Thursday, November 08, 2007

Minister Masuzoe Gets It

Thank Amaterasu for publicity-hungry celebrity politicians and Mino Monta's morning show!

Health, Labour and Welfare Minister Masuzoe Yōichi appeared on Asa Zuba! this morning and got scalped for his trouble.

As he did yesterday at the meeting with the plaintiffs in the Hepatitis C case, Masuzoe began his explanation of the way forward with the forced smile and ingratiating manner of an elementary school teacher trying to cajole two fighting children into cooperating whilst on a school outing. He repeated his incredibly annoying metaphor of climbing Mt. Fuji:

"With yesterday's verdict and our meeting, we are now at the Third Station (sangōme) coming from opposite sides of the mountain. Now if both sides get along, making a full effort, we can come together at the summit."

Ignoring for the moment the reality that Masuzoe's metaphor is nonsensical--if the plaintiffs and the defendants are on opposite sides of the mountain, they will not need the other's cooperation to reach the summit--the idea that the summit was still so far away irked the show's guests. They assailed him with barbed comments, wiping the earnest smile off his face.

- "Don't you understand that the plaintiffs at this point have absolutely no trust in the ministry?"

- "What kind of guarantees can you give? This is not the first time this kind of situation [protection of the domestic pharmaceutical industry over the health of patients] has arisen at MHLW. What can you do to make sure this kind of situation stops repeating itself?"

- "What is the basis for your asking the victims to make greater efforts and to be more cooperative?"

If Masuzoe did not know how poorly his "let's all cooperate together" act was being received by the gallery before, he sure knows it now.

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