Now the Ozawa era is over

It appears that Ozawa Ichiro is finally tired of fighting for his political life.

After weeks of circling the drain, of calls from members of his own party to resign or clarify his explanation of why his aide was wrongfully accused, Ozawa has decided to call it quits. He will not be resigning from the Diet, and he has called for a DPJ party election following the debate over the supplementary budget.

Sankei reports on the damage that Ozawa has done to the DPJ by waiting until now to resign, but on the whole it is hard to see how this hurts the DPJ. In the short term it might, as the media hammers the DPJ leadership for protecting Ozawa for so long. But before long the candidates to replace Ozawa will step forward and Ozawa’s grizzled visage will fade from view as the public face of the party that aspires to be the party of change in this year’s election. Particularly since it looks as if a general election will not be held before July, the new DPJ leader — presumably Okada Katsuya — will have just enough time to expunge the taint of Ozawa, to promise that the DPJ will be the party of clean politics, before heading into the election campaign.

Deprived of the gift that was Ozawa’s scandal, the LDP and Komeito are back to hoping that the economy somehow shows signs of life in time for the general election. Ozawa’s resignation will also deprive the LDP of its argument that Ozawa would endanger Japanese security by undermining the US-Japan alliance with his “irresponsible” talk.

There is still the chance that the DPJ let Ozawa hang on for too long, but in this case, perhaps too late is better than never.

6 thoughts on “Now the Ozawa era is over

  1. AC

    Better late than never, to be sure, but the DPJ as a whole committed itself to attacking public prosecutors and defending what clearly looks to the public like corruption. Several of its top officials specifically made statements to that end that they can\’t take back now. While I think Ozawa\’s resignation again makes it possible for the DPJ to win the next general election, the damage the party allowed Ozawa to inflict upon it these past weeks is immense, and the stain will not be completely wiped away in a couple of months whether they have a new leader or not. Are they going to replace everyone in a leadership position who went on the record attacking the prosecutors? However well they do in the coming election, they would have done much better had they moved to dump Ozawa at the beginning of this.

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  2. I do not think that one could characterize what the Sankei article does as \”reports\” on the damage that Ozawa has done. I believe that Sankei \”dances about gleefully, losing itself in the moment by banging its head against the wall whilst waving its index finger about like a sword, screaming,\” would more accurately describe the tone and approach of the piece.

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  3. Anonymous

    Like the Yomiuri as well. The Japanese MSM: \”we report, we decide.\” One of you guys should start a \”why can\’t we have a better press corps\” ala Brad De long.

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  4. Anonymous

    Unfortunately this blogg makes the reader feel that you simply try to give a deeper sens to the DPJ\’s and Ozawa\’s action and concluding at the end of every post that it is all the old LDP\’s fault and the DPJ will eventually be victorious… It would be nice to get more objective reports here with less contradictions (for instance about the impact of Ozawa staying on at the top of the party for some time before stepping down).

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  5. Anonymous

    Hmmm, if you are referring to the above couple of posts, perhaps you\’d like to point out where it states that the LDP are being blamed? Unless of course, you think the media are actually agents of LDP power…Oh…wait…

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