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Hatoyama blames bureaucrats for his failure on Futenma issue

47 Comments

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Too little too late. At that time, he had a chance to expose and reform the bureaucratic structure that prevents progress. He didn't so now it appears that he doubly failed.

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If the "bureaucrats" were stronger than he, it's still his fault - he was not strong enough to lead the country. No matter how you slice it, he lost.

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If you want to lead, you must have people follow. No one wanted to follow Hatoyama, whether because he did not clarify his destination or whether because he did but people didn't want to go there. I suspect it was the latter, but either way, he failed, and to blame it on bureaucracy is quite the cop-out.

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OK yukio, go cry to your mother now.

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uh...shouldn't that read "former prime minister hatoyama"?

Moderator: That has been corrected.

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I thought he was of the bureaucrats

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I think what he means is that "I have no leadership qualities, but I was born and raised a rich-boy".

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Sorry, mean to say: I thought he was one of the bureaucrats.

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if its the bureaucrats' fault, they should have changed the law to make it legal to fire them.

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From my perspective, former PM Hatoyama did an OK job. The LDP has been in power since 1955, and the bureaucrats that he refers to is now 2nd and 3rd Generation hired/working w/ the LDP side. The DPJ does not have influence outside of the majority in the Lower House. It was only a matter of time before the DPJ falters from the setup in Tokyo that has rooted itself since 1955. It was a painful lesson, but a lesson that had to be experienced.

That showdown between DefSec Gates and himself was incredibly informative to me, but that is for my own personal records.

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fds, the lawmakers who tried to do that (making it legal to dismiss bureaucrats) are being fired through manipulation by bureaucrats. Hatoyama was the one who got the sack that way. He meant to say Japan is an all time Egypt. But Deigo revolution may come up from Okinawa.

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uh...shouldn't that read "former prime minister hatoyama"?

Moderator: That has been corrected.

It wasn't necessary to correct, we in America refer to all ex-presidents as President ie, President Carter, President Clinton etc..

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Hatoyama said Japan in the long run should defend itself without any foreign troops in its territory, but would still need to rely on its security alliance with the U.S., its most important ally.

I think he is right on the mark!

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This guy Hatoyama was a loser PM. Losers always blame America for their failures.

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“It was very difficult for me to cause worry, anger and troubles for the people of Okinawa,” Hatoyama said. “But I could not force my way of thinking as prime minister.”

I think Hatoyama may well be mentally retarded. Wouldn't be the first PM of Japan to be inept, and won't be the last by current trends and looking at the line-up of people who feel they deserve it.

I do like his: "It's not my fault: it's America's fault... it's Okinawa's fault... it's the fault of anyone that doesn't agree with meeeeeeeeeeeee!" Hatoyama is even sadder than Abe in terms of the most recent pathetic PMs of Japan. Of course, I'm only going back 4 years or so, but that's not Hatoyama's fault... it's the bureaucrats'!

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I suppose he blames bureaucrats for his inability to live up to his promise of quitting? hahaha.... this guy really is as dumb and clueless as he looks.

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apecNetworks: "From my perspective, former PM Hatoyama did an OK job."

For sure! He promised he would make highschool free.... still waiting.... promised a monthly allowance of 25000 yen per child, per family.... still waiting for the other half, and for the other 10 months of the year; promised Okinawans he would get rid of the US military while he said to Obama 'trust me'... yeah... he did a great job, bro.

Oh wait... were you being serious?

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I'm only surprised it was him and not his mom who blamed the bureacrates he allowed in office to make his decisions for him. THen again, maybe mommy-Hato told him what to do; god knows the mentally inept Hatoyama can't do anything himself.

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His failure was focusing on an issue his country had already agreed with. Then neglecting his own countries issues. The falling birth rate, an economy in stagnation, broken promises.....Now that I think a little, he wrote his own fate.

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The US had nothing to do with his failure. ahhh, right.

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I think Hatoyama may well be mentally retarded. Wouldn't be the first PM of Japan to be inept, and won't be the last by current trends and looking at the line-up of people who feel they deserve it.

Not many mentally retarted people become Prime Minister and become fluent in another language and achieve a PhD in Civil Engineering in a foreign university (Stanford)..

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political leaders of any stripe in Jpn are of low low quality(damn that sounds like a compliment, isnt intenional) & the beaurocrates have been running the show for decades, in the 80s the beaurocrates recd a a ton of totally undue recognition for Jpns achievements when in fact Jpn did ok not because of but DESPITE the beaurocrates. Since 1989 the beaurocrates have been absolutely destroying this country & the pace continues full, blind, speed ahead!

