Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fleeting Thoughts about Ozawa’s Possible Loss of Control over His Own Fate

57 DPJ members of the House of Representatives—enough to deny the ruling coalition a majority in the lower house if they leave the DPJ en masse—voted against the tax hike bill today. I now suspect that Ozawa will act sooner rather than later regardless of the severity of the sanctions or their timing, not because he really wants to but because many anti-tax hike Diet members will bolt without waiting for him, like nine lower house representatives did in April when the DPJ agreed to let the Noda administration adopt the tax hike. Any more significant and unscheduled defections like that, and his sway over his allies and followers could dwindle rapidly. His hold over his minions has never been as strong as we (myself included) sometimes assume, and the April show of independence was not the first nor last evidence of such. I think this will remind some of Saigo Takamori’s fate. Sometimes, the mikoshi is at the mercy of its bearers. That’s all for now. Back to work.

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