through the note passed to him and began asking questions of his aide, the Diet member asking him questions grew increasingly agitated, nearly popping a Tsujimoto with his angry "Sori!...Sori!" demands for the PM's attention. After confirming the authenticity of the message about the pregnancy, Mr. K could not help himself. He stared straight ahead, with more than a hint of a smile upon his lips.

The news of the pregnancy led Okada Tatsuya to change tack in his questions regarding the succession reform bill. The PM and other members of the Cabinet, to their credit, stuck to their talking points, even though all of them knew the birth of son to Akishinomiya and Kikonomiya would render the whole parley moot.

When the PM knows nothing is at stake, he indulges himself with great whispy castles of fantastic, impassioned, argumentative nonsense. Today's improvised riff on why serious discussion of the succession bill should still go forward as scheduled:

"If it is not decided whether or not Aiko is eligible for the throne before she is old enough to start school, how will anyone know whether or not it is proper to teach her what she needs to know to be empress?"

Hmmmm....What aspects of imperial rule are appropriate for first-graders?

There were no classes in how to be an emperor or empress at my elementary school. I had to wait until Imperial Rule for Dummies came out.

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