Friday, February 20, 2009

Burnt Tongues

Reactions to former prime minister Koizumi Jun'ichirō's declaration that he will absent himself from a revote on the second supplementary budget bill.

Minister of the Environment Saitō Tetsuo (New Kōmeitō):

"Since he agreed with the second supplementary bill (the first time it came up for a vote) I believe that he must not be so inconsistent, as befits a politician."

Minister of the Education, Science, Technology, Sports and Culture Shiotani Ryū (LDP):

"He agreed with the bill the first time around. His stance is illogical."

Saito's and Shiotani's replies highlight a hypocritical thread in Koizumi's attack on the PM. Just last week Koizumi criticized Prime Minister Asō Tarō for playing the postal privatization bill both ways, declaring that he had voted for the bill while having been personally opposed to it. Here, Saitō and Shiotani catch Koizumi set to reverse himself: voting for a bill, then declaring his inability to vote for exactly the same bill a few weeks later.
Minister of Health, Welfare and Labor Masuzoe Yōichi (LDP - potential PM candidate):

"If you have various opinions, what you have to do is put your opinion forward during the policy decision process. For that reason, I would say 'It's TOO LATE.'"*

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ishiba Shigeru (LDP - potential PM candidate):

"As a party member, he has to obey the party's plan."

"It's taking a gun, a bazooka to party internal affairs and sending pieces in all directions."

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nakasone Hirofumi (LDP)

"I want him to follow the party's plan...especially because he is a former party president, he must do so."


Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Hatoyama Kunio (LDP)

"Former prime minister Koizumi is an incredibly impressive higher ranking senior colleague. It is really unfortunate."

Minister of Population and Gender Equality Obuchi Yūko (LDP - 35 years of age)

"Being where we are, for him to come to that kind of decision, there are just bits I just don't understand, but..."

"I want him to decide as a member of the party, I think."

Minister of Consumer Affairs Noda Seiko (LDP - potential PM candidate):

"He is a very great higher ranking senior colleague. I believe (his decision) comes from a great wisdom. Therefore I have no comment."

Minister of Finance, Financial Service and Economic & Fiscal PolicyYosano Kaoru (LDP- potential PM candidate)

"I am not thinking anything about it."

That last quotation would almost certainly be a lie, except that Yosano probably really does not have a single waking minute to consecrate to political gamesmanship. The guy is holding down all three main economic ministerial posts at once.

* To emphasize his point, Masuzoe said "Too Late" in English.

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