GLOCOM Platform
debates Media Reviews Tech Reviews Special Topics Books & Journals
Summary Page
Search with Google
Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 14:42 08/10/2007
News Review #407: August 10, 2007

Japan Minister Hits Opposition Chief on Afghan Bill

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Japan Minister Hits Opposition Chief on Afghan Bill
Reuters (8/9/2007)


As it is reported in this Reuters article, Japanese Defense Minister Yuriko Koike, who is currently visiting Washington, criticized Democratic Party leader Ichiro Ozawa, who already expressed his opposition to the extension of the anti-terrorism bill and declined US Ambassador Thomas Schieffer's request for its extension beyond November 1, when the current bill is to expire. Although it is not surprising to see an incumbent minister hit the opposition leader for his stance against the administration's policy, there are a number of things to note here.

First, it is a kind of irony that Ms. Koike severely criticized Mr. Ozawa, to whom she was so loyal when she belonged to the party lead by Mr. Ozawa before he broke away from the ruling coalition, leaving her on the incumbent side. Second, in the past no minister has been allowed to visit foreign countries while the Diet (parliament) is in session, but Ms. Koike not only broke this long-standing practice, but also made her quite visible in openly criticizing the opposition party leader who is leading the Lower House which is now in session. It seems clear to everyone that this is a result of the declining influence and clout of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is now overshadowed by Ms. Koike as she is behaving as if she were a party leader visiting the US to appeal her stance to the Japanese public.

But this does not mean that Ms. Koike is likely to replace Mr. Abe as the LDP leader and Prime Minister, because there are some criticisms against Ms. Koike's "stand play" among senior members within the LDP. For that matter, anyone who sticks out will get hammered down under the weak party leadership. This is the reality that the ruling party is currently facing, and this lame duck situation can only be changed by Prime Minister Abe, not by Defense Minister Koike.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

bullet Top
Copyright © Japanese Institute of Global Communications