Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Landing On His Feet; Landing On His Face

Proving that in Democratic Party of Japan Leader Noda Yoshihiko's world, failure and ill omens are not a barrier to appointment, Chairman of the Policy Research Council Maehara Seiji on Monday appointed Hachiro Yoshio the head of the PARC's project team researching Japan's possible participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (ja). This comes less than a month after Hachiro's spectacular flameout as Minister of Economics, Trade and Industry following only nine days in office.

That Hachiro has hardly had enough time to think about what went wrong the last time he was appointed to lead the government's efforts regarding the TPP and that he is still, as he was, a bizarre choice for this effort, given his connections to agricultural interests, seems to not be of litle consequence.

What qualities Hachiro possesses that he must be in charge of the DPJ's TPP strategy remain a mystery.

Meanwhile, in the House of Councillors and on the other side of the chamber, Liberal Democratic Party Caucus Leader Nakasone Hirofumi yesterday had to swallow his pride and appoint Koga faction member Mizote Kensei as his new party secretary-general (ja). Nakasone had hoped to appoint Konosuke Yoshitada as the replacement for departing secretary-general Kosaka Kenji. However, his choice of successor was opposed by the Machimura, Koga and Nukaga factions, which have been trying to improve their influence over LDP affairs as a whole.

Accepting Mizote as his deputy represents a significant blow for Nakasone. Whether the new lineup of LDP officers in the upper house means that the LDP will pull back from Nakasone's policy of saying absolutely no to every piece of legislation landing on the upper house's doorstep is now a very good question.

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