Japan's vaccine minister, Taro Kono Photo: AP/Koji Sasahara/File
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Vaccine minister Kono to run in LDP leadership race

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Place your bets. Kono is my pony.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Why is it that I cannot warm up to Mr. Kono?

6 ( +15 / -9 )

It must have been the plan from the very beginning. Or a big bet perhaps that the vaccination pace would reach other nations' levels (the reputable ones)

And in the end it did with almost half of Japan's population being jabbed twice already.

Good on you Mr. Kono.

You, at least, can speak the English language and seem more confident in front of cameras and could be a better face for Japan on the international stage than Mr. Suga ever had been.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

No thank you, if Mr. Kono will run the country the way he ran the vaccination we are all in deep trouble.

Japan needs new fresh blood with new and progressive ideas to move forward, the children of Japan deserve a brighter future.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

Kono is no better than the rest of those old muppets !

0 ( +10 / -10 )

But Kono speaks English! He should win!

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Mark  07:07 am JST

No thank you, if Mr. Kono will run the country the way he ran the vaccination we are all in deep trouble.

And who would you prefer, Mark? One of the opposition party leaders who slowed the vaccine rollout by demanding domestic trials? The slowdown caused by those domestic trials wasn’t done at the insistence of the LDP.

In fact, in June Taro Kono lamented ever agreeing to the opposition’s insistence on domestic trials: “If I could go back all the way to the beginning, I would have probably scrapped the clinical trial that we did.”

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Kono would be best for the rest of the world, but for Japan I don't think so. Being backed by Aso is not a merit in my opersonal opinion.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

YubaruToday  07:43 am JST

But Kono speaks English! He should win!

He doesn't just "speak English". He's a Georgetown grad.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

English language ability and self-confidence aren't everything, but they're a good start. At least he has something going for him, which is more than can be said for his potential rivals. He wouldn't be an embarrassment on the international stage. He did okay, relatively speaking, with the vaccine roll out too.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

This guy is a compulsive liar. He’s been lying to the public consistently. His only goal in life is becoming Prime Minister.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Japanese politics is like the mafia and Aso is the godfather. You have to be backed by him to win. That being said, Kono is an incredibly intelligent politician and graduated from Georgetown University... And for those not from the US, that's one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

2 things, he's not a member of Nippon Kaigi and graduated from a USA university so those are positives. His performanice as vaccine minister useless, but so would anyone in this government. Might be worth a shot

4 ( +10 / -6 )

"will fight till the end."

Anyone who talks like a bakufu era samurai type has no business in modern politics in my view, but presumably the fighting talk warms the hearts of some Japanese voters.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If we have to have yet another crony from the LDP gang, he is better than some. Certainly I would hope he's more worldly and open to new ideas.

And for those not from the US, that's one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Good for him. But graduates of the most prestigious universities include numerous politicians and bureaucrats in many countries making terrible decisions. Let's see how he does. At least he will be an improvement over Suga.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Regardless of how I feel about Kono, the fact that's he's the only one not Nippon Kaigi merits more support. They can't choose a lot these ministers but where it counts he hasn't joined the party line so that might be a nice break from the regular muppets.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I thought that he would be a good candidate before the vaccine fiasco. Can't get past the thought that maybe he was set up for a fall. Publicly blaming young people for the issues with the vaccine when there were clearly so many other issues was not a smart move. Hope whoever wins will focus on keeping the population safe, providing adequate medical resources and speedy vaccines

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Smart? In the middle of the pandemic and in charge of procuring vaccines for the country and he's busy tweeting about durian imports. SMFH. To his credit, he did not block me on Twitter (unlike certain other LDP politicians), but still I see nothing that shows qualities that would make him a good leader.

As for his academic background, since when has graduating from a university outside of Japan been a positive on a CV? I know in many circles here in Japan where not graduating from a university in Japan is met with suspicion at best and at worst derision. It will be interesting to see if any of these younger politicians with academic credentials from abroad will ever be taken seriously. And ability to speak English? Falls into much the same category.

In the end, being under Aso Taro's "umbrella" means that without his approval, Mr. Kono's dreams and desire of becoming PM mean little.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Let's go Kono-san good luck, I think he would be a nice change for the country.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Most Japanese are highly literate people,meaning that they are able to read and write, meaning that should have a high degree of critical thinking,that they should support politicians,that serve the best interest of the people

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

MeiyouwentiToday  08:41 am JST

This guy is a compulsive liar. He’s been lying to the public consistently. His only goal in life is becoming Prime Minister.

