Friday, December 18, 2009
The Hatoyama Cabinet Has Good B Team
Based on what I’ve seen and heard, I’d say that Defense Minister Hiromi Kitazawa, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kazuhiro Haraguti (sic), and Economy, Trade and Industry and Minister Masayuki Naoshima have been doing credible jobs of managing their portfolios. Of course the media has generally seen Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii as a steady hand, a welcome contrast to Ozawa, Hatoyama and other more flamboyant headline makers. In fact, it is interesting to me that the top-tier leadership has been found wanting (some more than others) while these second-tier players have flourished. It’s a good reminder that the desirable skill sets for running for office and managing the office are two different things. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ozawa tabbed Haraguti as Hatoyama’s replacement, if it came to that. For Haraguti has something that the other three cabinet members that I mentioned favorably don’t: good relations with Ozawa.