In an obviously calculated attempt to avoid being blamed for causing this blogger to flip his wig, the authorities have decided to translate Shinzo Abe's "美しい星50 Utsukushii Hoshi 50 (Beautiful Star 50; my translation)" as "Cool Earth 50", no doubt plagiarized from my New Earth 21 (in turn an homage to Gene Wolfe's The New Sun).
2050… If nothing, it's clear that Mr. Abe intends to remain in power well beyond the July elections.
Incidentally, everybody is ready to write off Mr. Abe, what with his poll numbers coming to resemble President Bush's. So let's say the LDP-Komeito coalition falls a few seats short, even after bringing in, as they usually do, a couple of "unendorsed" conservative winners. If Mr. Abe works up the nerve to ditch Big Nakagawa, the Secretary-General, then Shizuka Kamei, with his Kokumin Shinto posse, would find it hard to resist a plea from the very sympathetic sitting prime minister.
Mr. Kamei has been coy recently, batting his eyelashes to all and sundry. But think about it: which would you prefer if you were Mr. Kamei; being a very junior member of the opposition, hoping that Upper House troubles will force the coalition to call a general election for the Lower House and take your chances, or bargaining with the LDP to maximize the price for helping them maintain control?
Actually, for Mr. Abe, steeling himself for making Big Nakagawa fall on his sword shouldn't be that hard to do. He did it himself in 2004.
And the economy really looks good, as far as the July elections are concerned, so that puts a floor on the downside for the coalition.