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politics

Ishihara steps down as Tokyo governor to take over Sunrise Party

38 Comments

Shintaro Ishihara's term as Tokyo governor officially ended on Wednesday when his resignation was formally accepted by the Tokyo metropolitan assembly.

Ishihara, who was first elected governor in 1999, announced last week that he was stepping down to form a new national political party. He has endorsed Vice Gov Naoki Inose as his successor.

Inose will serve as interim governor until the Tokyo gubernatorial election on Dec 16. The ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the opposition Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito Party are expected to field candidates.

Ishihara, 80, will take over the reins of the Sunrise Party of Japan from current leader Takeo Hiranuma and the party will get a new name in early November. The Sunrise Party has five lawmakers whose average age is 73.5. The party was formed in 2010 by defectors from the LDP.

The outspoken Ishihara told reporters that he is looking to tie up with a number of smaller opposition parties in order to create a viable third party to the DPJ and LDP, Fuji TV reported.

Ishihara says he wants to transform Japan's political landscape. "Nagatacho is full of politicians who say and do things that are not in the best interest of the people," he said. "We have no choice but to establish a third way. Minor differences can be overcome for a major cause."

Ishihara has hinted at joining hands with at least with two populist parties -- Your Party and the Japan Restoration Party launched by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto.

But Ishihara's support for nuclear power, even after the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, and clashes with calls by Your Party and Hashimoto's party to abandon the technology. Ishihara and Hashimoto also differ over revising the Constitution.

Government ministers, including Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Education, Science and Technology Minister Makiko Tanaka, have criticized Ishihara for resigning as Tokyo governor.

Asked what he thought about Tanaka's comment that he was a "reckless old man," Ishihara said, "I may be reckless, but I am a determined reckless old man."

© Japan Today/AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

38 Comments
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Sunrise Party? More like the Sunset Party with this senile old age-pensioner at the helm...

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Ishihara should retire already.

When Ishihara was in his 40s he has said that people who are in their 60s and 70s have no right to govern. Look at where he is now at 80 years old.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

“Nagatacho is full of politicians who say and do things that are not in the best interest of the people,” he said.

And he wants a piece of the action, dammit.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

as much as i dislike ishihara, something has got to give in j-politics. with the ldp and dpj offering identical policies, there really is no hope of breaking out of almost three decades of economic malaise that has gripped japan. and i think most japanese people feel the same way. but i hope it doesn't end up being a choice between the lesser of three evils.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“Nagatacho is full of politicians who say and do things that are not in the best interest of the people, so I'll be right at home".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Sunrise Party = Thinly veiled "rising sun" party.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

God even the party name sounds far right.

I can see a LOT of disgruntled people flocking to this party unfortunately.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Questions:

A) Is there actually any pro-activeness behind this move or is it purely self motivated?

B) Will the political shambles in Japan be improved by this or worsened?

C) Will the stance of this party support a fairer democratic approach or a more right-winged imperialistic approach?

D) Am I correct in assuming the latter will be the case in all the above questions?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This old man belongs in a home - not in the diet

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A) Is there actually any pro-activeness behind this move or is it purely self motivated?

When has Ishihara ever done anything that wasn't centered upon him?

B) Will the political shambles in Japan be improved by this or worsened?

Quick answer; worsened by A LOT!

C) Will the stance of this party support a fairer democratic approach or a more right-winged imperialistic approach? Easy answer; right winged by far. The dude is racist too.

D) Am I correct in assuming the latter will be the case in all the above questions? Yup! lol!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Dum de dum (whistle)...lets see what JapanToday tells us today!"

(click, immediately slams head against the keyboard over and over...)

"Yup, this is Japan alright..."

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Believe a closer translation of Makiko Tanaka's reference to Ishihara would be "out-of-style, reckless elderly driver".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So where is all that money that people donated!? Would someone in the media please ask these questions!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So where is all that money that people donated!? Would someone in the media please ask these questions!!

Why? He is no longer the Gov so it doesnt matter anymore with him. Seriously, the money is a drop in the bucket when taking into consideration all the other things going on in Tokyo.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"The party was formed in 2010 by defectors from the LDP."

And as soon as the next election is announced they'll desperately plead to form a coalition with the LDP since they're likely to win. DPJ LDP LDP and DPJ dropouts -- they're all EXACTLY the same. Just because the rats left one sinking ship for another doesn't mean they're no longer rats, and with Ishihara, it's definitely a good thing they're going to change the name from the 'Sunrise Party', because his sun went down long ago.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

“I may be reckless, but I am a determined reckless old man.”

If he admits he reckless (and determined, which makes it worse), why on earth should he still be able to retain any power? Ah, this is Japan! That's right. Recklessness is almost a prerequisite for politicians.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Beware of an old man in a hurry. Need I say more?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If he runs the country like he ran Tokyo his fingerless friends will clean out the national coffers, not just a bank or two

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sunrise Party in power means Sunset for Japan!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Every Tokyoite should get down on his or her knees and exclaim, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"The Sunrise Party has five lawmakers whose average age of 73.5. The party was formed in 2010 by defectors from the LDP." I can't decide if JT was actually showing a sense of humour by pointing this out to the readers. It worked anyway , looking at the previous posts, thanks JT

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sunrise Party in power means Sunset for Japan!

