One point of contention was the timing of the release of the records from the hearings. The LDP wanted them sealed until the end of a nominee’s term. The DPJ rejected this arrangement, and the final agreement calls for the records to be released after a nominee is confirmed.
However, Yamaoka Kenji, the DPJ’s representative in the talks, cautioned that this agreement does not necessarily mean that the DPJ will agree to confirm Muto Toshiro, the government’s candidate for the BOJ presidency. The LDP continues to hope that the DPJ will see reason on the BOJ succession. With the new rules in place and the DPJ leadership closing ranks behind Mr. Ozawa, the DPJ will likely sign off on Mr. Muto — although it will be curious to see the hearing transcripts when they’re released, especially in the HR, where Sengoku Yoshito, Ozawa rival and opponent of Mr. Muto’s appointment, sits on the Rules and Administration Committee.
This agreement should be applauded: the DPJ held its ground on taking an active role in joint confirmations, the BOJ executive will probably not be vacant at a critical period in the global economy, and the two parties showed that fears of gridlock are overblown.