Thursday, September 28, 2006

Odds and Ends of the Abe Administration 2

Of the 22 senior vice ministers, two were appointed from the Upper House and the rest from the Lower House. The two Upper House members are in their second (six-year) term, and all but one of the Lower House senior vice ministers are survivors of four elections. Twenty are LDP members and the remaining two come from Komeito. This finely calibrated attention to political customs and mores (the Tanigaki faction, shut out from the cabinet, managed to gain just ne senior vice minister's post) contrasts with the Koizumi adminstration, where former ministers could be recruited to serve in sensitive posts. Back to business as usual in this respect.

The big surprise here is the one exception to the rule, the first-term Lower House member who vhas been exalted to one of the two, high-profile Ministry of Foreign Affairs vice minister posts. Even more astonishing is the fact that both MOFA vice ministers belong to the Kono faction, which the only Koizumi holdover MOFA minister Aso has just taken over as chairman. Mr. Aso is definitely getting the red carpet treatment. In a cabinet that is short on heavyweights, Mr. Aso stands out starkly as first among equals.

I can find little of interest at the more junior parliamentary secretary level. Two of the three Komeito secretaries are Soka University graduates. (One of the three Komeito senior vice ministers went to a Soka U. graduate school.) It looks like Soka University is establishing itself as the breeding grounds for the Komeito leadership. Thus, the sun rose from the east.


驚くべきことがあるとすれば、とりわけ目立つポストである外務副大臣2名の一方に一期目の新人衆議院議員が抜擢されたことでしょう。しかも、もっと驚くべきことに、両外務副大臣が、ただ一人小泉内閣から留任した麻生外務大臣が会長になったばかりの河野派から選ばれたのです。麻生氏は、明らかに特別待遇を受けています。麻生氏は、これといった重鎮に乏しい内閣にあって、first among equals、一頭地を抜く存在です。


No comments: