Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Osaka City Shuffle

In May of last year I published a somewhat weak piece on Hashimoto Toru  at The New York Times's Latitude blog. I was trying to fathom what, other than narcissistic blindness, could have prompted Hashimoto to start talking about sex and war. My conclusion, such as it was, was that Hashimoto could not accept being outside the spotlight, the political appeal of his party and his political insurgency fading. So he just ran off at the mouth until nobody could ignore him anymore.

It seems that this aspect of his character, the need to have folks talking about him, has prompted his latest, expensive, pointless act:
Firebrand Osaka Mayor Calls It Quits, to Seek Re-election

His days as Japan's rising political star may be over, but you can still count on Toru Hashimoto to cause a stir...and do a lot of talking.

Osaka's firebrand mayor officially announced his resignation Monday to seek reelection in a perplexing move he described was necessary to break the political logjam hindering one of his key policy goals.

As for "and to do a lot of talking" he certainly did do that -- as the Martin post notes, the Hashimoto press conference lasted longer than the supposedly eternal Chris Christie press GW bridge conference. Hashimoto also managed to churn out a blizzard of over 60 Twitter tweets -- after having said nada via his favorite social media platform since January 18.

He loves to explain himself...or at least feels he has a lot of explaining to do.

Hashimoto seems on the fast train back to television, following in the footsteps of his fellow talent-turned politician and until recently fellow party member Higashikokubaru Hideo.

Perhaps the pair will hook up to form a manzai comedy duo.

Two politicians of the last quarter have bucked the system, relying on public theater as an alternative pathways to political office and power: Koizumi Jun'ichiro and Hashimoto Toru. Unlike Koizumi, Hashimoto seems determined to leave office never having actually done anything.

Later - Back on Twitter this morning Hashimoto is revisiting the controversy of last May over his remarks regarding the comfort womens/sexual slaves of the Japan Imperial Forces. According to the recently resigned mayor, the world's treatment of him and Japan is unfair (anfea).

Clearly he has no friend able to take his shoulder, look him in the face and say, "Hashimoto-san. For your own good, put the phone down."

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