Kamei Shizuka and the knife-edge of WTF?

Kamei Shizuka’s proposal to create a third “pole” in Japanese politics, as so many have tried over the last few years, should be praised – if he can gather enough of the fossilized political retro-conservative retreads into one party then that would be a valuable indication of who not to vote for in any future election. Meaning people could vote without fear of electing some throwback along with, er, ‘normal’ politicians. Now if we can only get someone like Matsumoto Ryu to form a party of retro-socialists we could be in business.

I have thank Watanabe Yoshimi for so quickly confirming (ja) that I hadn’t been misreading the local politics scene over the last year. Apparently in addition to Ishihara Shintaro, and Tachiagare Nippon’s Hiranuma Takeo, and a number of others, Kamei had his sights on recruiting possibly soon to be Osaka Mayor’s Hashimoto Toru. From what I understand Hashimoto does not exactly have liberal views on some issues, security ones in particular, but joining up with that lot smelled too much of “dumbest political move ever” for my liking. As Watanabe points out, Hashimoto’s confidence that Japan can and should openly compete in a globalized world kind rules him out as a retro-conservative.

4 thoughts on “Kamei Shizuka and the knife-edge of WTF?

  1. As a liberal Osaka resident I’m torn over Hashimoto. Extremely humble roots and self-made success. Best I can say is, he doesn’t seem to do things halfway. His highs are high, his lows are low, but right or wrong he does seem to care for Osaka in a way that none of his predecessors – mostly interested in lining up money and jobs for their cronies – ever did. On balance I suspect I will end up greatly disliking him a decade or two down the road. I have a hard time not respecting him, though.

    • Janne, I understand where you are coming from. Hashimoto’s national aspirations are no secret either so you may not have to worry just as an Osaka resident! Comments this morning in reaction to Kamei’s offer, that if he was to go national it would be on his terms not someone else’s, suggest that if he is successful tomorrow the we are going to witness something very interesting happen. I’m optimistic that national politics will even him out a little. Like you I respect and hope he does well but am a little concerned about tendency to make sharp turns on issues based on personal whim. Will see!

  2. “From what I understand Hashimoto does not exactly have liberal views on some issues, security ones in particular,”

    I like him just for this because the liberals politics have fucked Japan geo-politically. Watching a Chinese leader get a Red Carpet spoke of Japan’s attempted courting of China at America’s expense. They threw that back in Japan’s face. They made that carpet welcome happen as much as they had prevented it previously. Hashimoto sounds better than the dumb fuck Ozawa whores.

    • Chris, I’m seeing a pattern…you don’t much like Mr. Ozawa 🙂 I think the contrast between Ozawa and Hashimoto is an important one because I think Hashimoto represents the type of new thinking prevalent among younger elites that Japan doesn’t have to “fit” into the Chinese/East or American/West sphere of influence. Abe, Koizumi, Ozawa and Hatoyama are all representative in some way of the impulse among older politicians to make such a choice.

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