Friday, June 3, 2011

Japanese PM Naoto Kan offers to resign to foil no-confidence vote

Things are looking up
for Mr Kan. Not.
What Andy Warhol meant to say was that in the future, everyone in Japan will be prime minister for fifteen minutes.

From the Japan Times:
Prime Minister Naoto Kan survived a no-confidence motion Thursday after suddenly announcing his intention to resign once disaster-hit Tohoku is back on its feet and the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant is safely under control.

Kan's abrupt announcement barely prevented the ruling Democratic Party of Japan from falling apart, as dozens of members close to DPJ heavyweight and Kan rival Ichiro Ozawa refused to vote against Kan.

Kan survived easily by a vote of 293 to 152 in the 480-seat chamber, which included 15 DPJ and 15 opposition abstentions.

Although the public nature of the Kan-Ozawa feud has apparently been settled by Kan's announcement, the internal conflict is likely to drag on as the two sides jockey to get one of their own voted in as prime minister.
Naoto Kan was not the favorite of any one of my Japanese friends, but it was really bad luck for him that the Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis happened on his watch, even though there was nothing he did to cause all the problems and precious little he could have done to mitigate the results.

I have no real opinion about him one way or the other, except that he and his party seemed interested in fostering good relations with South Korea, by standing behind Seoul and also by not making Yasukuni visits.

My only regret is that I won't be able to reuse this photo and accompanying caption anymore:


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