Deputy Prime Minister Naoto KAN, possible successor to HATOYAMA
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama appears to be resisting calls for him to step down, as leaders of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, including Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, aim to continue talks. What seems to be the problem? Tuesday night at the Diet, prime minister Hatoyama, Party boss Ozawa and the go between DPJ's upper house caucus leader Azuma Koshiishi entertained the TV cameras. The nation is governed. Hatoyama smiled and rose his thumb quickly, while Ozawa, forgetting his cardiovascular limitations opted for the 100 yards race speed, while slaloming through the vernacular TVs' press reporters, agitated as jolting Pachinko balls.
First impression, 35 minutes meeting. Short. Hirano was not asked to join. His face looked longer and he seemed so tired. Ozawa appeared quite angered when he left the Diet room, same kindness on the face as when he had entered.
Then while suspicion and speculation haunted the corridors of the Diet, Japanese TV cameras blocked in a corner the DPJ Vice Secretary General Goshi Hosono who told reporters after the talks that the three lawmakers will hold another meeting and promised that the secretary general will meet the press once some kind of decision is reached.
Meanwhile, most of Hatoyama's Cabinet members expressed their support for the prime minister, including Finance Minister Naoto Kan, who is viewed as the frontrunner to succeed Hatoyama.
But what appears is that relations seem more and more strained between Ozawa and Hatoyama. And what does an Ozawa do when he is angry? He sacks, he marvels, he breaks and sometimes self demolishes himself...
A couple of weeks ago at the "press club" in Tokyo, I asked Naoto Kan, deputy premier, during our luncheon- press conference if he would "have the guts to assume the duty of prime minister" after the "Henoko Futenma" issues turned into vinegar, not only for the cornerstone partner, but also for the Japanese media commentators (who guide the Japanese opinion like muttons to the cliff prior to jump into the ocean.)
To my surprise Kan did not say no, but his comment was to candidly state the "he always believed that Hatoyama should and could serve 4 years of mandate."
Ah the Old Days are gone, when one evening of September 2009, the world thought that "it was it", I did too. Didn't I? http://nyti.ms/aYF1X
To end this unbearable suspense which thrills the foreign chancelleries, which is the first time in months, I end with the last manga character here, the most comic politician of Japanese Diet, he also happens to be one of the most payed politician of the game, Shizuka Kamei, ex-policeman, against the death penalty --he certainly has things to fear hmmm... Jake?--
Kamei is the leader of the People's New Party, ex LDP, ex friend of the ex Peruvian president currently jailed for numerous crimes Fujimori. Shizuka Kamei softly stabbed Hatoyama in the back, he and his lilliputian political group is DPJ's remaining coalition partner. Kamei made phone calls to Hatoyama twice yesterday night to tell Hatoyama that "nothing will change even if you step down!" With partners like Kamei who clearly understood the "paradigm" of Japanese politics, we all can sleep on both our ears.
In between if Japanese political world is looking for a model-hero, maybe best to look at the classics and why not to the unforgivable Astroboy. He reminds me of somebody actually.
To be continued!
Sources: Reporters' notes and cautious confidential comments from the Kokkai stage.