politics

Ozawa decides to back Kaieda for PM

39 Comments

Former Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa has decided to back Economy, Industry and Trade Minister Banri Kaidea in Monday's party presidential election to choose a successor to Prime Minister Naoto Kan. A total of 398 DPJ members will cast their votes in the election.

Earlier Friday, Ozawa -- who cannot vote in Monday's election because his voting privilege has been suspended following his indictment in a political funds scandal -- said he could not support former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara because his election would be a disaster for Japan and he could not unite the fractured DPJ.

Ozawa and Hatoyama met twice during the day. Ozawa had tried to find a suitable candidate from with his group but in the end, he decided to back Kaieda who is a member of Hatoyama's faction. Ozawa's faction has 140 members, while Hatoyama's faction has about 50.

A DPJ lawmaker was quoted by NHK as saying the election is turning into a battle between anti-Maehara and pro-Maehara supporters. Maehara has in the past tried to diminish Ozawa's influence within the DPJ. The two men had a 10-minute meeting on Thursday.

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39 Comments
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I support Maehara and his anti-nuclear policy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Congratulations Mr. Kaieda ! Now Banri will make everything 'benri' (convenient) for Japan ! sarcasm over+

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The puppet master (Ozawa), and the puppet ( Hatoyama - puppeteer = his wife) deciding Japan's future. Another step backwards to protect the ingrained politician's bank accounts and power base.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And this is democratic ???????

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ozawa—who cannot vote in Monday’s election because his voting privilege has been suspended following his indictment in a political funds scandal—

Amazing, the "king-maker" can't even vote because he is under indictment. And we all trashed the LDP when they were passing the PM job around without any elections. IMO, the DPJ has managed to actually sink to an even lower level. Simply mind-boggling.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maehara said 40 more years of nuclear. Why don't we just have Ozawa instead of all these stupid games?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Probably the kiss of death.

Anyway, Banri is a fool, and he's more than proven that by shooting his mouth off, and he also supports not only restarting all the halted plants in Japan, but building MORE nuclear plants -- this at the time of the given crisis and what's being revealed daily. Unbelievable. Anyway, Banri won't get it before Maehara and Noda -- unless of course his envelope to Ozawa was the fattest.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No surprise there. The sooner they throw Ozwa into jail the better!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If the prosecution had a case, Ozawa would already be in jail. If you don't like him, move to Iwate and vote him out.

Kan was Japan's Roh Moo-hyun: all fire and no spark. Activists make great champions for unpopular causes, but incredibly poor politicians.

Considering Maehara's previous record as FM with regards to Japan's neighbors, I can see why Ozawa would be cautious about having him as PM.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Congressmen need to start thinking on their own, they were voted in to represent their constituency, not vote along faction lines or how the boss tells them to, the Japanese people need to wake up and not stand for this, voice their opinion, stop voting for these puppets

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ozawa. Mr. "got more important things than the nuke crisis" himself. If you disregarded the candidate he supported out of hand, I could not blame you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don`t understand how Mr. Ozawa can back anyone when his voting privileges has been suspended. If you ask me, he should not even have the opportunity to back anyone and he should be totally removed from speaking about political things until his own life is put into order. This is a total joke!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese people need to wake up and not stand for this, voice their opinion, stop voting for these puppets

That's really what it comes down to doesn't it? In the end, the Japanese people only have themselves to blame for repeatedly voting these corrupt cronies into power.. most voters are so fed up with politics, they have given up trying to change anything. It is sad to see these corrupt politicians, but it is even more tragic to see the rampant apathy among voters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

** Japanese people need to wake up and not stand for this, voice their opinion, stop voting for these puppets

That's really what it comes down to doesn't it? In the end, the Japanese people only have themselves to blame for repeatedly voting these corrupt cronies into power.. most voters are so fed up with politics, they have given up trying to change anything. It is sad to see these corrupt politicians, but it is even more tragic to see the rampant apathy among voters.**

Well said both of you. Give the gaijin the right to vote and I am sure the Koreans would be demanding some change - as would the rest of us. Pathetic. I have no idea why Ozawa has been demanded to quit. And he can take his sheeple with him!! How on earth is this democracy??

Call and election and let the voters for on the PM, not the party.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

gachapin: "Kan was Japan's Roh Moo-hyun: all fire and no spark."

Kan had the spark, but the opposition and infighting, all for money-grubbing and personal interests, was the water that kept it from becoming a fire. Politics in Japan is in TOTAL deadlock, and the reason is the beating that took place by the LDP in the last election; a beating which occurred because of the RIDICULOUS promises Ozawa and Hatoyama made (and Hatoyama even promised the opposites of the same issue!!) before running, tails between legs, from their responsibilities to keep said promises. It's like they took a massive ceramic dinner platter, smashed it on the floor, took a dump on the pieces, and said "You've got a lot on your plate, Kan... deal with it!" How could he ever pick up all the pieces and serve use said platter to serve the promises made by others?

papasmurfinjapan: "It is sad to see these corrupt politicians, but it is even more tragic to see the rampant apathy among voters."

Agreed 100%. The only people who seem to get out and vote these days are businesses and the employees they force to vote for their vested interests, right wingers, and the like, thus assuring the wrong people continue to stay in office.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is looking even worse than I expected, we may here some try to have kan recind his resignation & stay on!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Put a moustache on this Banri and you have a Japanese Hitler lookalike. Ozawa still weilding power. Its amazing that pay and perks don't get revoked for these crooks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Power/money politics moves on. Despite the brief interlude of PM Kan, the first PM that has not been bought and sold outright, Ozawa is moving the country backward now. If Ozawa supports Kaieda he must indeed be an clueless idiot easily manipulated. The Shogun does not want thinking slaves.

Japan had a brief chance under Kan to move beyond its failed policies from the past. But Kan was undermined by the press, the LDP, the ministries and his own party. The window opened briefly and now it has been shut tight again. Japan will look back to Kan and say there, we lost a chance once again, to start living in the present and not in the 1970s.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kaieda can cry really well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Might as well just drop the charges against Ozawa the don and appoint him as supreme boss of bosses to head the government, as he will be pulling all the strings anyway.

Atleast it will be out out front and in the open then.

There is no hope for Japan atleast there was a small chance with Kan.

I dont really see why the people of Japan tolerate this political strife, they should stand up and take control of their country but I guess there is no leaders amongst them.

Let the Gaijin vote and run for office I am sure the county couldnt be worse off because of it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With Banri Don't Cry For Me Fukushima (because I can do that for myself) Kaieda as prime minister, nuclear policy will return to business as usual. Leaving that aside, I'd prefer a lady or gent with a bit more spine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

faction? A sub government? That should be illegal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Banri-Ozawa tie makes my spine so chilling. It just reminds me of Ragan-Bush, Bush-Cheney, or McCain-Palin.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Doesn't really matter who gets voted in anyways though, as the dpj lost majority in congress and the ldp doesn't look like they will cooperate to push thru any meaningful legislation, the policy vacuum will continue until japan will be forced to make decisions about it's debt next year

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dotakun: " as the dpj lost majority in congress and the ldp doesn't look like they will cooperate to push thru any meaningful legislation,"

Exactly! Hence we'll see another change in a year or soon after. Politics here have failed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's donate Ozawa to North Korea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kan had the spark, but the opposition and infighting, all for money-grubbing and personal interests, was the water that kept it from becoming a fire. Politics in Japan is in TOTAL deadlock

He was a terrible politician. The infighting was caused because he didn't pull together with the rest of Minshuto. Before Kan took the wheel, they had Jimento on the run; politicians were fleeing and forming their own small parties because they thought they were finished as a dominant political force.

The deadlock in the upper house was caused by his inopportune sales tax increase (a regressive tax on the poor) proposal leaked to the press before the upper house election. Even if it was a good idea (it's not), why would he make such an amateur move before such an important election?

Give kudos to Ozawa: with a quick quid pro quo with Jimento and New Komeito, he could bring "Ozawa's children" out of the disintegrating DPJ, forcing a snap election in the lower house, in exchange for the MOJ dropping this never-ending indictment.

For all you Kan fans: name one thing he's done successfully as a political leader? Resigning was the best thing he ever did as PM.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

name one thing he's done successfully as a political leader?

Not giving in to Ozawa... that alone shows real integrity and leadership in my books. Unfortunately, the Japan political system doesn't want real leaders, it wants puppets who will fall into line with the puppet-master Ozawa.

It's a paradox I know, but real leaders in the DPJ are doomed to fail unless they can get rid of Ozawa, permanently.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not giving in to Ozawa... that alone shows real integrity and leadership in my books.

The saying "Cutting off your nose to spite your face" fits this perfectly. Activists can keep their integrity, especially when they are the permanent opposition party, sniping from the sidelines. Real political leaders compromise. So, beyond his childish pique at being shown up by Ozawa, what else has ira-ira Kan accomplished as a political leader?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So, beyond his childish pique at being shown up by Ozawa....

1) I don't see Kan showing any kind of 'childish pique'. He resigned because that was the deal he made to get through the vote of no confidence and get some important basic legislation passed.

2) No one the legal side of Al Capone could be 'shown up' by Ozawa, who is as dirty as dirty comes in Japanese politics.

If Ozawa backs Kaieda, that's one good reason for Kaieda not to be PM. And if Kaieda supports nuclear, that's two good reasons.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't see Kan showing any kind of 'childish pique'. He resigned because that was the deal he made to get through the vote of no confidence and get some important basic legislation passed.

I never claimed he resigned out of pique. He resigned because he was rightly pushed out for bungling as PM. He would have lost the no-confidence vote if he hadn't compromised by promising to resign as soon as he got those bills through.

On Ozawa: I hear a lot of hearsay by uninformed foreigners on this site, but why haven't the prosecutors filed criminal charges? Could it be that their case is politically motivated by hopes that once the only credible political leader is sidelined, it's just a matter of time before their benefactors in Jimento are swept back into power? Instead of rallying the party together and forcing the MOJ to put up or shut up, Kan showed he knows nothing of politics and turned on his own, giving Jimento exactly what they desired.

Considering the corruption found in the governments of the West, holding Japanese politicians to a higher standard is hypocritical.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Real political leaders compromise

And who was Kan supposed to compromise with? Ozawa?

That's not compromise, that is selling your soul to the devil.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That's not compromise, that is selling your soul to the devil.

Are you seriously comparing Ozawa with the devil? You think a return to Jimento political cronyism is a better solution? That's what Kan has done. If he could have won against Jimento without Ozawa's Liberal party, he should have done so, but he couldn't, because he's always been an agitator and not a politician, just like Roh.

That's the pique I was talking about. He'd rather sink the team (and the country) than compromise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are you seriously comparing Ozawa with the devil?

Well no not seriously - rumor has it the devil is charming - and Ozawa certainly isn't that. : ) But "compromise" is two-way street. "Do what I say or else" is not compromise, it is becoming a puppet. How much was Ozawa willing to compromise with Kan?

Ozawa sunk the DPJ long before Kan ever came into power. Do you remember what a success Hatoyama was?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ozawa sunk the DPJ long before Kan ever came into power. Do you remember what a success Hatoyama was?

Hatoyama's biggest mistake was putting the cart before the horse: he should have pressed for a bill or even a referendum with direct voting on whether Japan should still host American bases. If the vote was affirmative, then he should have said, "given that the Japanese people still wish to host American military installations, we must all share the burden; other prefectures must help Okinawa lighten its load". If the Japanese people rejected American military installations, he would have had a much stronger negotiating position with Obama. He failed to solve the problem politically.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

why haven't the prosecutors filed criminal charges? Could it be that their case is politically motivated by hopes that once the only credible political leader is sidelined, it's just a matter of time before their benefactors in Jimento are swept back into power?

Or could it be that strategically-placed small, plain brown envelopes are doing their magic? There is nothing 'credible' about Ozawa. If I were religious I might compare him to the devil, but since I'm not I'll continue to see him as the Al Capone of Japanese politics - a nasty piece of work that no one can get a handle on, and if he does end up being banged up it will likely be for something silly like tax evasion. More likely he'll be the power behind the throne (whichever party is nominally in power) until the day he croaks, which judging from those jowls and the bags under his eyes, might not be that long. There are some things that no amount of plain brown envelopes can fix.

And if you're going to accuse others of being 'uninformed', at least inform yourself of the correct spelling - it's Jiminto, not Jimento. Though I suppose you could call Ozawa a jimenshi地面師.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Clearly Ozawa is the de facto leader of this country. He's the Shin Kanemaru of the 21st century. And the people just sit and take it, watching shows about this and other drivel instead of thinking of doing something about the nuclear situation. BAA-AA-AA-AA-AA-AA-AA-AA-AA-AAHHH!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The only evidence on which the inquest panel decided to indict Ozawa is his secretaries' confessions that prosecutors put on record (actually what they themselves imagined and wrote). But in the pretrial proceedings for the secretaries many of those confessions were rejected by the court as inappropriate or more bluntly as fake. I wonder how they proceed with Ozawa's trial.

Maehara may pursue TPP which deprives the country of customs duties (basic rights of a sovereign state) and food self-sufficiency. His hawkishness can be utilized for building tension which makes Japan swallow a deal as a kind of protection fees. He is a bit headlong type, too impetuous for crafty and often devilish China. I think Ozawa is more cautious about China and about any other deal like TPP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder how they proceed with Ozawa's trial.

Very slowly while leaking half-truths to the media until Noda can raise the sales tax, then call a snap election. If they had real evidence of wrong doing, they would have already locked him up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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