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Japan Trivia 5: All Characters Suffer Parasomnia in Act 5 of the Kabuki Play Titled "1955"

It's not just that these "old runaways," as some call these LDP defectors all in their late-60s or well into 70s, have lost their way, but they have also run out of words for their party name. Bland words such as "liberal," "democratic" and "people's" have all been used up by now.

That's why they brought the first-rate swindler named Shintaro Ishihara (posed on the extreme right of the photo) into the picture.
The five former senior members of the Liberal Democratic Party were at a loss over what specifically to do to prevent the ruling Democratic Party of Japan from further "wreaking havoc on this country." But when it came to the naming, they certainly knew who to turn to. Duping the extraordinarily gullible Japanese into believing in empty words is Ishihara's only forte.

That's how they came up with the fancy name - Tachiagare Nippon (起ち上がれ日本党) or Rise Up Japan Party. And that's why the 75-year-old self-proclaimed rightwinger attended today's kickoff meeting before the press corps. Although he volunteered to stand godfather to the new party, he stopped short of becoming one of the founding members himself for an obvious reason.

In exchange for his favor, however, he took the liberty to put his pet subject - constitutional amendment - at the top of the policy statement of the new group. This also helped the founders. Kaoru Yosano, one of them, was the last Finance Minister of the LDP administration who was known for his fiscal conservatism. But, aside from Yosano's unarticulated aspiration to stem the further snowballing of fiscal deficits, they'd had no ideas about what to do to reverse the disastrous situation facing this country until Ishihara extended an extra favor. Small wonder that they, wasting no time, took a bite at Ishihara's bait.

Actually these rebels, apparently suffering senile dementia, still think new laws can make a new Japan, while in fact it's always the other way around: it's a new breed of Japanese with firm resolve to transform themselves into sound and viable people that can make good laws.

Against this backdrop all the media organizations hastily took polls about constitutional amendment, as they have done hundred times in the past, and released the results, unaudited ones as usual.

The Yomiuri Shimbun daily, for one, said the nation is still evenly divided over whether to amend the Constitution, with 43% of respondents supporting the idea and 42% opposed. Based on this "finding," it editorialized that nationwide and more in-depth debates over the "issue" are solicited urgently.

There are some other new parties set up, or about to be set up. Hiroshi Nakada, the scandal-tainted former Yokohama Mayor, will possibly form one because that is what he had in mind when he prematurely fled the city hall. He was getting a hunch that otherwise all these crimes he committed while in office would have come to the surface to thwart his undeserved ambition.

Kunio Hatoyama, Prime Minister's younger brother, may not launch his own, but he is looking around for the next stop of his habitual party-hopping. Like his elder brother, he keeps looping all the time. He has already shuttled between the DPJ and the LDP in the past.

These racketeers are still making believe the sun will rise again as former editor of the Economist Bill Emmott has assured them. But as anyone with a shred of commonsense can tell, they've got to wake up before they can rise up.

Sleepwalking aimlessly is the surest way to accelerate the progress of the collapse of their nation. That's why their aggravated parasomnia gladdens me. Actually I'm suffering from a serious insomnia lately because I can't wait to see the final curtain fall on this farce.

Postscript April 11: At the press conference, these guys made it clear that when addressed by English-speaking people, they wanted to be called The Sunrise Party of Japan. ·

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