Japan from the inside out

Does a lower house election loom?

Posted by ampontan on Wednesday, September 8, 2010

OPPOSITION PARTIES in the parliamentary form of government must remain alert for signs that the ruling party will steal a march by unexpectedly dissolving the primary legislative body and calling a snap election. That’s doubly important for smaller opposition parties trying to establish themselves and grow.

Your Party now holds five seats in the lower house of the Diet, but has an ambitious plan to field a slate of 100 candidates in the next election. Whenever that election might be, they have to recruit the candidates, so for them the timing of that election is critical. Party President Watanabe Yoshimi thinks one might be coming soon rather than late:

Will the aimless Prime Minister Kan Naoto win (the DPJ party presidential election), or will it be the out-of-control former Secretary-General Ozawa Ichiro? Whoever wins, we must consider the possibility that the lower house will be dissolved.

His cryptic take on the current status of the race also shows a taste for invective:

In the race between the villain and the hypocrite, some people think the villain will win.

He means Ozawa Ichiro. I think. Both men are hypocrites, but Mr. Ozawa is generally assumed to have the blacker heart.

Sub-national governmental elections will be held throughout the country next spring, and others have brought up the possibility of a joint election with the lower house at that time.

Speaking of terms of endearment for Ozawa Ichiro, television producer-turned-commentator Terii Ito said on a morning TV program this week that Mr. Ozawa gives him the creeps (kimochi ga warui).

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Ito, here’s what he looks like when he appears on TV.


Your Party Secretary-General Eda Kenji, who founded the group with Mr. Watanabe, has a post on his blog that passes along a story about Mr. Ozawa.

It came from a politician he says was a very close Ozawa associate. One day, the politician went to visit Mr. Ozawa at home to offer him some encouragement. He took four other politicians with him who were known for keeping their distance from the man.

One of Mr. Ozawa’s aides met them in the front yard and asked them to wait. They did so for an hour. They were finally taken in through the kitchen and ushered to a room that looked as if it belonged to a maid. They waited there another hour. Finally, the aide returned and told them, “You will not be able to meet Mr. Ozawa today.”

The politican, humiliated in front of the others, has no idea why he was treated that way. Needless to say, he is no longer an Ozawa associate.

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