Monday, May 11, 2009

Would Ozawa Ichirō Resign to Get Out of a Debate?

Evidently, the answer to the above question is, "Yes."

Japan opposition leader to resign - media

TOKYO, May 11 - Japanese opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa has told his party he will resign, local media said on Monday, after an opinion poll showed a funding scandal involving a close aide was clouding his party's prospects in a looming election...

After putting all and sundry though all manner of rigamarole in order to arrange a true party leader debate on Friday, Ozawa suddenly discovers he is an electoral liability.

Oh well. This works out for the best, I guess. Sleepy Toad of Toad Hollow versus Francisco the Eternal Adolescent was not much of a drawing card, intellectual clash-wise. We will have to get our policy debate jollies from the Sunday shows instead.

As ever, Ozawa shakes up the body politic with his capricious sense of timing. He probably decided he has taken his principle stand far enough -- that nothing more was to be gained from continuing to claim to be the target of a Tokyo Public Prosecutor's Office vendetta. With Ozawa out as leader, the Democratic Party of Japan can recloak itself with the mantle of reform...and the ruling coalition, which had counted upon its new supplementary budget sailing through to passage on the Article 59 Express (only 30 days for a budget bill) will now have an opposition more capable of asking questions about the bill's more prominent tilts toward vote-buying.

Later - LDP Diet Committee Affairs Chairman Ōshima Tadamori remains adamant, insisting that while the party leader debate is postponed, the march toward passage of the supplementary budget bill continues.

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