Assembling the new coalition government

The DPJ has been in intense negotiations with the Social Democratic Party of Japan (SDPJ) and the People's New Party (PNP) to finalize the terms of their coalition government.The DPJ's goal in negotiations is naturally to minimize the disruptiveness from having two parties (and their internal politics) interfere with the DPJ's plans for a streamlined …

Continue reading Assembling the new coalition government

Ozawa will be secretary-general

Hatoyama Yukio has made perhaps the most important personnel decision that he will have to make as the DPJ transitions into power. Ozawa Ichiro, his predecessor as DPJ leader, architect of the DPJ's election victory, and without question the most powerful figure within the DPJ, will serve as the party's secretary-general.The reason why this decision …

Continue reading Ozawa will be secretary-general

A DPJ government takes shape?

Apropos my comments on the probability of Fujii Hirohisa's being named finance minister in a Hatoyama government, Sankei has a long article speculating that to the three important posts of finance minister, foreign minister, and chief cabinet secretary, Hatoyama Yukio will appoint Fujii, Okada Katsuya, and Kan Naoto respectively. Okada, mentioned as a possible finance …

Continue reading A DPJ government takes shape?

The Economist eulogizes the LDP

In its Banyan column, the Economist documents the rise and fall of the Liberal Democratic Party, in effect writing the LDP's obituary before the party's death.For the most part it is a handy review of a fascinating organization, whose history is virtually synonymous with Japan's postwar political history. Indeed, the genius of the LDP system …

Continue reading The Economist eulogizes the LDP

Tohoku, Ozawa’s backyard

The Tohoku regional block is comprised of Aomori, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima — and Iwate, Ozawa Ichiro's "fiefdom." These six prefectures combine to elect thirty-nine Diet members, twenty-five from single-member districts and fourteen from proportional representation. In 2005, the LDP won seventeen of twenty-five SMDs, with the DPJ taking seven and an independent winning the …

Continue reading Tohoku, Ozawa’s backyard