And how is that different from any other politician?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Kumamon would get my vote (if I had one) over all these candidates.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They wanted Kono to put out of the game and set him driving onto the dead end road, but now that’s maybe the new highway. Still difficult to estimate, because the old big party factions have of course still their plenty of road construction resources.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This guy is a compulsive liar. He’s been lying to the public consistently. His only goal in life is becoming Prime Minister.

Thats pretty much a requirement if one wants to be an LDP politician. Having said that Kono is smarter than the rest and has a bit of an independent streak in him. Hence the shadow men of Jiminto are likely to decide on Kishida as he is more of a yes man.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'll put my bet on Kono.

Not because I like him (I don't)

Not because I trust him (I don't)

Not because he is more efficient/smarter/whatsoever than any other LDP-muppet (he isn't and bungled everything while delivering ziltch)

But because:

.voter support for him was always a tie with Ishiba, as such:

..he can fool the gullible longer than any of the LDP-tools

..choosing him solves the conundrum of rolling out somebody both the public and the LDP-factions like

.he (obviously) has Aso's support (as Kono is a member of the Aso-faction)

.he (implicitly) has Hosoda's green light (as Aso would not pick up a fight with Hosoda whose faction tops Aso's)

My take is that Kishida is going to be the fall guy at the elections. Takaichi and Noda who are also running, are just like Christmas decorations: not bright (to see that as women they have zero chance of leading the oyaji party) and ultimately useless.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Oh no, Kono

Messed up every file he was given to handle: S. Korea, abolishing hankos and rolling out the vaccinations efficiently (ie before the Olympics).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He’a not Nippon Kaigi and that makes him twice better than the rest of the field.

For the vaccine rollout, he can just claim that it has improved and will son outpace other countries. Later this year, Japan will even have higher percentage of vaccinated population than US. Claim that as a win, too.

Others in the field, what can they claim?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Others in the field, what can they claim

They don’t have to claim anything. The decision will be made by a small group of old men behind closed doors.

The abilities or public appearance of a candidate is neither here nor there. It’s deals about power broking, and the future control of the party.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Where are the vaccines??? Why are young people still effectively banned from receiving vaccines and have to rely on a lottery for a 1% chance of getting access???

Why are people not allowed to use the ample appointment openings in elite areas like minato???

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Is he going to require vaccine passports to leave your house too?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Fully vaccinted Oscar De La Hoya hospitalized due to Covid. 49 years old, his comback on hold. Guy is not elderly and obviously in good shape as he was planning a comeback.

How many unvaccinated people in his demographic get hospitalized due to Covid? 1 in a million? Maybe less?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@justasking

He’a not Nippon Kaigi and that makes him twice better than the rest of the field.

Well, his faction-boss (Aso) is Nippon Kaigi, so whether Kono himself is a member or not is ultimately irrelevant as he will just be taking order from his boss (Aso) who is in cahoots with the bigwigs heading the 2 other main factions (Hosoda and Nikai).

Here a recap of the various factions (in English):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factions_in_the_Liberal_DemocraticParty(Japan)

Ultimately, currently the PM has pretty much zero leeway (Abe was a member of a faction not its leader and Suga was not even a member of any factions). The last PMs who did have enough control over what they could "decide upon" were Koizumi, Aso and then Hosoda because they were heading their factions and their factions were sizable.

Kono is a member of the Aso faction hence has zero decisional power, Kishida has his own mid-size faction so he will always need the green light of the 3 factional bigwigs (Hosoda, Aso, Nikai), Ishiba and Ishihara have a pin-sized faction and Takaichi / Noda are non-entities altogether as they are women in a male-only boys' club.

In Japan, the PM is basically just a mouthpiece for the dominant faction(s) and uttering whatever is the (current) consensus amongst these or is flip-flopping due to ongoing factional infighting.

In Suga's case; the Olympics were too much of nonsensical jingoism to not be Hosoda-fueled, tossing the business / industries / workers under the bus are typical Aso economics while Go To was Nikai "business" as usual. Suga was just a charmless, hapless, useless, bland sock-puppet slash lightning rod who wouldn't get a job in a convenience store and happened to be put in the PM-seat. Kono may well look good enough to get to manage a Family Restaurant but ultimately will have zero decisional power on what is on the menu.

Things are actually easy to change: unvote the 3 top oyajis (Hosoda, Aso, Nikai). When they get replaced, unvote the replacement, then the following replacement. At one point, party members will get the message that if they don't put a sock in it they will need to line up for work at a Seven-Eleven.