Japan is already, alas, in sunset mode with debt way above that of any Greece-like-state. Okay, so Japan is different, but not different forever. The debt is going to catch up. Cuts are surely going to have to come. Flagship companies that might have saved Japan are themselves in crisis mode too, partly because they themselves are bureaucrat heavy. The DPJ said they would cut but, other than the brave attempts by Renhō, largely failed.

Even though, or perhaps especially because, I work in the public sector, I am in great sympathy with those that wish to curb, curtail, and cut the spending of the same. The bureaucratic sense of entitlement, or business as usual, rent taking, just-administrating attitude is, at once laudable -- in its adherence to rules -- and also untenable -- will lead to rack and ruin.

Japanese bureaucrats are good at being bureaucratic. For the most part I believe they do their jobs well. But they see their jobs as per the definition, as per the rules and regulations, and not the bigger picture: why the rules and regulations are there in the first place. That is not their job. It is the job of politicians, "lawmakers". And it is the job, or in the interests, of the public to vote those lawmakers in place.

Ishihara is at least saying that he is aiming in the cutting direction. Hashimoto is one of the few people that has managed to cut public budgets.

However much one may not like those that wish to bring this kind of bureaucracy cutting change, change in this direction --in the red tape cutting direction -- is needed.

Who is it to be then? Koizumi?! He is ten years younger than Ishihara and at least tried. Renhō?!

I have Japanese children. Someone determined is going to have to stand up and take the plate.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Yubaru: it was collected to a new specially setup account, do this Ishihara is allowed to keep it is okay with you?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Sunrise Party has five lawmakers whose average age of 73.5.

And now has an 80 year-old leader. God help Japan. The fat lady is humming very loudly.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am being unfair in my post above. I take no sides in the Keynsian vs monetarist debate. Spending is, imho, not always bad. Maybe the US "New Deal" was good. Quite possibly all the public spending works (koukyoujigyou) of successive Japanese governments were good, at least in the past. Spend or cut is the eternal debate. Reduce government (and taxes) or stimulate the economy and fairness. Both have their merits.

When Ishihara says that he wants to change Nagatachou what does he mean? Why does Hashimoto recommend decentralisation?

There is a cultural factor, that points towards a third way.

There is cultural research (Yuki, 2003; Bachnik, 2003) that argues that Japanese are very good at helping some sorts of groups but not others. They argue that groups that are held together by ideals do not work in Japan. People in Japanese groups do not think about the ideals that might (in other societies) hold those groups together. But the Japanese do think about the the network of in-group members. Interactions are everything, ideals are mere fluff. This points towards the (Hashimoto-esque) decentralisation idea. It is not that there is too much spending, but that centralised, Nagachou spending is a bad move.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Many people might think Ishihara is a fervent patriot so they could put up with him for his rectlessness. No, I don't think so, he is not such a simple politician! he's only interested in power! Why don't this man form/ join a new party before his son lost the leadship race of LDP? Will his son join this new party or stay in LDP? If Ishihara has another son/ or daughter, I would suggest he/ she to join DPJ!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just saw on the news a brass band serenading him with "My Way" as he left his feudal manor for the last time (officially, at least).

That humming noise you can hear is Mr. Sinatra spinning in his grave.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ishihara Shintaro: I am a determined reckless old man

May God help Japan, amen! His honest confession is the darkest hours for Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“I may be reckless, but I am a determined reckless old man.”

ok? ...what?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's Halloween and I'm afraid of the big bad Ishihara.

But Ishihara’s support for nuclear power, even after the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, and clashes with calls by Your Party and Hashimoto’s party to abandon the technology. Ishihara and Hashimoto also differ over revising the Constitution.

Scaryyyyy, why does he want to change or revise the Constitution ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sunrise Party is a Rising Sun Party.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Credence Clear Water are the new Nostradamus. I'm sure they wrote this especially for Ishihara.

I see a bad one arising. I see trouble on the way. I see earthquakes and lightnin'. I see bad times today.

Don't go around tonight, Well, it's bound to take your life, There's a bad one on the rise.

I hear hurricanes ablowing. I know the end is coming soon. I fear rivers over flowing. I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

Don't go around tonight, Well, it's bound to take your life, There's a bad one on the rise. Ganbatte Nippon!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

good riddance!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does the public really think that an 80 year old man is the guy to "shake up" the beaurocrats? The opposition should run ads saying, "Ishihara will do for the entire country what he did for Tokyo" then go to images of the failed olympic bid and Tokyo Shin Ginko while the yen add up in the back ground.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

80 years old. This is so indicative of this country - the best thing they can scare up is an old writer. A very old one. He ought to be asked to leave politics but instead is one of the top honchos around. See what happens when "respect your elders" is taken too far... What a joke. Do Japan have any new ideas at all? Really?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"I am a determined reckless old man"

He should just be determined to retire.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good. That's Ishihara out of the way. As Tokyo Governor he may have had quite a bit of clout, as a prospective Diet candidate leading yet another tiny party that's doomed to irrelevance, he's nothing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is the new governor going to be any better?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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