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Ozawa leads mass revolt of Japan`s ruling political party

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Sales tax?

It sounds like the same problem facing high income elites everywhere. Why tax billionaires when there is a kid slurping noodles and 10 cents left in his pocket?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree with Hikozaemon that the bureaucrats (MOF in particular) have won over Ozawa in kicking him out of the ruling party while getting the tax hike bill through. The other angle is the success of the negative campaign which succeeded in weakening his political powers. I believe there are two key factors behind this. One is the media, ever since Ozawa spoke about the need to abolish the kisha kurabu and restrict cross ownership to ensure a healthier media industry, the major media groups have turned extremely harsh against him which I suspect played a role in influencing the views and policies of Koan policeforce in pursuing his prosecution. The other factor seems to get down to his personality which many criticize, which partially concerns his way of old politics (behind the scenes tactics) that is losing appeal among the newer generation but probably has more to do with the fundamental distrust he seems to maintain towards others which eventually has some of his closest members decide to break ties with him. This time round, Haraguchi the former Internal Affairs Minister and at one point regarded as someone close to Ozawa and someone who abstained the tax hike bill has stated that despite Ozawa's strong request to join him that he has decided to remain within DPJ and focus his efforts on changing the party from within. Similarly, don't think Hashimoto or Watanabe (of Your Party) or Ishihara will consider taking part in his coalition tactics at this time. People tend to compare him with Kakuei Tanaka his mentor from whom he learned much of the electoral strategies and tactics, and what substantially divides the two seems to be the personal charm, which obviously plays a critical part in demonstrating effective leadership.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What Japan needs is an individual capable of achieving a fine balance between doing what the people want and doing what would be in the best interests of the country. The reality is Japan cannot afford not to get anything done. The ranks of elderly Japanese growing and the workforce is shrinking. The Tax revenues are shrinking and the productivity is declining. The the budget deficit is growing and the debt to GDP ratio is rising. The cost of social services is increasing and the lobs are being outsourced to developing countries. As most of Japan’s debt is held by domestic investors, it can certainly keep up the status quo for a few years, if not longer. The problem with that is time, the bill cannot be delayed indefinitely. But the longer Japan waits, the more it can’t afford to pay the bills. What may ultimately result is default. At that point, all living standards will experience a very steep decline. Japan is capable of massive structural reform. What isn’t so clear, however, is how Japan will be able to do it. It’s easy to say that a country needs political change. It becomes difficult when you start to boil down to the specifics. How should Japan change, and what can it do to get itself back on track?

This is why Japan needs effective political leadership. A leader who is able to convince his society that difficult, but necessary measures will have to be taken to ensure the continuing prosperity of the nation. Social security will have to be cut, but the growing political influence of the elderly will prevent such changes from ever happening. And that’s where we have the political problem. Who’s capable of being in charge? How is he going to achieve political unity? Is it possible to change up the status quo in order to maintain the status quo? These are questions that no one have answers to yet. Perhaps that is the biggest issue that Japan faces now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whatever.....all Japanese politicians need to go back and wear diapers.

There are no ideology differences between these 3 parties; supply based economy, demand based economy, socially conservative, socially liberal? Well, they are all pile of s@@ts. They all failed to do what is the best for Japanese.. This is so laughable and sad. I have tons of diapers ready for them 24/7 just in case.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@tokyokawasaki that's global politics you're talking about my dear and good fellow part of planet, the question, globally is, who is in debt to who, everywhere i go, it's always national, and everyone's in debt, so who, i ask you, who has the money, who are they all in debt to ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is not simply about the tax hike, that was just a trigger.

Let's not forget that Ozawa was not opposed to a tax hike, just demanding concessions in reforming corrupt practices like amakudari and other wasteful old-boys network nepotism corroding Japan from the inside... Anyone knows that the consumption tax rate in Japan is relatively low compared to other countries, but they also have VATs, etc.

One should also not forget that Noda was the Minister of Finance under Kan. So even though he looks like he just walked off of a peanut farm in Chiba and put on a suit, he's an insider now.

On the upside, though, I think that there are more Japanese in the general public that are studying these developments carefully, so any election is apt to be unpredictable.

And Ozawa is far from out of the picture. His decision to leave the party makes him the only viable opposition to the establishment to most reasonable people. It remains to be seen whether he can generate any momentum, though.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yeah, I have to agree that cutting the cost of government would be the goal, not raising taxes to pay off TEPCOs debts. Not that I'm fond of Ozawa, but if we take Hikozaemon's POV then Ozawa was targeted because he wanted to break relations with the bureaucrats and industry and government? In Japan? The mind boggles.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tom Webb: it's naive to think these politicians have broken their promises because of the Big One. If anything they've used it as an excuse. The solution is cutting wasteful spending, not taxing the common people. They love voters like you though.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It's really amazing how many people take the bureaucrat/press club kool-ade on Ozawa.

