Sunday, February 12, 2006

A week is a long time in politics

Koizumi, however, stressed to reporters on the same day the necessity of having the bill [to allow females and their descendants to ascend Japan's imperial throne] passed during the ongoing session, saying, it is better to "hurry for a stable imperial succession."

"I don't think it is good to discuss the matter too long," he added and reiterated that the party will require all member lawmakers to vote for the bill.

10 February
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi indicated Friday he has given up a plan to submit to the current Diet session a bill to allow women to succeed to the Chrysanthemum throne [...]

Koizumi told reporters at his official residence, "We can make a decision after closely examining" developments on the matter within his ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
So what happened in the intervening week to cause such an abrupt U-turn? What happened is that we all found out that the wife of the younger Crown Prince is pregnant, raising the hope of a male heir. Of course, consummate politician that he is, Koizumi is making the natural decision to chicken out of addressing the issue, performing a handbrake turn without so much as a look in the wing mirror. So much for his "gender equality plan".

Obviously I'm hoping the child turns out female, so these old misogynists who run the country will have to face up to life in the 21st century. But I can't help think that Koizumi wouldn't have made this decision unless he knew that the child was indeed going to be male...he will certainly look very stupid if it's yet another girl. He is standing down in September anyway, so it will be someone else's problem.

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