1. Yukiko Kada, Governor of Shiga Prefecture, is Ozawa’s new party’s Representrative. According to the Asahi Shimbun, Testunari Iida, a nuclear engineer turned environmental activist, is Acting Representative. Three members of the just-dissolved House of Representatives have been appointged as Deputy Representatives: Maskao Mori, Ozawa’s hatchet woman, agricultural enthusiast Masahiko Yamada, who left the DPJ over the Noda administration’s support for the TPP negotiations, and Tomoko Abe, who left what remains of the old Socialist Party after what appears to be longstanding personality clash with its radicalish leader Mizuho Fukushima. The Director-General office, which typically handles the finances of a party and the selection of its electoral candidates, is being left vacant.
2. In a joint conversation open to the press between Kada and Ozawa, Kada made it clear that it was all Ozawa’s idea, and that Ozawa did all the courting.
Point 1 says that Ozawa is making a full-court press for the women vote by putting three out of five leadership positions in female hands. He knows that women consistently value safety issues (including the restart of nuclear power plants) more highly than men. He also makes it clear that he’s the one in charge by leaving the SG position vacant while he himself remains a party member without portfolio.
Now, I’d like to think that the Japanese public is smart enough to see through this ruse and reject the Nihon no Mirai Tou outright or be reassured that he’s the one in charge and vote for his latest concoction. One or the other. But, as we see in Point 2, Ozawa had to drag Kada out and make sure that everyone knew that he was the boss, as if to make sure that nobody would be so stupid or inattentive as to miss the point.
Or so I thought. I appear to be wrong; this Asahi report claims that it was staged at the instigation of Kada’s entourage. If so, that distinguished Japanese political scientist may have been overly charitable to her.