Friday, August 13, 2010

Kan Looks More Like a Survivor with Every Passing Day

There’s exactly one month to go before the DPJ presidential election, which perforce determines Japan’s prime minister and Banri Kaieda, a 61 year old moderately famous freelance economist turned politician who never made his way into the DPJ’s top leadership circles, is the only one who appears to be actively looking to challenge Naoto Kan. And that, only if he can manage to secure Ichiro Ozawa’s blessing. Ozawa capo Kenji Yamaoka is trying to whip up anti-Kan sentiment in the DPJ, particularly among the vulnerable lower house rookies, but is not securing too many followers. No one moves until Ozawa moves. Meanwhile, Kan has been keeping a low profile, and making nice with the opposition to the point of near-obsequiousness. The media does like this, but it keeps the own goals at a minimum. And the Japanese electorate has little stomach for a new administration or, heaven forbid, a snap election.

Go figure.

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