Monday, July 2, 2012

Ozawa Splits

courtesy of  ian smith3
from Flickr
Monday July 2, 9:34 a.m.

Saw the news that I'd been expecting to happen all week. Actually, my student, Mr. Moriya, informed me a little over 24 hours earlier during our biweekly Skype lesson.

That wily political fox, Ichiro Ozawa, has decided to part ways from the governing Democratic Party of Japan along with 49 other rebels after disagreeing with PM Noda's plan to double the consumption tax rate over the next few years.

Not that it's a huge surprise. Ozawa is known by a number of nicknames in Parliament...a few of which are probably unprintable...but The Don and The Kingpin are two of them. The one that sticks out to me is The Destroyer since he's pulled this stunt before whenever he disagrees with some sort of party policy (no matter which party he has been allied with); just ups and leaves like some spiteful kid does when he leaves the sandbox with all of his toys. I think he's split more times than an especially randy amoeba.

The sticking point that finally "made"Ozawa split with the DPJ is that Noda was able to get that bill about the consumption tax rise passed last week. The DPJ had come to power a few years back after decades of Liberal Democratic Party rule with this Manifesto (kinda like what the United Nations had envisioned for itself and the planet in postwar euphoria), part of which was that the consumption tax would never rise under its aegis. Then, the very first DPJ Prime Minister, Hatoyama, turned out to be an ineffectual leader and it was pretty much downhill from there.

I have a number of impressions about Ichiro Ozawa, but altruism is not one of them. It's all a power game for him....the thrill of creating trouble if he doesn't get his way. I can probably add another nickname...that of Loki (yeah, yeah, I like my Marvel characters). He's still probably riding high from the fact that he was able to miss another legal bullet by not being convicted yet again for alleged election violations....for which I would call him Japan's Teflon Don. And a lot of people had ridden off even earlier when he supposedly got terribly sick a few years back. But the Kingpin (yep, Marvel again) is back....making headlines and ensuring his legend while he sends the Japanese Parliament into further turmoil and disillusioning the Japanese public. Shou ga nai.