On the sidelines of the summit this weekend, President Bush and Prime Ministers Howard and Abe held their meetings. Not surprisingly, Mr. Bush reminded Mr. Abe about how important his administration finds Japan’s contribution to the war on terror, with Mr. Abe telling his buddy George that he will do everything in his power to get the law passed to enable the MSDF to continue its participation.
But that’s not all Mr. Abe said, apparently.
Reportedly the prime minister said that he is “staking his job” on the passage of the anti-terror special measures law. To have remained defiant this long only to now offer up his head in connection to a bill that looks increasingly certain to be defeated — it gives a little more credence to Peter Ennis’s report that Mr. Abe may be gone by November, mentioned in this post. Is the prime minister trying to guarantee that the DPJ’s opposition to the law’s renewal will remain implacable? Is he deliberately trying to make his position untenable, intensifying opposition from the DPJ, from within the LDP, and from abroad in the increasingly likely event that he will be unable to deliver on his “solemn vow”?
When he says he’ll give up his job if he can’t get the law passed, does he expect that people will rally to his side, or is Mr. Abe preparing to go out in a blaze of glory, fighting a fight on behalf of the US-Japan alliance that he knows he can’t win, a martyr to the idea of a more assertive Japan?