Home > Political Ranting > Koizumi Wants Bush to Win–No He Doesn’t–Yes He Does

Koizumi Wants Bush to Win–No He Doesn’t–Yes He Does

October 16th, 2004

Talk about not having the message coordinated.

First, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he wanted Bush to win the election: “I don’t want to interfere with another country’s election but since I’m well-acquainted with President Bush, I want him to carry on,” he said to the media. That, in itself, is quite a statement: “I don’t want to interfere with the election, but here’s my interference.” His statement was immediately recognized by probably anyone who’s been paying attention in Japan for what it is: Koizumi wants to maintain and expand the Japanese military presence overseas as a major front in revising the no-war constitution (a very big right-wing goal here).

The troops, by the way, are hardly a military presence–they mostly sit around in their compound and purify water for the equivalent of a small town. Reports say that they have “built” four schools, two roads and a soccer stadium–but they contracted out for the actual work. And as “troops” they are laughable: they have to hire Dutch troops to protect them.

But Koizumi doesn’t want them to actually do anything in Iraq–in fact, he wants them to stay out of harm’s way because any incident would look bad back home–which is why he turned so viciously on three independent Japanese humanitarian workers for their crass rudeness in being taken hostage. Koizumi needs an eventless ‘military’ mission so he can slowly build support for making Japan’s military into a real war machine, and Bush is his best bet for that.

But a bit later in the day, Koizumi’s Chief Cabinet Minister attempted some damage control, saying “it’s not that the prime minister is saying who should win. No matter what the results of the election may be, the ties between the United States and Japan are solid.” A little diplomacy there, just in case Kerry wins it.

But then Koizumi’s Liberal Democratic (don’t let the title fool you, they’re right wingers) Party Secretary General (Chairman, I guess) Tsutomu Takabe removed all doubt, saying: “I think there would be trouble if it’s not President Bush,” opposing Kerry’s suggestion that bilateral talks be ongoing with the multilateral talks.

Note, by the way, that Japanese people, as opposed to the rightists in power, prefer Kerry 51 to 30. Which is in line with what I’m hearing from the Japanese people I speak to.

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  1. October 17th, 2004 at 00:57 | #1

    Wow Guido, how’d you end up reading this blog and understanding so little?

    I am surprised that even 30% in Japan support Bush. I don’t know anyone here that supports Bush. Even some of my oyagi friends that support revising the peace constitution think we’d be better off without Dubya.

    If Soka Gakkai’s Komeito wasn’t in coalition with the LDP, then they would lose the majority. (Right? I’m pretty sure that’s the current balance.) At least the newly envigorated Democratic party is making more headway with each election. We may see the LDP lose power in the next 10 years…

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