Koizumi and his 'assassins'
[I am typing from the Airs Cafe in Shizuoka, near the foot of Mt. Fuji. I came to see the news on Katrina which is just awful. fyi this is short because I keep hitting some goldarned button that is turning the typeface into Kanji. To get back to English you then need to pick from a menu that is in Kanji. I fear I'll get stuck in Kanji the rest of my life.]
[Took the shinkansen down here, unbelievably smooth for something going so fast. By comparison, the U.S. is using mules and wagons.]
This is election season, unexpectedly. Junichiro Koizumi, the prime minister, got his knickers in a knot over the refusal of the Parliament to privatize the postal services. His own party members wouldn't go along. Japan Post is a huge enterprise, with more employees than the military. A story in the IHP says that post offices are family sinecures passed from generation to generation. Koizumi, who apparently is a bit of a cowboy, reacted to the political naysay by dissolving the Parliament -- how such a thing is possible, I can't figure -- and scheduling new elections, for Sept. 11. (I know this entry is barely literate but it is hard to write and avoid the Death by Kanji button at the same time.) I love the concept of dissolving government. America needs to do some serious dissolving. In any case, Koizumi has picked friends and allies and various celebrities to run against the recalcitrant members of his party. These candidates have been called Koizumi's assassins. I am with the PM in this fight for the simple reason that he compared the opponents of postal privatization to those who said in the 17th century that the Sun revolved around the Earth. Koizumi said, 'Even after Galileo was found guilty of heresy, he still said, The Earth moves.' You have to love a guy who can use that great line in a political campaign.
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