Sixty or so members out of the ninety-five on the losing side of the DPJ leadership election, including Katsuya Okada himself, held a party on the day after. This sparked media hopes for a friends-of-Okada alliance in the making. Maybe, maybe not; the new party leader Yukio Hatoyama’s call on South Korean President Lee Myung-bak says not.
The key members of Hatoyama’s South Korea entourage are Seiji Maehara and Akihisa Nagashima. Ex-party leader Maehara, you may recall, is a pro-U.S. member of the bipartisan defense tribe, and Nagashima is even further to the right where national security is concerned. Thus, Hatoyama would have had a hard time picking better companions in paying respects to President Lee, the conservative Kim Jong Il nemesis who has done much to repair strained relations with South Korea’s Western allies. More significant from a domestic perspective, Maehara was one of the principals of the anti-Ozawa movement that supported Okada in the DPJ election, and Nagashima one of his closer allies.
Teamwork may be essential to winning, but the Hatoyama-Maehara(-Nagashima) package tour shows that it works the other way around too.