Japan from the inside out

No surprise

Posted by ampontan on Sunday, March 13, 2011

HERE’S a quick quiz for those familiar with the people in Japanese politics: If you had to guess which politician would be the first to break ranks and try to turn recent events to their party’s advantage, who do you think it would be?

Did you say Fukushima Mizuho of the Social Democrats? Got it in one!

She chaired a meeting of her party–in an office, though they could have used an airport limousine bus–and took the opportunity to complain about the government’s information management. Her party is the standard-bearer for Japan’s loony left, so of course they detest nuclear power. She complained about that, too, even as people were putting their lives on the line in Fukushima Prefecture (no relation) to bring the problems with the nuclear plants there under control. Her complaint amounted to: We told you so! She plans to make an issue of it.

There was one benefit to watching the brief film clip on TV. One couldn’t help laughing to see her dressed in work coveralls. If she’s going to zip them up to her neck, she probably shouldn’t have worn that designer outfit underneath. It looked awfully lumpy.

To give you an idea of the tilt of her gyroscope, she complained last week that the Kan Cabinet idea to raise taxes was evidence that it was “neo-liberal” and Koizumian.

Meanwhile, LDP head Tanigaki Sadakazu said that while there’s a lot they don’t like about the DPJ budget, his party is willing to be flexible on their demands to facilitate the recovery. Some in the party want the government to divert the funds for the child stipend to relief efforts and infrastructure repair. The government will convene a special committee tonight to hammer out a policy to handle fund allocation.

In other news, Prime Minister Kan appointed reform minister Ren Ho to be in charge of the effort to save energy, with rolling blackouts to start tomorrow. That’s reasonable, considering she’s a TV announcer/model turned politician. Her job will be to appear before the public and urge them to cut consumption to a minimum.

Mr. Kan also appointed unaffiliated MP Tsujimoto Kiyomi to be his aide in charge of coordinating volunteer efforts. That makes sense from one perspective, considering her work to create Peace Boat (who are anti-nuclear power too). She’s also probably well-connected to the NGO types.

On the other hand, the It Girl of the hard left once told a reporter in an unguarded moment that she thought her job as a Diet member was to destroy the country. One has to wonder once again what possessed Mr. Kan to make such a personnel choice.

Quick update: Mr. Kan just finished a pep talk to the nation live on television, and he came very close to losing it. Fortunately, he didn’t (as he was praising the people for maintaining their composure), and just as fortunately, he was followed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano Yukio, who quickly restored the equilibrium. The prime minister needs a pep talk more than most of the people in the country. From what I’ve seen the rest of his Cabinet have presented themselves very well.

On another note: There’s a report that more than 300 important cultural treasures (i.e., Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, etc.) were damaged (to an undefined extent) in the earthquake and tsunami.

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3 Responses to “No surprise”

  1. Joe Jones said

    She was just gloating on Twitter about how she persuaded the government to provide a sign language interpreter for disaster update press conferences.

  2. toadold said

    Well my viewpoint is somewhat skewed because I pretty much get my news and viewpoints from conservative sources here in the US, but the anecdotal and polling evidence is pointing toward an increasing animosity toward the “loony left.” They are yelling about major nuclear meltdown in Japan and to date it isn’t even at 3 mile Island status were the fuel rods totally melted down burned through the pressure vessel and caused a total of no casualties what so ever.
    I wonder if the Japanese voter is going to get as weary of them, especially with this ongoing tragedy???
    T: I’ve been busy with other stuff, so I haven’t read as much of the Japanese-language Internet as I’d like, but I have seen other people make exactly the same point you did about Three Mile Island.

    – A.

  3. Marellus said


    Can you give some more info on this “It Girl of the hard left” ? Why does she want to “destroy the country” ?
    M: Try this post. It’s long, and her part isn’t until the end, but perhaps you’ll find it interesting. The DPJ’s incompetence in government was also no surprise.

    – A

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