Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Connecting the Dots in My Comments on Mrs. Obuchi’s Downfall

Every LDP politician with seniority over her ... probably hates her guts

Japanese academic Jun Okumura, on Yuko Obuchi, who has resigned from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet

The question (more or less):
Do you think rightwing members of the LDP who think that all that stuff about promoting women is rubbish and their proper place is in the home are happy to see Mrs. Obuchi’s downfall?

My answer:
No. But, every LDP Diet member with seniority over her but have yet to serve as a cabinet minister probably hates her guts—except those in her faction, which currently has no other Diet member seen as potential prime minister material, at least as far as I can see.

1. In retrospect, “every” LDP member is an exaggeration, and “hates her guts” is on average probably too strong; she’s very personable. And I should have said “Lower House,” since the LDP Diet members compete for cabinet assignments only within the respective Houses. But you see my point. To a politician, it’s not about “women,” it’s not about “her,” it’s about “me.”
2. By “seniority,” I mean the number of times the Diet member has been elected, not biological age. Each House of Councillors (Upper House) election is roughly equal to two House of Representatives (Lower House) elections.
3. All of that goes out the window if it takes going against the grain to stay in power and, more importantly, get yourself reelected. If need be, everyone will happily to let, say, Koizumi Jr. lead the way.

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