Who was it that said modern two-party system is taking root on this soil?

Sunday, August 14 2005 @ 02:21 PM JST

Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto

And another question to be asked of the Yomiuri Shimbun and the Daily Yomiuri would be: Who decided postal privatization is synonymous with postal reform?

The turmoil resulting from the August 8 dissolution of the House of Representatives is getting real ugly day by day.

The 37 intra-party rebels headed by former House of Representatives speaker Tamisuke Watanuki are toning down their rhetoric against LDP Chairman Junichiro Koizumi and his toadyish lieutenants in the face of the unexpectedly high-handed and uncompromising attitude of the party leadership.

The LDP leadership has now made it clear that these rebels in the Lower House cannot expect the party endorsements when running in the September 11 snap election on the pretext that the upcoming general election is a de facto referendum on the postal "reform" bills which was voted down on August 8 at the House of Councilors.

These rebels, whose only sin has lain with the fact that they have their vested interest in the Japan Post to varying degrees and in one way or the other, are increasingly wavering over whether to turn themselves in to the leadership.

According to the August 14 installment of the Daily Yomiuri's series, "Election 2005 - Showdown over Reform", "one-third of postal rebels want to remain LDP members after election" because they are too much in love with it.

It's unlikely, however, that Koizumi will make an appeasing offer to them before the campaign officially starts on August 30. These days the buzz word is "assassin" at the headquarters of the ruling party.

For one thing the August 13 installment of another DY series, "Election 2005 - Fallout of Dissolution", reports that Koizumi handpicked Environment Minister Yuriko Koike, popular former TV anchorwoman, to field her as an assassin in a Tokyo constituency where one of those disowned rebels is to run for re-election.

The DY series writes: "Seiichiro Murakami, state minister for administrative reform, [followed up] the prime minister's line, saying: 'You are the Aya Ueto of the Liberal Democratic Party. You are like the movie character Azumi'."

Like most of you, I am in the dark about manga, or cartoons. But this dotard who has seen too many cartoon films, actually referred to one of those kids' films starring popular actress by the name of Ueto as a female assassin.

In the meantime, Watanuki and his rebel comrade Shizuka Kamei, who is known to be a close friend of Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, are also wavering over whether to quit the LDP to form a much-talked-about new party primarily because of their lingering affection for the 50-year-old family of porkbarrel operators.

Another "fallout" is the fact that a couple of (former) criminals have announced their intention to make a comeback, taking advantage of all this fuss.

One of these ex-criminals is former LDP lawmaker Muneo Suzuki who embezzled the taxpayer's money in a classic pork-barreling method. Another former criminal and LDP legislator who is eyeing to run is Kazuyoshi Nakanishi. Last year he fondled the breasts of a female pedestrian on a street of Roppongi, central Tokyo.

On the other hand Ryutaro Hashimoto, another ex-criminal, has announced that he is now bowing out. So all I can say about the former prime minister is, "Let the criminal go."

Prime Minister Koizumi isn't running this time but as some local websites reveal, in 1967 he was arrested by Kanagawa Prefectural Police Department for raping a female student. At that time he wasn't prosecuted because Kanagawa Police Department was persuaded out of sending papers to prosecutors by his father, then-Director-General of the Defense agency.

According to the informed Web sources, that's why he was sent to the U.K. to attend the London University while he had nothing particular in mind to study there.

One of these Japanese websites goes on to reveal that even in recent years, the alleged born-pervert repeated sexual offenses many times, each time his private secretary having to pay millions of yen to silence the victim.

Moreover the reason behind his divorce is said to be domestic violence.

I suspect Koizumi's past would make Bill Clinton blush if these websites are telling the truth.

As of today as many as 14 prefectural chapters of the LDP are going to endorse their rebel candidates in defiance of the decision taken at the party headquarters.

But who cares? After all the cabinet approval rating even shot up to 57.1% in the past week, according to the poll conducted by NTV, the TV arm of the Yomiuri media group.

All this intra-party feud has overshadowed the presence of the Democratic Party of Japan although the main opposition party has found the September 11 election a once-in-a-lifetime chance to come into power.

Basically that is because the DPJ was, and remains, a spin-off from the LDP, as is apparent from its leadership which predominantly consists of former LDP members.

Besides, the DPJ's main backers include the Japan Postal Workers' Union.

Now, a little belatedly, the DPJ has started to hint it may include a plan to lower the cap on the postal savings accounts in the campaign pledge in order to fend off the criticism that the DPJ is incapable of making a specific counter-proposal.

As if just from the top of his head, DPJ President Katsuya Okada said that maybe lowering the cap from the current 10 million yen to 7 million will be a workable solution.

Some, including Heizo Takenaka who is in charge of the Koizumi's pet project, insist that as a result of the lowered cap, about 80,000 postal workers would become jobless. This is more than enough to silence Okada.

And Takenaka triumphantly asks the DPJ leaders: "That's definitely not your favorite scenario. Neither do we like to see that happen. And aren't you in favor of a small government, after all?"

The truth is: What's wrong with dumping all the redundancy in manpower? As TFP has pointed out time and again, privatization will never work, as it hasn't in the past with the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation, Japan National Railways, or most recently with Japan Highway.

Privatized or not, we will see a real reform only when the number of postal workers, 270,000 of them, is more than halved. The only workable solution is as simple as that.

And all along, quite a few misguided Japan watchers in the U.S. and Europe, including Russia, are hailing the alleged pervert with his hairdo looking more and more like Beethoven's, saying he is the real leader, they are now seeing the emergence of a long-awaited strong and sound Japan under him, and so on and so forth.

Simply, that is not the case here, though.

I think it's the mainstream media that should take all the blame for creating the illusion abroad, as well as at home.

Once again, I want the Yomiuri Shimbun and Daily Yomiuri to answer these two questions:

Q1 - Weren't you saying up until recently that a "modern two-party system" was taking root on this soil with the Democratic Party of Japan quickly coming to maturity? Both in your "Showdown" and "Fallout" series, however, you are now criticizing the DPJ for being immature and incapable of proposing valid and specific alternatives.

Q2 - Who decided privatization is synonymous with reform? You have repeatedly editorialized that DPJ should try hard to come up with its own postal privatization plan. For instance, in the second installment of the "Fallout" series, you wrote: "The DPJ never presented its own proposal on postal privatization because of opposition from the Japan Postal Workers' Union" as if it was privatization, not reform, that is at issue now. And there is no such thing as reform without a drain of pus, and blood.

I'm not asking you nastier questions, for now, such as:
- whether you have ever scrutinized Koizumi's past, if not, why,
- how come you always run a self-righteous news story about corporate and government wrongdoers, such as the three former executives of Kanebo Ltd., who falsified its books to hide the negative equity situation (Total Liabilities exceeding Total Assets by 74.3 billion yen), or the former JH officials who were systematically providing the two bid-rigging rings with insiders' information about a number of bridge construction projects (through the former JH officials who had "descended from heaven"), just to mention a few --
only when these criminals all became ex's
.

Or is it the secret of earning a 10 million circulation, as well as a big chunk of ad revenues, to keep lying?

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