Thursday, June 03, 2010

Another one bites the dust

5 years, 5 PMs. Ooops, apparently it is 6 in 4 years. It's not as though they are forgettable or anything...

Hatoyama announces decision to step down as premier

I suppose that must mean Shinjiro Koizumi is now 31st in line (there's been another one in the mean time since I wrote that post).

The really good news is that in falling on his sword he's taken out Ozawa too, who by all accounts was the hated corrupt power behind the throne. Whether it makes any difference remains to be seen.

The resignation was all over some unrealistic pre-election pledge to move a US military base off Okinawa. Since there were already binding agreements regarding it, which the USA showed no inclination to renegotiate, there was little chance of this coming to pass. Of course it serves the US well to weaken the DPJ, as they have long supported the (current opposition) LDP who are more clearly inclined to be poodles.


C W Magee said...

Has the current Ruckus in Korea done changed the inclination of Japanese towards American bases in any way?

James Annan said...

The big scary Korean threat is rarely far from anyone's minds, but I don't think the boat sinking is as significant as the previous missile tests were.

I don't think there is really any mood to get rid of the bases completely, which is why Okinawa is stuck with them - basically the rest of Japan doesn't want them in their own back yard and Okinawa is too weak and powerless to have any real say in the matter (being historically a separate set of nations and downtrodden by the Japanese when they were taken over). The only thing that surprises me a little is that the base issue was enough to get Hatoyama out, because it's not like anywhere else on the mainland is offering to host them, and it was the opposition LDP that negotiated the current agreement!