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I'd be more convincing b.s. if he were to blame global warming for his downfall..!

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Mr. Hatoyama, despite the fact he did not manage to demonstrate qualities of a strong political skill & charisma of a leader needed to rule a rather chaotic (political speaking) Japan, he was one of the rare race of blue-blood 'classy' politicians one could not easily find in Japan..with more experience cumulated from his political career, I am sure he will come back & become a more pertinent PM.

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Soldier Tea :

Losers always blame America for their failures.

If the shoe fits. . .wear it.

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Ah yes, let's blame a big faceless entity. That's an easy way to shrug off responsibility.

What a coward.

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I think HATOYAMA was a victim of his own hype. He was a visionary ala-Keating, a regionalist who could be quite naive when it comes to real politics.

He was also a victim of timing. And, alas, macro-management is more apt under KAN's watch than the ex-PM.

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I blame the anti base types unrealistic demands when it comes to this issue. That's why futenma hasn't moved in over 20 years.

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Maybe it's time for the Japanese to stand up for themselves, like the people of Egypt and take matters into their own hands. This country desperately needs to regain its independence. This is just pathetic.

The problem is that the last time you had an independent determined Japan they ended up bombing Pearl Harbor and slaughtering 20 million people throughout Asia. So I can understand their reluctance to want to be assertive. They can't trust themselves with real power so it's easier to just let big mommy America look after things.

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Squally: Futenma hasn't moved in over 66 years and the USA is on Okinawa, because Hirohito made a deal with McArthur where-in Hirohito gave Okinawa to the USA if we would not put our Army of occupation on the three main islands of Japan. We would go home in a quick moment, but now we are asked to stay as protection from Japan's neighbors. Now, Japan would like to get rid of Article 9 of thier Constitution and Japan would like to morph thier Self Defense Forces into a Imperial Military Force equipt with formitable Navy, Air Corps and a Army and they would also like the bomb.

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He did as he had to - pretended to try and pretended to care. The Japanese gov/monarchy/people have been in the pocket of the western powers since the mid to late 1800s.

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woundedsamurai1, well put.

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vulcan: So if the US is so bad, why does Japan allow the troops to stay? And your nationality is?

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This headline is too funny!

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I tend to think all politicians, irrespective of nationality, are craven, vain, and generally lack principle and integrity. Hatoyama, however, adds another quality (besides being fashion-challenged) – paranoia.

Hatoyama came to power after three long years of negotiations between the US and Japan over the key issues of reducing the US military footprint on Okinawa and closing the dangerous Futenma airfield. The negotiations lasted three years for good reason – these were tough, difficult issues that required significant compromise by both sides. Say what you want about Japan’s bureaucrats, they were the policy experts that participated in these negotiations and had the background and expertise to advise the new DPJ government when it came to power.

But as many will remember, the DPJ essentially declared war on the bureaucrats upon taking the reins of government – they excoriated them in the media, and excluded them from all major policy issues. I would agree that certainly some of that was warranted – but to ignore all your technical experts, especially given your party had never been in power before and had no background, knowledge or continuity on these major foreign policy issues, was both foolhardy and arrogant.

Hatoyama compounded that error by then going out and declaring outright, that he would unilaterally make a major revision to 2005 ATARA agreement; never consulting the bureaucrats who negotiated the agreement on Japan’s behalf, nor his bilateral partner in the agreement, the U.S. Not the mark of an astute statesman.

What Hatoyama should be “reflecting” on is this; as a result of his ineptness, Futenma remains open, flight safety issues and all, along with Camps Kinser, Foster, Lester and Naha Port – and 8,000 Marines and their families remain on Okinawa. Had he exerted real leadership, Futenma would be in the process of being closed, all these major US installations would be being returned to the GOJ, and the US military footprint on Okinawa significantly reduced.

Hatoyama’s childish attempt here to deflect the blame for his incompetence further defines him as a “true politician.”

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vulcan at 07:34 PM JST - 2nd February. Not many mentally retarted people become Prime Minister and become fluent in another language and achieve a PhD in Civil Engineering in a foreign university (Stanford)..

It's not lack of education. Credentials does not mean anything if he cannot show progress. Expectation of Hatoyama from Japanese public was very high and was not realistic. He lacked international negotiation skills and was a weak leader. Hatoyama's amaturish government needed to figure out a realistic way to achieve this goal through negotiations with the U.S. and local communities which he failed miserably. The need to find solution in reducing the load on the prefecture. It is true that finding a relocation site outside the prefecture was very difficult. But that would require sincere and careful persuasion by the prime minister based on a specific plan to ease Okinawa's burden. The situation became seriously complicated partly due to Hatoyama's lack of vision and unprofessional handling of diplomatic sensibility with U.S and people in Okinawa.

