Hatoyama Kunio’s ridiculous argument

Prime Minister Fukuda and DPJ President Ozawa met this morning in advance of their debate in the Diet that is scheduled for Wednesday. The leaders, Asahi reports, were scheduled to discuss an extension of the Diet session to the end of November and the MSDF refueling mission, just as the MSDF refuels its last coalition warships (for the time being).

I wonder whether the discussion touched on the DPJ’s growing list of potential targets for censure motions — now said to include Mr. Fukuda himself — and the more troubling matter of Justice Minister Hatoyama Kunio’s perplexing admission that a friend of a friend is a member of Al Qaeda, who supposedly provided Mr. Hatoyama with a tip to avoid Bali in October 2002.

Mr. Hatoyama — once described in a Shukan Bunshun article as Mr. Fukuda’s “loyal dog Hachiko” despite his close support of Mr. Aso — was trying to justify plans to implement a system for fingerprinting foreigners upon entering Japan by suggesting that such a system would prevent his friend’s friend from entering Japan.

Is Mr. Hatoyama really so lacking in common sense as to fail to see why the example he used to support this dubious proposition is problematic (to say the least)?

Apparently he has some clue that it was probably the wrong thing to say, as Mr. Hatoyama has apologized for giving the impression that he knows a member of Al Qaeda, claiming that he can’t trust his friend’s information. But will an apology be enough to keep Mr. Hatoyama off the DPJ’s little list? A censure motion against Mr. Hatoyama might actually be appropriate, given his incredible lack of judgment.

If his friend suggested that he knew a member of Al Qaeda, wouldn’t a sitting member of the Diet feel strongly about finding out whether there was any truth to the idea and putting the resources of the Japanese state to work finding and apprehending this person? And if he inquired further and found there was no truth to it, but still said it aloud, doesn’t that show him to have a lack of judgment rendering him unfit to serve as, of all things, minister of justice?

2 thoughts on “Hatoyama Kunio’s ridiculous argument

  1. \”Is Mr. Hatoyama really so lacking in common sense as to fail to see why the example he used to support this dubious proposition is problematic (to say the least)?\”Yes.


  2. AC

    Based on nothing more than a hunch, I\’ll predict that fraternal loyalty between the Hatoyama brothers will preclude the DPJ from going so far as to censure Kunio. Let\’s face it — as dumb as that statement was, the DPJ has plenty of other ammunition out there to use against the LDP right now.


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