An indiscretion too far

Under pressure from his own constituents, Defense Minister Kyuma offered his resignation to Prime Minister Abe, who accepted.

Asahi reports that he told reporters that his reasoning was based on fears that he would influence the Upper House elections.

His tenure as Japan’s last JDA director-general and the first defense minister was marked by ill-considered public remarks, so it is altogether fitting that he has been brought low for violating the taboo of taboos, this after comments that publicly questioned the US war in Iraq (breaking with government policy of supporting the US rhetorically one-hundred percent) and suggested a reconsideration of the three principles on arms exports, one of the pillars of Japanese security policy.

While he may be out of the way for the Upper House campaign, I wonder if voters in his Nagasaki district will remember his comments the next time a Lower House election rolls around.

Meanwhile, I stand by what I wrote earlier — whatever the political impact of Kyuma’s remarks, they, and the response to them, have been revealing.

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