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"Hirohito gave Okinawa to the USA if we would not put our Army of occupation on the three main islands of Japan"

Marion,

Hirohito traded Okinawa to avoid the occupation of the rest of Japan? Then the occupation of the entire country that you apparently lived through from 1945 to 1952 didn't actually happen? And there are no U.S. bases in Japan outside of Okinawa? And Japan built another main island after the occupation was finished?

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Considering the issues facing Japan, the whole Futenmba topic is akin to rearraning the deck chairs on the titanic.

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Pathetic victim-speak by a pathetic excuse for a leader. Go cry to Mommie Yukio, maybe she'll throw a few more hundred million yen your way to make you feel better.

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This can be argued, but that 2006 US Base Agreement was a product negotiated by the Koizumi Cabinet and the LDP. Former PM Hatoyama didn't "agree" to it, and that is why there was that showdown w/ SecDef Gates. The DPJ was not in sync w/ the 2006 Agreement, and former PM Hatoyama wanted it changed. He was given a rude awakening on just how the LDP governed in Tokyo, and how they did have great influence even after losing the Lower House. It was lesson that had to be confronted, since the LDP was essentially in control of Japanese politics until recently, and probably did not confer any sensitive info to the DPJ. Things occurred as I anticipated to some degree.

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apec: Can you answer this: The 2006 agreement was rooted far deeper than Koizumi. The start was in 1995 and it dragged on through other PM's and cabinet ministers. And even if the "new" Japanese government was out of sync with the agreement, it was still an agreement that should have been honored. The US even said fine, go ahead and give even more thought to this AFTER Hatoyama asked for more time.

The US was the good player here, and the bumbling neophyte government of Hatoyama did not want to listen to the LDP "old dogs". Oh well, he's still rich and can write a book.

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****Mr. Hatoyama is what we call a scapegoater in my field of psychology. Hatoyama's personality and his inability to deliver on promises concerning the Futenma issue and then falls from the top job. Then blames the bureaucrats. First of all, the Hatoyama govenment failed to formulate a solid foreign or national security policy because of the fundamental differences with the SDP, which had strong pacifist tendencies. In short, he never defined this concept or his expectation for the future of the alliance in concrete terms. Second of all, there was a lack of expert input in formulating foreign and national policy He was not realistic in making assessments because of the lack of expertise of the personnel in the Hatoyama government and the Prime Minister's Office. It will be critical to increase getting more support and understanding from the Okinawans and that they define the importance of the U.S-Japan alliance continually since the present of the U.S. is necessary in the region. In the long term, the alignment of forces in the region should be adjusted as the security situation evolves. I understand that this is a complex problem and can be touchy and emotional, but let me get back to the issue about Mr. Hatoyama, who moved the blame and responsibility away from himself and blamed the bureaucrats. This is a practice by which angry feelings and feelings of hostility may be projected, via vilification, blame and critcism; he's likely to suffer rejection from those who the perpetrator seeks to influence. Scapegoating has a wide range of focus from "approved" enemies of large groups of people down to the scapegoating of individuals. Distortion is always a feature. So, Mr. Hatoyama should take responsibilty and be accountable for his actions. Be a real man. Unfortunately, Japan has a poor track record when it comes to the selection of a Prime Minister. It's like a merry-go-round. Mr. Kan may not even last. Just wait until the coming election.

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All I ask is you share some of the balance on the issue. Hatoyama's fall was a combination of things, but for him to patently blame the US is not correct. And yes, the dealings behind the closed doors with the real people who run this country (bureaucrats) did him in.

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To The_Sicilian,

As you can see, the info I have is at a high level, from the "horse's mouth".

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The showdown w/ SecDef Gates said it all.

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Is this info tooooooo high? I have better info.

To The_Sicilian,

It seems appropriate that you brought up, "The start was in 1995.....". It was in the mid 1990's that I was given explicitly what is in Tokyo covertly. The operatives wanted me to know how much control and influence they had in Tokyo, which involves the bureaucrats. They not only told me what was there, but also proved it by forecasting what would happen regardless of what the LDP did. They were bragging to me the extent of control they acquired since they helped the LDP come about. Info from the Koizumi group recently made it obvious that the DPJ was in for a rough ride. US presence in Tokyo is invisible - many Americans know this.

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I think you're point out the "not so obvious", and that is good. And showing that the US alone is not the bad actor here is also good. Of course, the DPJ and LDP have had to do these back door dealings to get things done, but the absolute ineptness of Hatoyama really came through.

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