Thursday, July 16, 2009

Events, My Friends, Events

Former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Nakagawa Hidenao has made good on his threats and submitted a list of 133 LDP Diet members supporting an immediate general party meeting in order to discuss the replacement of party president and Prime Minister Asō Tarō with a more attractive party standard bearer. Nakagawa needed to collect the signatures of 1/3 of all party members of the Diet to force a general meeting. Since that numbers would be 128 signatures, he seems to put together the votes necessary to force a very public humiliation of Asō.

If the Asō were a currency, Japan would be calling in the IMF.

Later - Tobias Harris has the analysis, with a link to "The List" of the 133 malcontents, one of whom is former Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Hatoyama Kunio. Just five weeks ago Hatoyama was Asō's Best Friend Forever, the guy who had sat next to Asō in the party general meeting that elected Asō president.

Cold, cold, cold is the embrace of failure.


Tobias Samuel Harris said...

I also found it interesting how many Abe regime veterans were on the list. Aside from Nakagawa and Shiozaki, I also noticed Omi Koji and Seko Hiroshige (and of course Koike Yuriko).

No honor among thieves, or something like that.

wataru said...

But, several of those who signed are asking to have their names removed, because they feel they were duped into an anti-Aso plot when they only intended to ask for "dialog." And if they do call a meeting, it will be televised for all to see, further dragging down the party image as they squabble in public.

Jan Moren said...

My take is basically that at least some of the petitioners are not looking to salvage the election at all. They don't think a change of PM candidate can really help.

What they're doing here is positioning themselves for the post-election Night of the Long Knives within the LDP. They're looking to be on the winning side when blame is dished out and control of the future LDP is determined.

MTC said...

Wataru Tenga -

Yes, yes and for such as these being a dupe is better than being a rebel. T'is a great campaign slogan, "I was dumb enough to sign my name to a petition I did not understand, and when confronted with the consequences, lacked the dignity to accept responsibility for what I had done. Vote for me."

On the other hand, think of the economic opportunities currently avaiable for those willing to sell their honor. Every name coming off or going on can do so at a price, as long as the total number of names oscillates about the 128 names point.

Yes, it will be the finest of spectacles...and great for the image of the party.

Anonymous said...

I am interested though. What say you if Masuzoe is selected as Prez/PM? I mean, it worked last time right? Why not again?

This thought strikes fear into my heart, btw.

wataru said...

Unless there is some dramatic development in the next day or two, it looks like the LDP is going to go down with Aso still at the helm. When they lose the election and Aso resigns as party head, then people like Masuzoe, Koike Yuriko, Noda Seiko et al can vie for the honor of becoming opposition leader. I don't fear Masuzoe all that much, though, because I don't think he has strong nationwide appeal. Besides, replacing Aso at this point would be seen by most as the last futile gesture of a sinking party.

Jan Moren said...

I do understand Aso, though. After all, if your active career is over in either case, would you rather be remembered as "Last Prime Minister of the LDP" or as "Forgettable Nobody #4"?

Anonymous said...

It also gives a certain symmetry to things, given he's the grandson of Yoshida. Great for retrospective articles.