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Monday, July 30, 2007

Honest Abe

posted by on July 30 at 10:30 AM

Japanese politics are going a little crazy right now, since the country lost this guy:


and these guys (including new prime minister Shinzo Abe, on the right) took over:


Now everything kind of looks like this:


You can read more about it here (the story includes Japan’s youngest leader since WWII, a Cabinet minister who hanged himself, and a day of voting that’s being called “the Revenge of the Middle Classes”).

But this is the detail that snagged my attention:

On the island of Shikoku, historically the conservative heartland, all four contested seats were wrested from the ruling party.

In Ehime, one of the longest-serving veterans of the Liberal Democratic Party was ousted by a 32-year-old professional footballer who was described by his own campaigners as “not necessarily the right man for the job.”

Man. That’s gotta hurt.

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The weirdest thing is that the "Liberal Democratic Party" going down in defeat is actually Japan's arch-conservative party who've ruled for 50 years.

"One of the chief criticisms levelled against Mr Abe – even from within his party – is that his Cabinet was not selected for its competence, but instead was a weak-willed caucus of the Prime Minister’s friends."

"Across the country, electoral upsets revealed a longstanding resentment towards the ruling party. In Okinawa the LDP was punished for its perceived lack of strength on the issue of the realignment of US military bases there. The remote, economically depressed island switched its allegiance to the DPJ in what local voters described as “the only message Tokyo will understand."

Wow, that all sounds really familiar.

Posted by Original Andrew | July 30, 2007 11:09 AM

My favorite thing about Junichiro Koizumi (and there are a lot of things to like) is that he released a CD of himself impersonating Elvis.

Posted by Ari Spool | July 30, 2007 11:26 AM

Abe had the misfortune of following
a popular albeit a controversial
politician in Koizumi, and Abe has
had to face the brunt of the public
anger over Koizumi's miscues.

I might add, that in my opinion, I
don't find Abe to be a skilled
speaker. I am not Japanese and many
might disagree with me, however when
I have listened to him, he doesn't
seem particularly inspiring. Perhaps
someone might have better insight

--- Jensen

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Posted by qoluf dzosly | August 6, 2007 8:52 AM

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