Monday, May 31, 2010

Hatoyama cabinet reshuffle announced for Tuesday

Mizuho Fukushima and Kiyomi Tsujimoto axed from Hatoyama cabinet of tripartite ruling coalition, who's next?

Even-though Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama reiterated on Monday his resolve to remain in power, calls for his resignation increased among lawmakers of his ruling Democratic Party of Japan ahead of the forthcoming House of Councillors election July 11. In crucial Diet action, the Social Democratic Party also made clear it will side with the opposition camp after deciding to leave the ruling coalition. The latest meeting between Ozawa Ichiro the strong man of the DPJ and the prime minister, lame, did not allow enough time (or agreement) to address the cabinet crisis.

Hatoyama, president of the DPJ, is under growing pressure to step down to take responsibility for the current political situation. In a Kyodo News survey conducted over the weekend, 51.2 percent of respondents said Hatoyama should resign as prime minister compared with 44.4 percent who said he does not need to step down. Public support for his Cabinet hit a new low at 19.1 percent. "I understand I have caused problems," Hatoyama said. "But I want to continue to work for the sake of the Japanese people." DPJ Senior Vice Secretary General Yoshimitsu Takashima told reporters there are "overwhelming" calls for the premier's resignation among upper house lawmakers of the DPJ. Takahiro Yokomichi, speaker of the Upper House opposed any idea of removing Hatoyama and replace him by Naoto Kan or the foreign minister Okada.

So 1) who will pay the price of the Futenma lost battle by the Hatoyama administration with the US government? 2) Who will pay the bill for the break-up of the government coalition? Voices are that the Chief cabinet secretary Hirofumi Hirano would be the sheep sacrificed on the altar of the Diet on Tuesday later in the day. Ozawa and Hatoyama are to meet again on Tuesday after Hatoyama gets back from his quick visit to Miyazaki-ken inspection on the foot and mouth disease that crippled Japan's southern province cattle.

Crippled coalition too? Visit symbolic enough to describe how the government is weakened for having refused to show that national sovereignty and respect of campaign pledges are 2 things not to break unless you want to alienate your voters and supporters...

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