1) Masuzoe Yo'ichi won. However, there is little reason for the Liberal Democratic Party leadership to get all happy about the victory. Masuzoe only just surpassed the total for the two weak anti-nuclear candidates combined, even with 70% of the Liberal Democratic Party voters and greater than 90% of the New Komeito voters voting for him -- at a time when the LDP is eight times as popular as any of the opposition parties.
As for what happens next, Masuzoe has to get along with an LDP-dominated metropolitan legislature. As NHK so kindly reminded Masuzoe and the rest of this morning in the historical review clip prefacing the live studio interview of him, Masuzoe broke away from the LDP in 2009 declaiming, "The LDP's historical role in Japanese politics has come to an end."
Have fun with that.
2) The candidate the Democratic Party of Japan's supported, an ex-prime minister backed by the most popular prime minister of the last 40 years, came in third. Will heads roll at DPJ headquarters? No! Timidity and failure are now party trademarks.
3) The outcomes of Utsunomiya Kenji's candidacy was far from embarrassing. It was also far from victory. Interestingly, he did better the further away one drew from the Metropolitan district's core.
4) Tamogami Toshio received 610,000 votes. That is not enough in the way of a ground force to overthrow the government (not that Tamogami would want to -- in my recollection, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo appointed him head of the country's Air Self Defense Forces). However, it sure makes for a nice base from which to recruit new members for Tamogami's hard core revisionist, paranoid and xenophobic Ganbare Nippon! organization. We should also expect that his rallies, which were merely attracted thousands, will now attract tens of thousands, marching and shouting without police intervention (or Ishiba Shigeru complaining about the noise, I am guessing) right past the Diet buildings.
This was a fundraising and membership drive for Tamogami. The news media, by shying away from hard looks at Tamogami's past and his followers and their intimidating methods for whatever reason, served as silent enablers to this fiasco.
Go try to tell the South Koreans and Chinese this morning about Japan's deeply ingrained pacifism. They will laugh.
The words that changed the world
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