Ozawa as the shadow shogun

Here is one from the Japan Times.

What I can never figure out is why so many people accord this Wizard of Oz status to Ichiro Ozawa. He is one of the more influential politicians in Japan, for sure. But it seems to me that there are a sizable number of power centers in the land. Yet the focus on Ozawa is as though he is always the one pulling the strings.

And this was so even as the LDP government was circling the drain. It seemed that a number of them were obsessed with their ex-LDP mate, as if they would not call the election until the very last minute, “so as to deny Ozawa the victory he’s been scheming for for the last 20 years!!” Like that.

And then, if I’m hearing the katakana version right, there are the “Ozawa children”. Mostly these are young women in the countryside who got to be DPJ members, and good thing, since the only other jobs were haken through Manpower. (Haken is Japan’s unique temporary employment system.)

This rank-and-file is mumbling that their only purpose seems to be to show up in Nagatacho and vote “yes”. But this is what a political party’s most critical role is, and I wish someone would tell that to the Senate Democrats back home in the States!

Japan has its share of problems. And like I have been saying, Minshuto (DPJ) seems to have been putzing around for the last two months on them. (Except for Nagatsuma like I said. He got stuck with the work.)

I’m sure Ozawa enjoys the coverage as being the “top dog” of the Japan political world. But if you recall the story of the Wizard of Oz, when the small group of wayward travelers finally made it to Oz and met the wizard, he didn’t exactly have all those powers he was said to have.

And look what the Wizard of Japan has to face:

The scarecrow is the free public high school problem, and how hard it is for young people to train for international-based jobs.

The tin man is the de-industrialized manufacturing sector that needs to become a well-paid service one.

And the lion is figuring out how indeed to make a “more equal” U.S.-Japan relationship without ending up a lion head trophy in some other Wizard’s den.

The original Wizard had it much easier than that. And that’s before we even get to who the “Dorothy” is and what she will want.

Probably more than just get back to Kansai.