Monday, September 21, 2009

Shakedown, or… Shakedown? The First Days of the Coalition

The following is my response to Mark’s comment here. Personal circumstances have forced me to neglect my self-assumed obligation to people who comment on my blog. I’ll cover them all in due course, but now that I have a little more time (for today at least), I’ve decided to adopt the LIFO principle for my backlog. (Sorry, Matt, etc.)

And I promise to get back to those writing proposals of mine as soon as I can. Sorry, GD, NF.

Mark: Sadly for those of us who need a major Japanese politic theater fix, given the huge DPJ victory in the 2007 HOC election, nothing short of a miracle will give the LDP-Komeito coalition an HOC majority in the 2010 election. That being said, the main bumps on the road so far:
Minister of State for Postal Reform Shizuka Kamei’s turf fight with MIAC Minister Kazuhiro Haraguti, as Haraguti dares to opine on the future of Japan Post, an institution over which he, as MIAC Minister has formal jurisdiction and knows inside out.

Minister of State for Financial Services Kamei’s turf fight with MOF Minister Hirohisa, as Fujii expressesd reservations over Kamei’s 3-year moratorium for bank loans to small and medium enterprises. The MOF Minister has partial or total jurisdiction over all financial Japangos, and will have to cough up the fiscal resources necessary to compensate the banks in the event the Hatoyama administration decides to implement the PNP proposal.

PNP leader and representative for the Intra-Cabinet Party-Leader Trilateral Shizuka Kamei’s verbal jousting with MOF Minister Hirohisa over the DPJ’s promise for an across-the-board child allowance. Kamei wants to set an income ceiling, so as not to benefit the wealthy…

…do I see a pattern emerging?

BTW, in the last endeavor, Kamei is joined by:

SDP leader and representative for the Intra-Cabinet Party-Leader Trilateral—as well as Minister of State for Social Affairs—Mizuho Fukushima.

Speaking of the Intra-Cabinet Party-Leader Trilateral, the third party will not always be the Prime Minister. In fact, the DPJ participant is more often than not likely to be Naoto Kan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for National Strategy, who happens to be p!ssed off (if media reports are to be believed) because his DPJ policy base has been kicked out from under his other foot as Ichiro Ozawa (and Hatoyama) abruptly decided to abolish the DPJ Policy Research Council—not a bad decision per se, considering the new setup replacing it that will potentially tighten the hold of the Cabinet over the policymaking process. (Here, I disagree with some of the MSM thinking on this measure.) The idea (again according to media reports) was to have Kan assume the PRC Chair, which would have made him the Policy Czar, the double-headed eagle as far as substance was concerned.

MLIT Minister Seiji Maehara’s public works woes assumed as the consequence of including the cancellation of the Yanba Dam construction, in Maehara’s words “because it’s in our manifest” (in my view carelessly inserted), as well as JAL’s business woes precipitously dumped in his lap. I didn’t see these two coming, and neither of these lend themselves to easy solution. Yanba Dam reminds me of Tokyo Governor Yukio Aoshima’s fulfillment of his campaign promise to shut down the Tokyo Expo—a very unpleasant precedent for the past and future DPJ would-be-king.
There may be more, but I think that’s enough. I have no idea if these are portents of things to come—in which case the whole of the Hatoyama Cabinet will be much smaller than its parts—or merely a shakedown process of an untested policy vehicle that will soon hit its stride.

Stay tuned, folks.


Mark said...

Let me help you with that miracle.

Hatoyama should give a speech at Yasukuni while drunk in which he mispronounces at least 40 words, beating the record set by Nakagawa and he proclaims Japan to be a divine nation of one race tricked into World War II by Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Chiang Kai-Shek, a country that needs to privatize Japan Post and doesn't need to hear anything else about that stupid piece of fiction known as the Nanking Massacre and
doesn't need any damn immigrants who would only commit crimes
though it does need rich Jews which Japan needs so it can achieve global domination
which is possible because it doesn't have blond hair and blue eyes and so it can be trusted in the Middle East though global domination may be hard given that
Japan has doctors who lack common sense, a cancerous teacher's union,
stupid residents near Narita airport who block progress, young men who rape women, though at least that proves that young Japanese men are still vigorous and anyways that problem can be fixed if only Japan beheads the parent's of the perpetrators,
and it also has corrupt politicians, but really, to ask for honesty and purity from politicians is like asking for fish at a vegetable store, though I did hear that they sell mackerel at a vegetable store in Shimane and on second thought Japan should not privatize Japan Post (burete imasen) and one more thing, we just lost the pension records of another 60 million people and without a doubt, the use of atomic bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima...shouganai.

If Hatoyama were to do I as advice, I am sure the miracle can be achieved.

Ganbare, Hatoyama!

Jun Okumura said...

Well, keep on praying, Mark. You never now.

Mark said...

I will. By the way, am I the only one here who think that America and Europe is doing everything it can to plunge Latin America into civil war? Hugo Chavez must be careful.

Mark said...

Holy crap. You weren't kidding about now. I hope this works.

Anonymous said...

We are still staying tuned. When does normal programming resume?