But truth be told, Japanese voters are not exactly politically savvy, are they...?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If Japans covid vaccination program is indicative of Kono's leadership skill, then naahh...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What university did he get that medical

Degree from?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kono as vaccine minister and also administrative regulatory reform minister are you sure thats a wise decision?

A female president for the LDP might actually be a good thing.

It would certainly make Japan look better as far as equality anyway.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Doesnt it seem rediculous that PM Suga has to quit over his COVID response, so the guy runnimg the COVID response thinks he should be PM?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It would certainly make Japan look better as far as equality anyway.

It’s always about looks over substance here, so you might be right. Is now the time they play the lady card??

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hear that, the squeak of broom cupboard.

Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike smells the whiff of political blood, never misses an opportunity.

Koike's could march over the political LDP bodies piling up.

Stranger things have happened.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One more saurian waddles into the pond.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Place your bets.

My wife is advising me to bet on Takaichi. Although female and from Kansai, she ticks many of the conventional LDP boxes (Nippon Kaigi member, visits Yasukuni, etc.)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Doesnt it seem rediculous that PM Suga has to quit over his COVID response, so the guy runnimg the COVID response thinks he should be PM?

Kono didn't "run the COVID response". He was responsible for distributing vaccines, which Abe and Suga's cronies were slow to negotiate for in the first place. Then the local governments were unprepared and slow to roll out the vaccinations, but now they are going pretty smoothly in most places.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Perfect Choice for PM.

This buffoon that pushing rampant vaccination is unwittingly engineering his own demise when the masses awake to the ramifications.

If he makes it to PM, his reign of error will be shorter than Suga’s.

Amateur hour in the Land of the Setting Sun.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Vaccine Taro, it would be interesting if he were PM at the time the reality of the vaccines starts revealing itself.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This clown is in national politics only because of his dad

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What are Kono's policies?

I suspect he won't be too popular with the electorate because of the way the vaccine rollout was handled. Kishida seems more likely because he hasn't been particularly involved with Suga's government and is promoting measures that would appease them (superficially at least).

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

itsonlyrocknrollToday  02:33 pm JST

Hear that, the squeak of broom cupboard.

Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike smells the whiff of political blood, never misses an opportunity.

Koike's could march over the political LDP bodies piling up.

I don't know how you think that could ever happen. She would have to re-join the LDP and get re-elected as a Diet member somehow before the next general election.

Stranger things have happened.

I can't think of any in Japanese politics, can you?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This buffoon that pushing rampant vaccination is unwittingly engineering his own demise when the masses awake to the ramifications.

Vaccine Taro, it would be interesting if he were PM at the time the reality of the vaccines starts revealing itself.

Wow, the anti-vaxxers are out in full force today. Or are you the same person?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This clown is in national politics only because of his dad

Wow, I bet he is the first politician ever to follow after his father.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Currently 18 Mio waiting for first shot.

Kono: Some are frustrated not being able to get an appointment. Please wait a little more...

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/pickup/6403585

Vote Kono!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, we have more than 1 million getting a shot each day, so yes they should wait a bit longer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mr. Kono has my support and vote.

He is very intelligent.

Speaks well in public.

Seems calm and collective when the heat is turned on.

Won't be part of the revolving door of Prime Ministers like we had in the 90s.

He has good relations with foreign leaders.

Speaks well english, which is important when dealing with other powerful countries and leaders.

He wants more women in the workforce.

Supports foreign workers and students.

I believe he has Japan's best interest at heart.

Please support Kono for a better Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ReasonandWisdomNipponSep. 4  10:12 pm JST

Mr. Kono has my support and vote.

He is very intelligent.

Speaks well in public.

Seems calm and collective when the heat is turned on.

Won't be part of the revolving door of Prime Ministers like we had in the 90s.

He has good relations with foreign leaders.

Speaks well english, which is important when dealing with other powerful countries and leaders.

He wants more women in the workforce.

Supports foreign workers and students.

I believe he has Japan's best interest at heart.

Please support Kono for a better Japan.

Sounds good. Such a shame about his party.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Won't be part of the revolving door of Prime Ministers like we had in the 90s.

Japan had the revolving door in the 00s too. Only Abe had been different

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Vaccination minister Taro Kono is set to seek the presidency of Japan's ruling party and thus the post of prime minister

He stands a good chance.

I can't understand how giving my opinion on who will win is off topic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Who cares if he speaks English ..What difference does that make ? ..Still useless.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If Taro agrees, he will win.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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