I’ve finally found time to watch the September 12 press conference following the formal launch of the Japan Restoration Party. Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, as party chief, is his usual aggressive, obsessive, recursive, self. Sound bites? More like sound wall.* Ichiro Matsui, his JRP deputy and Osaka Governor, almost always speaking after Hashimoto, half looking at him, comes across as steady, practical, down-to-earth. I’m probably not the only person who’s thinking, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. They’re inventing a national political party on the fly, on the cheap, and this counterbalance is a good thing if you’re a JRP supporter. They’ll need it, too, because they’re a little short on polish right now. Most of the crowd left the party once Hashimoto made his speech, prompting the top guest speaker Hiroshi Nakata, a former Yokohama mayor with a considerable national following of his own, to quip, ”It looks like the party is over.” Someone needs to make sure that the trains run on time, and it looks like Matsui is the one who is going to be tasked with the job.
* This trait carries over to his tweets. One September 10 series on regarding the media response to the JRP’s open-access policy discussion the day before ran to 1,904 characters. (forgot this footnote the first time around. Sept. 14)