The Japan Times is suggesting that Prime Minister Hatoyama won’t be able to resolve the Futenma dispute by the end of May, and that it will be critical for him to stay as prime minister. Tatemae leader, I would say, as most people seem to agree that Ozawa Ichiro is really the man calling the shots in the DPJ.
[Update: If I understood what News Zero was saying tonight, people noticed that Hatoyama only had 10 minutes with President Obama in Washington. While I think the Japanese portray this as Hatoyama only giving the President ten minutes, I honestly feel it was the other way around. The DPJ has done nothing but give President Obama headaches since September, and now I don’t think he’s of any mind to do any favors for them.
This means the Administration will make Futenma one long, hard slog for the Hatoyama Government. If I caught the news right, there was a clip that someone stateside printed, saying that Hatoyama is just considered some rich man’s son who got placed into politics. And it was written in such a way as to suggest that these sort of folk never amount to much and can never be expected to deliver.
This all is sad. Had the Hatoyama Government focused on the actual serious problems throughout this nation, and not a local issue in Okinawa, they’d have substantially more credibility than they do now.
I think the only reason Washington hasn’t lowered the boom on them is that DPJ doesn’t have to call a Lower House election for 3 1/2 years. So the DPJ’s only bargaining chip is that they will be around, even if Hatoyama isn’t.]