My Global Friends are worried that the Japanese government does not have a defense policy for UFOs. Well, it won’t be that way for long, since our Minister of Defense, the otakuesque Shigeru Ishiba, is looking into the matter, according to the English version of the Yomiuri. Good for him. What the Yomiuri is hiding from Ambassador Shieffer and the rest of the now Japanese-hand-less Bush administration is that Toshihiro Nikai, Chairman of the LDP General Council, wants to put a stop to it, and is telling the government to lay off the aliens*.
* The two-faced Yomiuri has no qualms about telling its Japanese readers. Clearly, our government wants to shirk its mutual defense responsibilities and hide the fact from its allies. Now don’t you wish you still had Michael Green in the White House to give the real dope to President Bush? (That’s a rhetorical question, okay, You-Know-Who-You-Are?)
But what do you mean, Mr. Nikai, “There are many other important things to do in politics”? Isn’t saving the planet important enough for you? Or are you tired of hugging all those pandas? What next, a monument to Ming the Merciless in every prefecture?
Of course the Fukuda Cabinet has not crumpled under all the political pressure and collectively gone bonkers. After each of the twice-weekly Cabinet meetings, the Ministers brief their respective kisha clubs, the gaggle of reporters assigned by the media**. At some point, someone brings the matter up; asks a silly question, gets a silly answer. And generates a Japan-is-weird story.
Mr. Nikai was complaining to the wrong people, if anything.
** The Prime Minister handles his assigned reporters on the fly under the more informal in-the-corridors burasagari format.