Ozawa is due to announce whether he will remain as DPJ president today.
In the days leading up to the indictment, the DPJ has rallied behind its embattled leader, which in practice means that the decision to resign is, as Hatoyama Yukio said Tuesday, in Ozawa’s hands alone. An uneasy truce, limiting backbencher criticism of Ozawa, appears to be holding, but it is unclear how durable the truce is. In the meantime the party is struggling to limit the damage while waiting for Ozawa to decide. To that end, at a meeting of the DPJ executive Tuesday Okada Katsuya, who still looks to be the most likely successor should Ozawa go, stressed the need to address the public’s concerns about money politics in the DPJ — but, as many reformist DPJ members worry, it is unclear whether the DPJ can fix its image with Ozawa as the face of the party, particularly if Ozawa’s political organization continues to be investigated for collusion with the construction industry.
I’m due to board a plane shortly, but in the meantime read Aurelia George Mulgan’s summary of the meaning of the Ozawa scandal.