Today represents the final removal of barriers within the DPJ to the DPJ becoming the LDP - a party with no policies, or aspirations to have any policy, other than the policy of just bending over and doing whatever their bureaucratic advisors tell them to do, with the promise of friendly media, business donations, and local public works kick backs.

Ozawas name has been dragged through the mud in the kisha-club press because he represented the faction of the DPJ that most threatened the cozy ties between bureaucrats, business, politicians and the media by attempting to pull policy control back into the sphere of democratic accountability for the first time. He failed, and leaving the DPJ is an admission of that, but in the end of the day, he's not the one who loses. Japan loses, because we are back to being run by faceless unaccountable bureaucrats whose primary concern is the budget allocation and influence of their ministry, ahead of the greater public interest.

People welcoming this are a reflection of the good work of the institutional press working to repel people who threaten the iron triangle (which including the media is in fact a square). Clueless. This is a sad day for Japanese politics, because this fight is far more than kids fighting - the DPJ lost its soul.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

All I can say is "good riddance". Ozawa is a curse to whichever party he is a member. He looks out for number 1, and it's as simple as that.

I'm looking forward to seeing his new party getting trashed at the next election, though I suppose it's too much to ask for him to lose his seat as well.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

GW - It is not just the politics! The whole society is built on immature, narrow minded teenagers. I swear, most Japanese never get der than 14 emotionally.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Tom Webb: a little Google sleuthing will show you ex-Prime Minster Kan's pre-3/11 plans to increase the consumption tax.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese politicians grow up. Enough of the selfserving ideas for your honour and crap and support the leaders youve put in charge instead of finding a reason to flip them off at every oppotunity.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Goodbye to spoiled Ozawa. You caused enough trouble for the people of Japan. Now PM Noda and DPJ can concentrate on funding social spending. Can't blame the DPJ for "breaking" word on not raising taxes three years ago. That was before the BIG ONE that put a big dent in the government's spending plan. Unforseen natural disasters causes even the politicians to "break" their word on no tax increase. How else is JP going to pay for all that disaster financial layouts if not for tax increases? The old timers in Japan want their social welfare money, so something must give.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

J-politics is so juvenile that it makes REAL juveniles seem like full grown adults, what an embarassment while the country goes down further & further

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hikozaemon: I think you are right - there seem to be 12 from Hatoyama's group incl himself and 4 from Peoples New Party who have voted against. 38 Ozawa group members in the lower house have decided to leave so 17 more needs to leave to disable DPJ from rejecting a non-confidence vote. If Ozawa makes this happen he has my utmost respect for the rest of his political life. This time round his contribution will be all about triggering the election, an election at which many of his first timer group members are destined to lose.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

1 word to describe the O man, Dirtbag !!!!!

Taxes Taxes Taxes, ballooning public debt CAN JAPAN AFFORD THE OLYMPICS IN TOKYO ?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Please go Ozawa - good riddance to bad rubbish!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Ozawa, a strategist and master of backroom deals during his four-decade political career, has long been a paradox

Yup, that sums him up. No noteworthy policies he promoted to benefit the people he is supposed to serve. Just deal-making to feather is own nest.

A squabbling Kindergarten. J-politics is totally self-centered and embarrassing

tokyokawasaki had it right in the very first post.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Alliswellinjapan - I think most of the remaining dissenters still in the party are from Hatoyama's faction - who himself voted against but isn't leaving.

Which is interesting, because Hatoyama and Ozawa of course both joined the DPJ when their party, the Liberal Party merged with the DPJ, so this is effectively a parting of ways of Hatoyama and Ozawa.

As I recally, there was also a dissident group of 10 or so DPJ lawmakers who resigned in protest at the sales tax to form the Kizuna Party - I wonder if they will join Ozawa's new party. With 60 lawmakers, it will be a substantial group in parliament.

Then, it will be interesting to see what punishment Noda imposes on Hatoyama and the DPJ members that stayed. If it's too harsh, they may decide to run out and join Ozawa's party too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ah, Japanese politics. It is always interesting to see their childish spats. There hasn't been a good punch-up in the diet for a while now though. Japanese politics should be in the entertainment section of the newspaper.

Oh, and BTW, Ozawa is a criminal and should be in jail!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I love how the man who promised to leave politics is balling about broken promises.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

お手並み拝見!Let's see what you've got. With 50 members, Ozawa's party will be the third largest party, since Komeito has only 40 members.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ozawa's new party name suggestion: 舞台裏将軍50

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They already announced a bunch of new public works projects next week - more concrete to fix the economy!

And more bribery for the politics...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The good news for this is that with all that new consumption tax money, the bureaucrats won't have to worry about being dragged into gymnasiums and made to explain their overspending of discretionary budgets again for a while. They already announced a bunch of new public works projects next week - more concrete to fix the economy! Surely it will work THIS time around...

Everything feels back the way it used to be.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

But he has suffered setbacks in recent years, including being forced to resign as DPJ leader over a funding scandal before its historic victory in 2009, a win some credited him with orchestrating.

A funding scandal that police decided four times there was no case to prosecute, and which he was acquitted of, and it was found that police had forged evidence against him when they proceeded.

