An NTV news report about LDP politician Shinjiro Koizumi (“Koizumi Junior”) trying to improve the image of his party by giving a tour of the naval base in his home district:
Some 50 participants, selected from about 5,200 applicants, went to the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Yokosuka base where they were expected to tour an escort ship, enjoy the MSDF’s specialty dish of “kaigun (navy) curry” and talk with Koizumi.
Since winning his father’s seat in the Kanagawa No. 11 district in the House of Representatives election in late August, Koizumi has been popular, particularly among young people.
NTV contrasts Koizumi’s popularity with that of LDP president Sadakazu Tanigaki, whom many have criticized for his lack of aggressive leadership. Whereas Koizumi draws excited crowds, Tanigaki is uninspiring and uncharismatic – so much so that people can’t even seem to remember his name!
Representatives of Rio de Janeiro’s successful 2016 Olympic bid are seeking an apology from Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, after the defeated leader of the Tokyo Olympic bid made some unfriendly comments about why he thought Rio won:
Mike Lee criticized Ishihara’s comments and went as far as to call the Tokyo governor “a bad loser.”
Ishihara said at a press conference in Tokyo on Sunday he heard that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made “daring promises” to African people and that French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised to support Rio’s bid if Brazil purchased French-made fighter jets.
He also said, “invisible dynamics were at play.” It is unclear, however, which of those comments were a direct cause for Rio’s backlash.
“It was suggesting or hinting that there was some sort of trickery involved. It was very inappropriate. Everybody fights to win and some do better than others,” said Lee.
Update: A Japanese member of the IOC has apologized for Ishihara’s outburst.
Ichiro Ozawa, the man who is said to hold the real power within Japan’s ruling Democratic party, has said he favors passing a law to grant voting rights to foreigners with permanent residency:
Meeting at the DPJ headquarters in Tokyo, Ozawa told Lee, elder brother of President Lee Myung Bak and head of the South Korea-Japan parliamentarians union, that he is for the idea of granting such rights to permanent residents of Japan, including South Koreans.
“I want it to take form somehow during the regular Diet session,” Ozawa was quoted as saying, in remarks that suggest his intention to compile the opinions of DPJ members on the matter during the next ordinary session.
DPJ House of Councillors member Yoshihiro Kawakami, who took part in the meeting, told Kyodo News he believes the DPJ-led government would submit a bill aimed at giving permanent foreign residents the right to vote in elections for local government heads and assembly members to the regular Diet session.
While I think that it’s nice to give some local voting rights to foreigners who have come to Japan and received permanent residency, I think it is a bad idea to extend voting rights to Japanese-born Korean special permanent residents. Such a policy only encourages their position as perpetual non-citizens and discourages them from taking Japanese citizenship.
Wouldn’t it be better if the Japanese government streamlined the process by which they could naturalize and become full-fledged citizens of this country?
The new diet session began today, with Prime Minister Hatoyama taking office. Early morning news shows could not yet report on Hatoyama entering the Diet because the gates to the building did not officially open until 8:00AM. Luckily, a few politicians lined up early and gave the media something to talk about:
The woman shown in the video is Yukiko Miyake, a newly elected representative from Gunma Prefecture and one of the “Ozawa Girls.” She arrived at the Diet building at 2:50AM this morning, eager to show the media how committed she is to her new position. She was carrying the diet lapel pin of her grandfather, who also served in the Diet.
Ten minutes later, another DPJ politician arrived. It was Yuichiro Tamaki of Kagawa Prefecture. In a blog post he wrote on his mobile phone this morning, he expressed regret over having failed to be the first to arrive as well as his desire to fulfill the expectations of the voters who elected him.
The presence of reporters and cameramen at the Diet gates at such an early hour seems to suggest that the media were expecting (or had been notified in advance) of the arrival of both politicians.