Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's new cabinet is already a farce and a joke among many in Japan as "inventory clearance sale" of the Democratic Party of Japan.
The Liberal Democratic Party may not be far behind when it comes to being a joke. Its "new" leader Shinzo Abe, former prime minister who threw away his job after one year ostensibly because of his chronic stomach ailment (ulcerative colitis), was so eager to prove to the general public that he was now fit to lead Japan again that he ate a huge plate of curry and rice with pork cutlet on top (3,500 yen per plate, or US$45) in front of a camera and netcast the whole event one hour before the leadership election, according to Shukan Post Seven (10/1/2012).
I looked for the video but couldn't find it. (I wouldn't have imagined that a plate of curry and rice with pork cutlet on top could cost that much.)
Abe was second in the first round of voting, but won the second (and final) round. The Shukan Post Seven in another article says it was because of the net-savvy supporters of his, successfully trashing the opponents by flooding the offices of LDP representatives who were supporting the opponents with phone, fax, and email messages like "Why do you support so-and-so, instead of Mr. Abe?" His supporters disclosed on the Internet the names, addresses, and contact information of the party members who endorsed Abe's opponent, urging net citizens to flood them with protest.
Well it seems that one or two such supporters even came to my blog in defense of his/her weak-stomach hero the other day.
His supporters have apparently been swarming the net (social media like Twitter in particular) attacking people and the media who mocked his performance of eating 3,500-yen curry and rice, accusing them of the bias against Abe.
So, in the coming general election, the choice will be: LDP under Mr. Shinzo "I can eat a whole plate of pork cutlet curry now" Abe, or DPJ under Mr. Yoshihiko "Fukushima achieved cold shutdown state, and oh by the way I ditched the zero nuke policy for Obama" Noda, or whatever the party of the boy-wonder of Osaka City, who sets off police on the citizens asking him to reconsider the disaster debris burning in Osaka City.
A new low for Japan if that's even possible, but my bet for the election outcome is the third one, out of sheer disgust with the former two, unless the small parties can form a coalition (which I doubt very much) to fight these dominant parties.
There's one person I'm keeping an eye on in Noda's new cabinet, Seiji Maehara.
His ministerial portfolio is national strategy, economy and finance, and administration of nuclear policy. (Now, who needs the prime minister, if there's Mr. Maehara?) He could wreck havoc, and give an "in" to the boy-wonder on the national stage. Sure enough, the boy-wonder is squawking already, saying he has "high hopes" Mr. Maehara, and that he thought Japan would change for the better ("better" for him and his kind) if only Mr. Maehara's policies were implemented.