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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 12:16 09/22/2008
News Review #464: September 22, 2008

Aso's Ascent to Japan's Leader Kicks Off LDP Survival Battle

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Aso's Ascent to Japan's Leader Kicks Off LDP Survival Battle
Bloomberg (9/22/2008)


The biggest issue that Japanese politics is facing is who is going to be the nation's next leader beyond the upcoming general elections, now that Mr. Taro Aso is leading the LDP's struggle for survival and, preferably from his standpoint, revival in the future, as reported in the Bloomberg article (see the link above). A key question is whether Mr. Aso really possesses a kind of quality needed for the nation's true leader in terms of political agenda as well as personality. In this regard, his performance in front of foreign reporters at FCCJ (Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan) in Tokyo gave some clue to this question.

As seen in the activity report (see the Reference below), Mr. Aso delivered a well-prepared speech at the outset, where he clearly stated the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance as well as friendly relations with China and other Asian countries, and the urgency of adoption of economic stimulus measures with structural reform and decentralization as longer-term objectives. This sounded alright, but as soon as the Q&A session started, Mr. Aso, along with other LDP presidential candidates, could not answer various important questions by foreign correspondents directly and satisfactorily. No one failed to notice his somewhat "arrogant" attitude toward reporters asking difficult questions to him, and he refused to answer one particular question, that is, about the Yasukuni Shrine issue, by simply saying "read what I have written about it." This is no way to respond to any news reporter, whether foreign or domestic.

One might say that Mr. Ozawa, leading the opposition, is no better than Mr. Aso in terms of personality or attitude, especially toward news reporters as well as toward the general public. It is well known that leadership quality comes not only from political beliefs and agendas, but also political style and personality. Many Japanese seem to be feeling that a brand new figure with true leadership quality should emerge to lead the nation after the general elections and political reorganization movements.

Activity Report: "Mr. Taro Aso and Other Candidates for LDP President at FCCJ"

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

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