Sunday, February 22, 2009

When the Cat's Away...

...the mice do play.

This may the most consequential and fascinating week in recent Japanese political history. A variety of political forces, working at cross- and sometimes self-contradictory purposes, will be meeting and plotting in a fury. Members of the LDP will be trying to tear Prime Minister Asō Tarō down. Democrats will be trying to prop him up (he is their greatest vote getter). Former prime ministers will gang up upon each other.

It is a terrible time for Prime Minister Asō Tarō to be away from Tokyo, on a trip to Washington that is, ironically, meant to burnish his image as the country's leader.

He will be far from where the action is, unable to affect or even get a sense of the domestic scene.

Nothing ever goes right for him, does it?

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