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Monday, September 24, 2007




To me, both candidates had good and bad points. I liked Aso's use of Japanese pop culture when he was Foreign Minister. He used it for serious topics (distibuting copies of Barefoot Gen at a recent nuclear non-proliferation conference) as well as for light topics (the Ministry's co-sponsorship the the most recent World Cosplay Summit). He also helped start the Inernational Manga Award which recognizes non-Japanese manga artists. However, he does "shoot from the lip" when making comments and that has gotten him in trouble (like his Alzheimer's comment and his blue eyes, blond hair comment).

Fukuda seems to be good at operating both in front and behind the scenes. From what I read, he was a fairly powerful Chief Cabinet Secretary...acting at times like a "Shadow Minister" for Foreign Affairs and Defense. He should be able to hold his own against the LDP faction bosses. However, I think his involvement with the pension scandal of 2004 could be a problem during the next general election.

The LDP does look like they have their work cut out for them if they want to continue to be the majority party. However, if the DPJ does take the lower house in the next election, I'm not sure how much things will change. Ozawa and the DPJ, in many respects, look very similar to the LDP...perhaps the biggest difference is with foreign policy.



The closest US analogies I can think of are the election of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives (The position is second in line for succession to the presidency) and the election of the President pro tempore of the US Senate (third in line for succession to the presidency). In each case, a vote is taken of the members of the respective body and usually the majority party's candidate will win. If you are looking for positions which are decided strictly within a party, then the Majority Leader, Minority Leader, and the Whips are examples.

Using the phrase "the LDP reverted to its conservative stance" may be a bit confusing since the LDP is considered to be a conservative party & Abe and Aso are considered to be part of the right wing of the party whereas Fukuda is considered to be a moderate. So, in a sense, the party moved from being extremely conservative to, say, just right-of-center. Perhaps, it could be said that the LDP reverted back to 'business-as-usual' factional politics.

I also find it amusing that most of the news organizations have painted Fukuda as an "old man" and Aso as a "young man". If you look at their birthdays, they are about 4 years, 2 months apart in age.


hi there, I was surprised to know the won actually. Well otenami haiken.



That was an internal party vote, not a public election. Kinda like replacing the President with another party member (don't know if that's possible in the USa, but you get what I mean).

So the LDP reverted to its conservative stance and put the Old Guy (TM) in...


I was very surprised to see that Mr. Fukuda won the election. The news seemed to suggest that he was sometimes very forgetful in public, which I thought might be very alarming to some people. Then too, Mr. Aso always seemed more alert.

Oh well, I can't pretend to understand Japanese politics. As an American, I have trouble imagining a system where both opponents don't accuse each other of being traitors ;-)


The Happy Mondays were also a highly influentiual "Madchester" band:


Don't take too many drugs on your day off, Mari! (~_^)

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