The Japanese media seems to be so willfully blind sometimes that it hurts (me, and probably many others – the media seems to enjoy this ignorance).

Earlier this year there was much controversy raised by the LDP and the conservative media about Ozawa strong arming that most sacred political institution of all, the Emperor, into breaking the rules established regarding visits to the emperor. One month was considered a bare minimum by the imperial household’s bureaucratic arm. Xi Jinping, China’s vice president and likely heir to the mandate of heaven was allowed to circumvent these rules due to the “treacherous” manipulations of the “Shadow Shogun” Ozawa Ichiro with no regard for anyone in the nation, not even the Emperor of Japan! Has he no shame?

This got some play in the Western Press also (who rules Japan? The Shogun, or the Emperor – psssst, the answer has always been not the Emperor! ) as the meeting was imbued with more significance due to Japan being perceived to be moving closer to China and away from the US in their foreign policy disposition (by daring to question the US on the Futenma issue). This was exacerbated by a visit to the mainland by Ozawa which almost resembled the ancient emissary expeditions that Japan sent to the Chinese emperor in the 500-800 AD period. Oh no! It is all over – because we all know Japan has traditionally been a very loyal tributary subject of the Chinese empire.

Anyway, today Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano has come out and stated that since 2003 6 incidents  have broken protocol. Hmmm, how many narratives does this undermine? If anything, it should feed into what should be a building narrative about just how corrupt the ancien regime was in hiding from the public even more damning information during its time in power – things that the DPJ are slowly letting out (lately including the issue regarding the secret pact with the US on the transportation of  nuclear weapons, more information regarding requests made by Nakasone snr for the US to withhold information on the Lockheed scandal….).


2 thoughts on “Hmmmm…..

  1. I think it was like a perfect storm (albeit in a teacup) with the Xi Jinping incident. First, it was China, which the Japanese are always sensitive about. Second, it was Ozawa, whom people dislike and distrust, especially since Xi’s visit came so soon after Ozawa’s tributary visit to China. Third, it was the Emperor, who is still beloved.

    I suspect that previous lapses in protocol would not have made the news even if revealed, especially the first two factors were absent. Even the third factor was different this time, because the Emperor’s Chief Steward came out to comment on the issue, which many Japanese probably assume is with the implicit consent of the Emperor.

  2. Ah, yes your analysis is almost certainly correct.

    I guess with the LDP attacking the DPJ in parliament however, and pretending it was for purely national respect reasons when it was due in part to China-skepticism, and even more so, anti-Ozawa-ism, was particular grating. That is politics, of course, but I guess what this is highlighting for me is that some of the DPJ’s worst lapses, some of which are equivalent to many “minor” LDP ones, are getting far more air time than quite major LDP lapses traditionally did and do, even now (as I suggest in my last paragraph). While one would not argue that less transparency should be applied to the DPJ because of this, I find the disconnect a bit frustrating. Mainly because we could at the very least holding them to account on policy implementation and other useful things.

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