And I promise to get back to those writing proposals of mine as soon as I can. Sorry, GD, NF.
Mark: Sadly for those of us who need a major Japanese politic theater fix, given the huge DPJ victory in the 2007 HOC election, nothing short of a miracle will give the LDP-Komeito coalition an HOC majority in the 2010 election. That being said, the main bumps on the road so far:
Minister of State for Postal Reform Shizuka Kamei’s turf fight with MIAC Minister Kazuhiro Haraguti, as Haraguti dares to opine on the future of Japan Post, an institution over which he, as MIAC Minister has formal jurisdiction and knows inside out.There may be more, but I think that’s enough. I have no idea if these are portents of things to come—in which case the whole of the Hatoyama Cabinet will be much smaller than its parts—or merely a shakedown process of an untested policy vehicle that will soon hit its stride.
Minister of State for Financial Services Kamei’s turf fight with MOF Minister Hirohisa, as Fujii expressesd reservations over Kamei’s 3-year moratorium for bank loans to small and medium enterprises. The MOF Minister has partial or total jurisdiction over all financial Japangos, and will have to cough up the fiscal resources necessary to compensate the banks in the event the Hatoyama administration decides to implement the PNP proposal.
PNP leader and representative for the Intra-Cabinet Party-Leader Trilateral Shizuka Kamei’s verbal jousting with MOF Minister Hirohisa over the DPJ’s promise for an across-the-board child allowance. Kamei wants to set an income ceiling, so as not to benefit the wealthy…
…do I see a pattern emerging?
BTW, in the last endeavor, Kamei is joined by:
SDP leader and representative for the Intra-Cabinet Party-Leader Trilateral—as well as Minister of State for Social Affairs—Mizuho Fukushima.
Speaking of the Intra-Cabinet Party-Leader Trilateral, the third party will not always be the Prime Minister. In fact, the DPJ participant is more often than not likely to be Naoto Kan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for National Strategy, who happens to be p!ssed off (if media reports are to be believed) because his DPJ policy base has been kicked out from under his other foot as Ichiro Ozawa (and Hatoyama) abruptly decided to abolish the DPJ Policy Research Council—not a bad decision per se, considering the new setup replacing it that will potentially tighten the hold of the Cabinet over the policymaking process. (Here, I disagree with some of the MSM thinking on this measure.) The idea (again according to media reports) was to have Kan assume the PRC Chair, which would have made him the Policy Czar, the double-headed eagle as far as substance was concerned.
MLIT Minister Seiji Maehara’s public works woes assumed as the consequence of including the cancellation of the Yanba Dam construction, in Maehara’s words “because it’s in our manifest” (in my view carelessly inserted), as well as JAL’s business woes precipitously dumped in his lap. I didn’t see these two coming, and neither of these lend themselves to easy solution. Yanba Dam reminds me of Tokyo Governor Yukio Aoshima’s fulfillment of his campaign promise to shut down the Tokyo Expo—a very unpleasant precedent for the past and future DPJ would-be-king.
Stay tuned, folks.