But indeed, a funding scandal...

Noda will be happy - this will probably accelerate the acceptance of his application to join the annual LDP Christmas Party in December.

Truth is, we now have three parties - the LDP, DPJ and Komeito, with no ideological or policy differences between them controlling power. The LDP has been demanding that Noda expell Ozawa, so they got their wish, and now they can continue to control the DPJ as they have as the party sadly slides into self destruction at the next election.

Well, it was nice thinking Japan actually had a feasible political choice other than the LDP. Ozawa will regroup but it will take another 10 years at least before he has another chance to try to disempower the Japanese bureaucracy again, which is a shame. It will be very interesting to see if he alligns himself with Hashimoto at the next election. The fact that for now he has already formed a parliamentary alliance with the Social Democrats implies he won't go the far right route, but Hashimoto and his party share a lot of Ozawa's core reform principles.

In any case, this is good news for those who want Japan to return to an effective one party state. Why would anyone vote for the DPJ after all this?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I think the only ones with a shred of dignity the politicians who voted against the tax increase. The LDP has turned its back on the people who voted for them, and sided with the ruling party. Democracy is being hijacked by schemers who put Ozawa to shame.

PM Noda is acting recklessly, and more out of panic than clear thought. Japan can't tax its way out of debt, certainly not at the height of a recession.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It is true that Ozawa is blamed for various reason, but I support his action.

DPJ has forgotten the reason for their victory on the election 2009 and they are handled by Bureaucracy. Japan's Bureaucracy System has a long, long history, and it is very difficult to change.

But, Ozawa could remove their power. Japan's Bureaucracy never create the vision for Japanese citizen more than the politicians.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"the tax plan's approval in the lower house"

Well, the people voted these buggers in, they can vote 'em out. But they won't, and soon we'll all be paying more for everything we buy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has to raise more money. Ozawa is a self centred typical J politico. good riddance. Now for the next fiasco.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

'Shadow Sho-gone'

Now stay gone.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Looks like the trumped up prosecution of Ozawa has resulted in a jackpot for the LDP.

They have been able to implement a tax increase that enables more money to be extracted from the general populous while avoiding having to reform even the obviously corrupt practice amakudari.

The DJP has effectively been rendered null and void, as they have discarded the fundamentals set forth in the platform that got them elected, and now they couldn't muster a majority even if they won an election.

That leaves the LDP as the only political party with a numerical strength to form a government.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Great, Ozawa will build his 4th castle now which he will destroy again a bit later and this story will go on until infinity.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh yea. Who actually believes election campaign promises anyways? They're politicans!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Peace out Ozawa. And koodos to Noda. I agree with the tax hike. You can't substain a social system like that of Europe and having a revenue tax system like America.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"...the planned tax hike violates campaign pledges made when the Democrats swept to power three years ago, promising to curb the powerful bureaucracy and cut wasteful spending before raising taxes."

True words, unfortunately uttered by the wrong person, even if he honestly believes them to be true.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Noda's a grunt; a pragmatist; an egoless, anti-Ozawa.

I like him.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Good riddance Ozawa!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Meanwhile Rome burns.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Very unfortunate in my view as there could not be a better time for people to seriously think about and vote for the appropriate direction and leadership for this country than now, particularly as it concerns economic/fiscal and energy policies.

Ehh what? Vote for the appropriate direction and leadership? That will never happen as the people in this country cant vote and the ones that cant only vote for who has the biggest wallet.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Ozawa, if he truly wants to act in the best interest of the country, should use all the political energy left in him to make sure they leave soon."

I was going to suggest migrating to Transylvania.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Ozawa is revolting!! He's massively revolting!!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Can't wait to see whats gonna happen next...

mental note *must get pocorn

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Seems Ozawa could not secure enough people within his group to leave the party with him to secure a non-confidence vote to pass through lower house, thereby triggering an election. Very unfortunate in my view as there could not be a better time for people to seriously think about and vote for the appropriate direction and leadership for this country than now, particularly as it concerns economic/fiscal and energy policies. Would be keen to find out the names of the DPJ members who voted against the tax hike bill but nonetheless decided to stay within the party at this time, disabling the election to be triggered. Ozawa, if he truly wants to act in the best interest of the country, should use all the political energy left in him to make sure they leave soon.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

WTF? Two days ago he was leaving, yesterday he was staying, now he is leaving.... this guy (and his 12 yes men cronies) are a cancer for Japan as they are only thinking of themselves.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

He'll fall and be a nobody soon...and it's about time

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Ozawa is right. Noda and his cronies made a pledge, lied to the pub Ic, continue big spending, with not one beurocrat being laid off, and demanding taxes raised. Him and his family of crooks are rich. 10% added on the cost of food, gas, diapers, etc does not faze them one bit, but ask ordinary people. How can people not take to the streets to protest an 100% increase in this tax???? I do not understand this.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

A squabbling Kindergarten. J-politics is totally self-centered and embarrassing.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

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