I am about as disgusted with Japanese politics as I am with the American variety, so if you into the horse race, you need to check out some very good blogs, which I list and link here:
These guys are not always right, but when they aren’t, they are better at being wrong than the garden variety, armchair Japan hand blogger.
I don’t really even want to make a prediction, but I have a feeling the next guy will be Noda, because Ozawa still has pull with the young men and women he got into office in 2009, and Ozawa doesn’t want Maehara.
There is no better possibility than to have yet another first minister in there who is hogtied and really can’t accomplish very much. If that isn’t just, you know, readily apparent from the storyline of the DPJ to date, I don’t know what is. Like how the U.S. Republicans are running out the clock on the Obama Administration, the same thing is going on in the Japanese Diet and with the Japanese bureaucracy. They are going to keep the “indecision” and “ineffectiveness” going until the next general election in 2013—which coincides with an election for one-half of the Upper House.
Whatever game these men are playing, it is mostly a game between those men, with little regard for general policies that would benefit Japan. I feel that the Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1867) mostly went like that after the early strongmen’s generation passed on. It is something that Japan, culturally, is good at—dragging it all downfield for 5, 10, 20 years. They like to do this.
Let’s see who the DPJ picks to be the top guy getting the tomatoes thrown at him for 2011-2012, and let’s see how long he lasts, too.