Is the Kan government going to survive?

I am looking at this from Pennsylvania, but I say the answer is “no”.

There are too many forces pulling at the DPJ–from without and within–that it seems almost a matter of time before some faction or group of factions sets off a crisis.

The common pattern, if you notice, is that each of the various competing groups are very good at saying no, and then giving some excuse.

That’s contemporary Japan, isn’t it? No no no, and then some excuse.

So this is all anyone running the government is good for. I think they see the Republicans in America doing the same thing (no no no and no compromises), and so the Japanese feel that’s representative democracy. You make all sorts of crazy promises to win, then you can’t deliver, and the losers all sit around objecting to whatever you propose.

It’s not particularly Prime Minister Kan’s fault, either. I think the political talking-heads on TV and academia are discounting the severe damage that Ozawa and Hatoyama caused the DPJ last year. They did more to shoot the credibility of Minshuto than anything Kan has done in the last 9 months.

Now that the sharks smell blood, the opposition is ONLY going to agree to a new election. Looking at it, it’s a scenario that Kan should take. There is no way that DPJ would gain another landslide victory, but very likely that it would be the largest party in a multi-party parliament Kan wouldn’t be able to do very much with just a plurality, but no one else would, either. This would make things very clear that the only way any of the factions would have a government is if they form a coalition based on their compromises.

I don’t understand why the Europeans do this all the time, and it’s no issue; but the Japanese practically never concede. Situations always end up markedly worse than they could have been, and the people who had the power walk around unbowed because they think that since they didn’t give in, no one should fault them for the fact that things turned out a disaster.