08 August 2005

Japan Postscripts

Last week, it was expected that after a contentious passage through the lower house of the Japanese parliament, Prime Minister Koizumi's reform of the Godzilla-like Japanese postal system would pass more easily through the upper house this week. Instead, an unexpected political coalition with the minority Mothra, Minilla, Gigan, Ghidorah, Megaguirus, Smog Monster, and Mechagodzilla parties was enough to save the beast, at least for now. On a related note, Raymond Burr Slate's Explainer has clarified how Japan Post became so large in the first place.

Actually, according to the Wall Street Journal this morning, the failure of the reform was due more to a split within the governing Liberal Democratic Party than to any other factor. As promised, Koizumi has put into motion the threatened "suicide bomb dissolution", a political maneuver to force elections within the next several weeks which will probably remove Koizumi and/or his renegade LDPers from office.

It's surely unfortunate that the so-called "suicide bomb" has been dropped after all, and especially ironic that it happened between the sixtieth anniversary commemorations of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Now it seems that my harsh assessment of that Japanese MP who committed suicide in despair over his vote last week was, perhaps, a bit off-the-mark. Apparently, he was not some overwrought, misguided soul, but was instead a political visionary and a man ahead of his time (by a few days, at least). With that kind of political foresight, he should run for the party leadership post in the upcoming elections. Wait, scratch that; now that I stop to think about it, he was probably just a one-trick pony after all.

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