Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Shoichi Nakagawa Found Dead

October 4, 2009

Shoichi NakagawaFormer Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa, who lost his Hokkaido Diet seat on August 30th, after his drunken appearance at a Rome G8 conference in February led to his resignation from the Cabinet, was found dead in his Setagaya home by his wife at about 8:15 this morning.So far, Tokyo police say suicide is unlikely, but are conducting an autopsy to determine the cause of death, which they believe may be related to prescription a sleeping medication he was taking.

Foul play has been ruled out.

The Kyodo report contains one interesting line:

When Nakagawa’s 50-year-old wife came home at around 9 p.m. Saturday, she saw him sleeping with his upper body leaning against the bed, his face down, but did not sense anything was wrong, they said.

The way that’s phrased makes it sound like an unusual posture, but perhaps not that unusual considering the number of even more unusual sleeping positions in which Mrs. Nakagawa must have seen her husband over the years. (more…)

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Hatoyama Officially becomes PM, Names Cabinet

September 17, 2009

As expected, Yukio Hatoyama officially became Japan’s 93rd Prime Minister yesterday and just the second since the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party was founded not to belong to it. Just as importantly, after roughly two weeks of managing to keep the press at bay and leaking little, if anything about the make-up of the new Cabinet, the new Prime Minister formed the first Cabinet since 1955 to contain no LDP members.

In fact, as promised, the new Cabinet is made up entirely of elected representatives. Every portfolio went to a DPJ member, with only two positions going to the DPJ’s partners: State Minister in Charge of Consumer Affairs and the Declining Birthrate to SDP head Mizuho Fukushima and State Minister in Charge of Financial and Postal Issues to People’s New Party chief Shizuka Kamei.

So, without further ado, the Cabinet: (more…)

Election Results: Kyoto

August 31, 2009

Continuing on with the Kinki region, we reach Kyoto (which, just in case no one’s told you in the last few minutes, is historical), home of some big names. Sadakazu Tanigaki, a likely leader of the newly-chastened LDP, held on to his district 5 seat while former Education Minister and LDP Secretary General Ibuki Bunmei lost his district 1 seat, but remained in the Diet through proportional representation. On the DPJ side, heavyweight Seiji Maehara won his seat for the sixth time.

KYOTO

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Election Results: Hyogo, Districts 7-12

August 31, 2009

Continuing with Hyogo, district 8 was fairly interesting: neither a DPJ nor and LDP candidate ran as both deferred to smaller allies – the New Party Nippon in the case of the DPJ and the New Komeito in the case of the LDP. The NK candidate, who lost his seat, was the powerful Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport under PM Yasuo Fukuda.

District 9 also saw the DPJ defer to the postal rebel People’s New Party and not run a candidate.

HYOGO

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Election Results: Hyogo, Districts 1-6

August 31, 2009

Continuing with the second most-represented prefecture Kinki region. . .

HYOGO

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Election Results: Osaka, Districts 11-19

August 31, 2009

In the DPJ’s routing of the LDP-New Komeito ruling camp, they not only pushed out the ruling party, but swept out one of the tiniest parties to have an incumbent Diet member. Take a look at district 17, where, amazingly, there was no HRP candidate. (Yes, I know. I’m obsessed with parties so minor as to be trifling.)

OSAKA

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Election Results: Osaka, Districts 1-10

August 31, 2009

Moving on to Japan’s second-largest metropolitan area and the site of some interesting possible harbinger races. . .

OSAKA

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Election Results: Gunma

August 31, 2009

While former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda won his district 4 seat for the seventh time, former Finance Minister (under PM Shinzo Abe), Education Minister (under PM Junichiro Koizumi), and Director of the Economic Planning Agency Koji Omi lost his seat in district 1, a significant upset as, even in this table-turning election, real LDP heavyweights generally found their way back into the Diet, either by winning or through proportional representation. No such luck for Mr. Omi, who, given his advanced age, might now be looking at retirement.

On the whole, though, Gunma was a relative bright spot for the former ruling party, with big name Yuko Obuchi also winning her district 5 seat for the fourth time (albeit without running head to head against a DPJ candidate.)

GUNMA

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