Japanese Politics: All in the Family

The latest Japanese cabinet was sworn in yesterday, to the interest of practically no one in the country. More people were talking about the decrepit Sadaharu Oh finally retiring as manager of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks than the rearranging of the chairs of what’s become an annual family reunion out Tokyo way. Oh was what the front pages of Osaka were full of. The photo of the new cabinet was on page three of some papers.

The new prime minister, for as long as he can last, is the grim, filthy-rich, hateful little nationalist, Taro Aso. Aso’s grandfather was Shigeru Yoshida, Japan’s first post-war prime minister. His father-in-law was Zenko Suzuki, a profoundly stupid man chosen by the back-room boys of the LDP as a stop-gap PM in the early 80s after the incumbent took a heart attack and died. The new foreign minister is the son of the prime minister who succeeded Suzuki in the mid-80s, and the Minister for Babies is the daughter of the PM who had a stroke and died in 2000. Another plodding new minister is the obedient son of the right-wing mayor of Tokyo (which amounts to letting the mayor of Tokyo join the cabinet without giving up his day job). The outgoing prime minister, Fukuda, is the son of the prime minister who was succeeded in the late 70s by the man who dropped dead in 1980, causing the appointment of Aso’s father-in-law. Fukuda briefly succeeded the hapless Shintaro Abe, whose father was the foreign minister in the 80s, and whose grandfather, Kishi, was the rehabilitated war criminal who was prime minister in the late 50s. Something like 16 of the 23 new cabinet members are 2nd generation politicians.

How anyone expects change from this inbred bunch is beyond me. Bring on the elections!

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4 Responses to Japanese Politics: All in the Family

  1. fred says:

    Well, Pierre Trudeau’s son is running here, and I don’t think anyone cares at all about the cabinet. I can’t name any one in our cabinet here. Under the Liberals, yes, because they were there for so long. But for most it was a big yawn. In fact, our election in October is extremely boring!! Most Canadian are only interested in the USA election, because their VP, although a right wing- nut, is at least interesting. I predict she will win, and women will all flip hair do’s and square glasses. Obama fell off the radar. He was only interesting because he is black,and not some old white man as usual. If started preaching “God” he might have a chance. Poor Hillary, so smart and seasoned, to see a “nobody” get to be VP. Sad really.
    Canadians are the same with our politics. I predict a Conservative Majority, because Harper, has whipped those rednecks back benches so they will never speak. Before they felt,”It is my God given right to say that Homosexuality is a curse from God!” Now they even have a Conservative ( used to be a Provincial Liberal ) gay man running in my riding for the federal election. Of course many see him as an opportunist, but hey PM Trudeau used to be a Conservative before he crossed the floor. Also the Conservatives have not been in long enough to have any scandals, but years of Liberal’s scandals, left us with a hangover we won’t forget too soon. Besides, Dion looks like an absent minded community college prof. I have yet to see a print photo of him with out his jaw hanging opening. peaking a of jaw openings….”YAWN!!”

  2. nagaijin says:

    Uh, no, Trudeau never crossed the floor and he was never a conservative. He was a New Democrat supporter before he entered politics and ran as a Liberal. Once he was elected, he never changed.

    In Canada, running as someone’s son doesn’t get you anywhere (Justin will probably lose), but here, you basically have to inherit your seat.

  3. Tornadoes28 says:

    In the US, we get the old geezer Senators who have been in office for 35 years. Plus Bush Junior so it’s not much better.

  4. Kelly says:

    Oh so that Oh is finally retiring is he? He looks so shrunken and frail! Everytime i see him at the games it looks like one puff of wind and he’d be over and done with.

    I can’t say i much like any of the PM’s except for Koizumi who i heard has now retired. Though in saying that, i only liked his looks, not his policies 😉

    I often wonder why politicians are so old in the tooth before they get up to the main stage. And with history’s like that you can’t really see any positive change ahead can you? Especially as the role of PM hasn’t been very lucky as of late…

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