Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Telegraphing Realignment Or Just Hanging Out?

If you are infatuated with, and some people are, the idea that the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan are destined to sort themselves out into ideologically coherent parties, with reformers banding together into a new political force--then you are going to love the new meeting of minds being set up by Special Advisor to the Cabinet Okuda Hiroshi, the former chairman of Toyota Motors.

According to today's Nihon Keizai Shimbun, sometime after the Golden Week holidays a gang of folks will start getting together on a regular (teikiteki) basis to talk about...well, gosh, what could they be talking about?

From the LDP
Former Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichirō
Former Minister of Defense/the Environment Koike Yuriko
Former McKinsey consultant and Harvard M.A. holder Motegi Toshimitsu
Tōdai Law graduate and former aide to U.S. Senator Willian Roth Hayashi Yoshimasa
Tōdai Law graduate and holder of an M.A. from the Maryland School of Public Policy Nishimura Yasutoshi

(Nota Bene - are we talking considerable experience in either work or study abroad here, or what?)

From the DPJ
Former Party Leader Maehara Seiji
Tōdai Law graduate and the Socialist Party's go-to guy on legal issues Sengoku Yoshito
Deputy Policy Research Council Chairman Fukuyama Tetsurō
Former Deputy Secretary-General Genba Kōichirō

(Maehara, Fukuyama and Genba are all products of the Matsushita Institute of Government and Management political finishing school)

From the corporate sector
Rakuten founder Mikitani Hiroshi

and others.

I ask again, what would these folks have to talk about, meeting on a regular basis?

For some odd reason I think that neither "above all loyalty to party or one's organization" or "in order to make Japan great again we must lead a revival of traditional values" will be major themes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha! If those things are not just pure rumors, Japan is heading toward its own "Change we can believe in" era.
Still, before being elected, Koizumi-san talked to... who was that, Kan Naoto, maybe?, offering him some time around January 2001 to create a new party by bringing the reform-minded people of the LDP with him, provided Kan-san would lower the tone of his attacks on the lonely wolf and help him. Still, after being elected, Koizumi-san just said: "Gotcha!" And he lasted 5 years in power.
That's a good story worth remembering, though my account of it is not perfect. Still, if this realignment is real, the political changeover may be on its way to be achieved - but not in a way Ozawa thought it would be.
I suggest Shisaku organizes a contest to give a name to this (possible) new party.