Getting it wrong about Japan–again
Posted by ampontan on Sunday, September 23, 2007
H.L. MENCKEN once observed that there is no idea so stupid that some college professor won’t believe it. That goes double for professors who are also fellows at foundations and other institutions.
What you are about to read are the words of a paid expert who has no idea what he’s talking about:
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) president Ichiro Ozawa’s success in orchestrating the downfall of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is a major victory for his party. It is also arguably the first time since the resignation of Abe’s grandfather, Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke in 1960, that a prime minister has lost his job over an issue directly related to the U.S.-Japan alliance — perhaps the take-home impression of policymakers in Washington.
Arguably? The only person person making this argument is Mr. Konishi, who might as well be in a room by himself talking to the furniture. Everyone else realizes that the recent election turned on domestic issues.
Perhaps Mr. Konishi was aiming for a rhetorical flourish when he made a connection between the fates of Prime Ministers Kishi and Abe. It does make for a convenient opening paragraph–laughably incorrect, but convenient.
Opinion pieces that stumble so badly at the start at least contain the possibility for more loopy levity to come, but alas, Mr. Konishi shot his wad. The rest of the piece is so vapid you can almost count the air molecules.
The Japan Times notes that Mr. Konishi is a visiting research fellow at the Institute for International Policy Studies. Here’s what they say on their website:
The Institute for International Policy Studies is a non-profit, independent research institute based in Tokyo that examines security, economic, political, environmental, and other concerns in the world with an emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.
The logo at the top of their website offers a small surprise. This Tokyo-based institute that emphasizes the Asia-Pacific region uses a world map centered on Europe, Africa, and the Atlantic Ocean.
But it shouldn’t have been surprising. After all, they’re working with Mr. Konishi.