Thursday, July 2, 2009

Japan's Tragedy

While plans for an early dissolution of the Diet still have life, the idea that the Liberal Democratic Party would change leaders on July 2 is fading into the distance. I think it is safe to assume that this will soon become an impossibility. The discussions between Prime Minister Taro Aso and former premier Shinzo Abe about dissolving the Diet have been toned down. Aso is still repeating his tired one-man show. Trust in the premier continues to erode.

The LDP is likely to be in disarray after the July 5th gubernatorial election in Shizuoka Prefecture, the July 8-10 Italian Summit and the July 12 election of the Tokyo assembly. The time is drawing near for the LDP to bear the responsibility of choosing Aso as prime minister and party president. Even if he is re-elected to head the party, it will be difficult to stop the party's collapse. The disintegration of the LDP's coalition with the New Komeito Party has begun.

It may be too late, but LDP members need to recognize the danger of destruction they have brought upon themselves and try to recreate the party. If they can't repudiate the Koizumi legacy the way the citizens of Yokosuka City did in their latest mayoral election, then the party won't have a chance of reviving itself.

Opposition parties may welcome the disintegration of the LDP, but I don't think we should be thinking of it at that level. We have to think this through because it could lead to the disintegration of Japan itself.