Tuesday, August 31, 2010

”It’s My Party”

At least that’s the impression I get from Yukio Hatoyama’s “troika” efforts that look likely to result in a brokered power-sharing deal between Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Ichiro Ozawa, Yukio Hatyama, and upper house don and fourth tricycle wheel Azuma Koshiishi--before the election. Does Hatoyama (and Kan? Really?) think that it’s that important to abandon any pretense that it’s about policy to prevent Ozawa from taking at most four, five dozen Diet members—a Japan scholar whom I very much respect is willing to take the under in an over-under 20—with him into the wilderness when the DPJ doesn’t have an upper house majority or a lower house supermajority in the first place? I hope against hope that it won’t turn out exactly like what it appears to be: the three (four?) self-appointed founding fathers—they’re 63, 68, 63, and 74 years old respectively, for Christ’s sake—abandoning any pretence of policy differences and getting together to stave off the brave new world for at least another election cycle. But let’s wait and see what Kan and Ozawa have to talk about.

BYW I wonder if Hatoyama and his pals throwing the “troika” word around know exactly where the troika reference initially came from. That’s not all. The term, you may recall, more recently graced the popular political lexicon specifically to describe a certain power-sharing arrangement between Georgy Molotov, Laverntyi Beria, and Vyacheslav Malenkov. And we all know how that one turned out.

(Confession: I’ve been calling a brokered deal, but one before the actual election will be professionally inconvenient.)

Incidentally, the Japanese rendering of troika (トロイカ=toroika) can also mean something else. And I’m not talking about fatty squid. Just sayin’.


PaxAmericana said...


Perhaps you can comment on the speculation about Ozawa and most of the LDP, along with some other stray elements, combining to form a temporary government. One argument that seems to be put forth is that the existing nejirekokkai can't really last that long as the likely opposition demand for any support is an early election.

By the way, what is your prediction for a final tally in an Ozawa-Kan race?

Jun Okumura said...

Paxy: I have no idea what the finally tally, if the election actually happens, will be. It’s just that Ozawa comes with too many negatives for the DPJ that I can’t believe that he’ll pick up many fence-sitters or enough non-Diet votes to eat into a Diet member deficit that he can make it over the top.

I don’t believe that Ozawa can carry enough Diet members out of the DPJ to form a majority in the lower house nor that there will be nearly enough LDP lower house members who cannot hold onto their cards until a more palatable suitor arrives. But I’m really just speculating here.

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