Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bureaucrats Prepare to be Bashed

I recently received a phone call from my friend and former government official H-san. He is a reserved person, a consummate gentleman. This is what he told me:

"Lately, when I meet government officials, they seem a little tense. They've been feeling this way ever since people starting realizing political change could occur, especially once the Democratic Party of Japan started talking about dismantling the bureaucracy and the mass media joined in the bureaucrat bashing. If the DPJ wins, it will join with the media to bash the bureaucrats even more. Government officials can't help but think how they should respond when this bashing begins in earnest. Are Ichiro Ozawa and Yukio Hatoyama for real? If they dismantle Kasumigaseki and the independent administrative agencies, then what will happen? If they are serious about "dismantling Kasumigaseki," as they say, then we should prepare for some awful developments. It would be all-out war between the politicians and the bureaucrats. Can Japan really afford to have that fight?"