Koizumi goes to work for the government?

The Fukuda government has announced that it will definitely proceed with plans to submit the tax bill to the HR for a second vote on 30 April, the day after the expiration of the sixty-day Article 59 window. No word from Asahi or Mainichi about whether the LDP and Komeito will face defections when the HR votes — recall that it will take all of eight defectors to defeat the measure and trigger a crisis. Presumably the government is confident that it has the votes if it is announcing that it will definite reimpose the tax. But it will still have to weather the blow to its popularity from reinstating the unpopular measure.

No better time for Koizumi Junichiro — who is, as discussed in this post, still more popular among LDP supporters and the public at large than Mr. Fukuda and his likely successors — to begin playing a role defending the government.

On Tuesday, Mr. Koizumi met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura, and stated that he thinks that a mooted HC censure motion will not have the support of the public. The government has already started to make the case that it has nothing to fear from a censure motion, and it will need all the help it can get in prelude and aftermath to the HR vote.

Whether Mr. Koizumi has the power to blunt public opinion running against the government may be tested this week. The LDP executive has stated its desire to harness Mr. Koizumi’s popularity and use him to explain the government’s new pensions plan to concerned elderly voters who may be leaning towards Hiraoka Hideo.

Unlike the Abe cabinet, which did everything it could to distance itself from the former prime minister, Mr. Fukuda and his leadership team have no concerns about letting Mr. Koizumi overshadow the prime minister if it means a victory for the party, whether in Yamaguchi-2 or in the showdown with the DPJ over the temporary tax.

Asahi reported that the LDP executive wants Mr. Koizumi’s help. But no word on whether Mr. Koizumi wants to help — or whether his active support will be able to reverse Mr. Fukuda’s declining popularity.

One thought on “Koizumi goes to work for the government?

  1. Anonymous

    Although I have been negative in the past about Koizumi Junichiro\’s prime ministership, there is one aspect I can say in which he did not abandon Japanese interests on the altar of globalization. What I refer to is that he did not overrule the Agricultural Ministry on the need to protect farming and food security for Japan during the most intense negotiations of the WTO Doha round. The food riots erupting in over 10 countries around the world, shows that governments who do prioritize food security under pressure from multinational food interests have created the conditions that are now threatening to put them out of office.


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