Mr. Sasagawa seems to be just the kind of inoffensive, long-serving chap that you want for the GC Chair. A septuagenarian like Mr. Fukuda, he is something of a social progressive; he favors allowing both spouses to keep their pre-marriage surnames and generally supports legislation upholding women's rights. He also thinks teenagers should be allowed to ride motorcycles. He also favors normalization of relations with North Korea, a dead giveaway of a liberal outlook on foreign policy. His permissiveness extends to grown-up men, where he was instrumental in bringing back 11 penitent Post Office privatization rebels back into the LDP fold. (Note that 10 of the 11 Lower House members were men.) So all this meant that the following thought of his on the collapse of the financial bailout bill in the U.S. Congress came as a great surprise to this blog:
”The House Speaker is a woman. I think it’s a little different than a man, her leadership. That’s why it fell apart.”In his defense, he does not spare himself, for the richest member of the Diet—we know that because disclosure rules allow us to satisfy our curiosity—went on to say:
”We should make it tax-free when young people buy stocks. It is not appropriate to make it tax-free in the case of old people who have money.”It’s been an eventful day for me already, and I have many more things to think over, find workarounds, etc. before I can go to what I believe to be my just, heavenly, reward—dinner with an American friend that I haven’t seen for years and her colleague. In the meantime, in this the most cloudy of days, I shall enjoy the little ray of sunshine that Mr. Sasagawa has interjected. Thank you, Mr. Sasagawa.