Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Trivial Pursuits: the Relief Pitcher

I have been in remiss paying honor to the subtitle of this blog, so here is a truly marginal bit of information about a current politician.

Q - Wakabayashi Masatoshi is serving as interim Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, following the resignation yesterday of Endō Takehiko. Wakabayashi was also interim minister in August after Akagi Norihiko resigned in the aftermath of the House of Councillors election. Wakabayashi also stepped in after the suicide of Matsuoka Toshikatsu in May.

So how many times has Wakabayashi held the MAFF ministerial portfolio since Abe Shinzō became Prime Minister?

A - Ten times. In addition to the three fill-ins after the final departures of the ill-fated trio, Wakabayashi served as interim minister in Tokyo seven times while Matsuoka and Akagi were on overseas trips.

"I had thought that I would not be called in in relief anymore," Wakabayashi said yesterday, "But because it is an emergency situation, I am going to fulfill my responsibilities."

Wakabayashi should not be so humble. Finding a MAFF Minister capable of just fulfilling his responsibilities has proven to be a damn difficult thing to do.

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