-- General Douglas MacArthur
"I'm an old soldier. Have you heard of General MacArthur's words, "Old soldiers just fade away"? I was thinking about just fading away, but now I feel I have a bit more work to do."
-- Ozawa Ichiro, in an interview by The Wall Street Journal last Friday.
“It’s better to burn out…than to fade away.”
-- Neil Young, “"Hey, Hey, My, My”
Ozawa Ichiro did not show up at his seat in the Diet for today’s no confidence motion vote. Instead he was across the street, in his Diet member’s office, during the entire proceedings.
By not showing up, Ozawa became eligible for disciplinary action. All the other members who failed to appear or who abstained will draw a one year suspension of all party privileges. Since Ozawa was already stripped of his party privileges in an earlier disciplinary measure, the Democratic Party leadership has to choose between the next level of punishment – expulsion from the party – or just letting things slide. At the party committee meeting this evening, Secretary-General Okada Katsuya recommended expulsion. Koshiishi Azuma, the leader of the DPJ in the House of Councillors, told Okada to forget it, that too many members of party would not stand for Ozawa receiving any more punishment.
I cannot say whether Ozawa burnt out, faded away, humiliated the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito, set up his erstwhile ally Hatoyama Yukio whilst aiding his erstwhile rival Kan Naoto, or is sitting pretty, hugely enjoying having drawn the news media into swallowing a completely false narrative – hook, line and sinker – one, grand last time.
No matter what, Kan Naoto should send the old soldier a nice gift. Today’s defeat of the no confidence motion marks the third time in a year that Ozawa has served as Kan’s nemesis in an intra-party struggle, with Kan coming out the big winner in each encounter.
Later - The broken links in this post have now been fixed.