Meanwhile, Yamaoka Kenji, the DPJ’s Diet strategy chair, has said that the DPJ intends to occupy the chairs of all standing committees, perhaps mostly a symbolic gesture but one that should make it that much harder for the LDP to block the government’s agenda. (It’s going to take some time to get accustomed to talking about the LDP in the role of an opposition party.)
More significantly, the DPJ has demanded that the LDP yield the chairmanship of the upper house budget committee, which the DPJ allotted to the LDP when it took control of the upper house in 2007 in recognition of the LDP’s position as the ruling party. The LDP has not yet replied — it may drag its feet a bit, but ultimately the LDP will be hard-pressed to resist the DPJ’s demand.
Now for Hatoyama to name his cabinet — at least the important posts — quickly and start filling in some of the sub-cabinet posts to ensure that the DPJ will be able to get off to a running start.