Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hatoyama Leaves, and so does Ozawa

Prime minister Hatoyama just announced that he'll be stepping down in response to the fallout from the US base mess and the resulting breakup of the coalition. No word on exactly when he's leaving - or if he'll manage to drag Ozawa down with him - but he'll address the members of both houses today.

Presumably he'll tell everyone exactly when he'll step down at that point. Or he'll tell people he's changed his mind and would like to continue, or decide he hasn't decided on the Futenma relocation after all, or fail to show up when he couldn't decide on what tie to wear. Steely resolve has never been his strong point.

Japanese politics may have many faults. Being boring is not one of them, thankfully.

Update: Hatoyama's apparently leaving before the election - as soon as a new leader (Naoto Kan, presumably) is elected. More significantly, Ozawa has agreed to step down as well. The end of an era, and of one of the more interesting political operators in Japan.


sigma1 said...

Well the media is reporting Ozawa's demise, and Hatoyama said on live TV that they had both more or less agreed to do so for the purposes of purging the DPJ of impure influences....if he does not intend to quit, then Ozawa's position is incredibly untenable!

Janne Morén said...

Yep, it seems that way. It's a shame it had to go this far; had he resigned after the election last autumn to take responsibility for the ongoing money scandal the media and public would have been less hostile and more forgiving now. It wouldn't have saved the Hatoyama administration - it's all his own doing - but the party would have been in a stronger position facing the election.