Japan’s political world got a little more interesting than usual this week as Democratic Party of Japan kingmaker Ichiro Ozawa attempted to take his party’s leadership from current Prime Minister Naoto Kan. If Ozawa had been successful, he’d have become the 15th Japanese leader in the past twenty years and the third this year. I’m quite happy that Mr. Kan retained his party’s leadership, and not just because I like to post this link all the time (warning, sound will play). No, the Machiavellian Ozawa would likely have been a bad choice for Japan right now — he’s got a very shifty reputation and is not popular with voters, though he is a shrewd politician. That isn’t to say that Kan, who lacks the wealth and political connections most “thoroughbred” Japanese leaders enjoy, has been a particularly effective Prime Minister so far. But at least he’s got that Star Trek II thing going, so you can remember his name easily.
Prime Minister Ozawa could have provided much-needed stimulus to the country.