Governor Ishihara, your concession speech is 15 years overdue now

Friday, August 27 2004 @ 07:48 AM JST

Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto

According to the nation-wide survey conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun in early July 2004, you ranked as low as No.10, in terms of popularity, among Japan's prefectural governors.

Although you still fared much better than Nagano Governor Yasuo Tanaka with an approval rating of 63.8% that compared to Tanaka's discouraging showing of 35.6%, it's obvious you are now quickly losing ground. The same survey showed you ranked No.1 in terms of annual salary with a mouth-watering JPY 61.03 million while your counterpart in Nagano Prefecture pocketed a modest JPY 13.17 million. But that only indicates justice does not prevail in your domain.

The most recent news reports had it that when breaststroke swimmer Kosuke Kitajima won gold medals in Athens, you said, perhaps scratching your head, you would keep your word that you had given to the athlete: If he won a medal or two, you would buy him Korean barbecue dinner every night for the next couple of years. Some newspapers speculated that this would cost you more than JPY 7 million. You reportedly added that you would pay Kitajima's barbecue bills from your "pocket money". This mindless chat with your entourage from the press somehow confirms once again that you are done even as a local politician.

Five years ago you landed this highly-paid position at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's headquarters. At that time Tokyo citizens, millions of them, voted for the wrong candidate because ten years earlier, your half-hearted attempt for a "Revolution Inside the System", the empty rhetoric that dates back to the late-1960s, had already been aborted. Worse, you had failed all along to learn your lessons from your defeat in the 1989 LDP presidential election. In my opinion the only time the LDP has ever done the right thing was when it chose Toshiki Kaifu, yet another mediocre politician, though, over you in the election to avoid even more disastrous consequences.

Ever since you have looked and sounded like an underdog. In 1998 you pulled yourself together once again and decided to substitute the Tokyo governorship for the nation's premiership in your failed pursuit of an insatiable ambition. By that time, however, you had conveniently forgotten your empty promise for Revolution Inside the System.

Although it's not your type of reading, you must have felt ashamed if you had read "The Gorbachev Factor" by Archie Brown. The last president of the Soviet Union, known to be an ardent advocate of "reform from within", really eclipses you. Archie Brown theorizes that Mikhail Gorbachev could climb the "greasy pole" that led him to the top, while keeping his reformist mindset miraculously intact because of his integrity and learning ability. Without these qualities Gorby would not have succeeded in reforming the almost unreformable system, if it meant the collapse of the Soviet Union. Apparently this integrity was not bestowed upon you, and your learning curve is too flat.

It's about time you have retired and shut your mouth, for good. And make no mistake, we do not look forward to reading yet another scribble you will most probably author. For one thing, it's far from enough today just to say "No" to anyone on anything in a complex world like this one, as the late Akio Morita, the co-founder of SONY, looked to have realized, shortly after he carelessly co-authored the crap with you. I even suspect, judging from your extremely poor English skills, it's just that all you could say in English is this two-letter word.

If this is not enough to convince you to bow out, prematurely or not, you should refer to other articles in this blog that elaborate on the warm-headed and cold-hearted person, that you are. There is a forum devoted to the current Tokyo Governor.

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