I figured something like this would happen. Reports are that the Prime Minister is signalling that Japan will abide by the country’s agreement with America concerning the bases in Okinawa. For example, Kyodo via Japan Today says that Hatoyama is seeking the Okinawa protesters’ “understanding” about the situation.
This has been ten month’s of nonsense. And, in the meantime, a number of valuable initiatives haven’t been given adequate time with the general public.
The simple fact is, there are no easy solutions to the Futenma controversy because there never were. That’s why the United States and the 1990’s-era Japanese government went 11 years on negotiations. This story got so annoying, and boring, so quickly, because it became clear that the DPJ had done no thinking about Japan’s defensive strategies. Especially, defensive strategies that did not include the United States as strategic partner.
It reminded me of the crap that goes on in expat companies here (gaishikei), where the presence of a foreigner is made into an issue in itself, just because. And usually as an excuse not to deliver on some other cirtical thing. You know you’ve all seen that. I wonder why grown people think that sort of thing is dignified or acceptable?
I feel sorry for Hatoyama, because it’s clear he wasn’t cut out to do a seiken koutai (regime change), and that he basically got in there because Ozawa became too smelly for the public and had to step aside.
The DPJ is really going to have to come up with someone tougher to fill the role, or Hatoyama himself is going to have to reinvent himself (the New Hatoyama?), if the DPJ wants to maintain its popularity and get things done in the next 3 1/4 years.