The plant party
Posted by ampontan on Saturday, August 13, 2011
THE Nagata-cho Deep Throat column in the 13 August edition of the weekly Shukan Gendai reports that Prime Minister Kan Naoto spoke at a meeting with the bureaucrats from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in late July and said the following:
By all means, I will see through the cleanup of the nuclear accident and the recovery. I also want to form a new political party. It will be called the Plant Party. (植物党)
That story’s got to be true if only because no one would dare make something like that up and try to fob it off on anybody. One staff member in the Kantei said no one had any idea what the Plant Party was about, but suggested the concept might be based on coexistence with nature and sustainable energy.
The anonymous author of the column (there are probably several) speculated that Mr. Kan was spinning a scenario in which he would leave the DPJ after they ousted him from the party presidency and supported a successful no-confidence motion to remove him from the premiership. The idea seems to be that he would then dissolve the Diet and call a general election. Mr. Kan assumed he would have to form a new party because the DPJ might not officially support him in that election.
One DPJ Diet member affiliated with the Hatoyama group told the magazine the following:
The prime minister has recently immersed himself in the books of environmental activist C.W. Nicol (originally Welsh but now a Japanese citizen). He’s also been spending a lot of time talking to Tama University Professor Tasaka Hiroshi, a Cabinet Secretariat advisor who is somehow involved with religion. The idea for a Plant Party probably came from that.
The columnist concludes the article by suggesting that the prime minister’s animal instincts function only during a political crisis when his position is at stake.
I’ve been comparing Kan Naoto with Barack Obama lately, but perhaps Al Gore is the better comp after factoring in the element of the whacked-out sidewalk preacher warning that the end of the world is nigh.
If anyone thought I was off base with The Barstool Philosopher post, maybe it’s time you thought again.
Incidentally, Prof. Tasaka’s academic specialty is something called social entrepreneurship, and I’m sure you can identify the contours of that UFO long before it enters earth orbit. A social entrepreneur is defined on the Web as “someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change…(they) assess their success in terms of the impact they have on society. While social entrepreneurs often work through nonprofits and citizen groups, many work in the private and governmental sectors.”
Yes, he has a blog. Yes, I looked at it. Wild horses couldn’t have dragged me away.
Prof. Tasaka likes to write in short sentences that he probably thinks are poetic. I translated one of his entries and kept as many of the original line breaks as possible.
On the evening of 27 March
A turning point came in my life.
The Fukushima nuclear accident
Was caused by the Tohoku earthquake.
I was asked to give advice to the government
As a nuclear power specialist, for measures to deal with the accident.
When I received the prime minister’s request to be an advisor to the Cabinet Secretariat
What I heard, as always
Was “The Voice of Heaven”.
If that doesn’t go a long way toward explaining the dysfunction of the Kan Cabinet and their inability to get cracking on the Tohoku cleanup, you can dip me in chocolate and feed me to the hyenas.
And speaking of plants, where are all those killer tomatoes now that we really need them?