also known as "space alien" among his critics for his off-the-wall remarks in the past. True to this moniker, Mr. Hatoyama said he would go inside the PM's Official Residence and tell the prime minister to listen to the protesters, and he actually did (PM NOda was not there). Good for him on that.
According to the Jiji article below, Prime Minister NOda was as far away possible from Tokyo on Friday. He was in Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu. Noda has apparently been complaining to his guards that he cannot freely go out for a drink on Friday evening because of the protest.
From Jiji Tsushin (7/20/2012):
Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama of Democratic Party of Japan participated in the protest against the restart of nuclear power plants in front of the Prime Minister's Official Residence in the evening of July 20. Holding the microphone, Mr. Hatoyama said, "We have to respect a new trend in democracy that you are creating. We should stop the restart."
Mr. Hatoyama then declared, "I will go inside the Official Residence right now and tell them how you feel." He then walked inside the Official Residence, and asked Chief Cabinet Secretary Shu Fujimura that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda set up an occasion to hear what the protesters have to say. Mr. Fujimura answered "I will tell the prime minister." Of Mr. Hatoyama's request, PM Noda said to the press in Yanagawa City in Fukuoka Prefecture where he was visiting, "I want to listen to various opinions."
Asked why he participated in the protest, Mr. Hatohama explained to the press, "It is necessary to feel the new wave of democracy first hand." However, his party was not enthusiastic about his participation. "Should he be participating in the protest as the former head of the party and former prime minister?" (Koriki Jojima, chairman of DPJ diet policy committee).
By the way, Hatoyama, who voted against the sales tax hike and got his DPJ membership suspended for a few months, is a member of the group of politicians who wants to build nuclear power plants deep underground so that the plants could be easily buried should serious accidents happen.
Yasumi Iwakami did the interview with Mr. Hatoyama on July 18 and it was netcasted on IWJ's USTREAM. People have been tweeting "Oh he sounded so reasonable! Totally different from how the media has been portraying him!"
I didn't think much of him when he was the prime minister, and don't think much of him after he resigned. But I haven't seen the video yet. If you understand Japanese, you can still view it for free at IWJ, here
Whether it is Hatoyama, or Kamei, or other politicians at the protest (including Yasuo Tanaka giving out white balloons), the need to hold up the "higher authority" must be in the national genes.
I came across this tweet by one of the organizers while browsing tweets to find information on Hatoyama's appearance on the Friday protest:
Those people who criticize the way we do things at Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes simply ignore the fact that by doing it our way we've been able to gather so many people to participate. If they want to deny that fact, why don't they organize something on their own on Friday and gather more people?
"Success" seems to have gotten better (or worse) of him.