Mouthy Ozawa Critic Removed from Party Post

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Tokyo -- Shizuoka House of Representatives lawmaker Seishu Makino has been a little too outspoken in his antagonism toward Ichiro Ozawa, and he is now being relieved of his party executive post in the Diet Affairs Committee.

Makino's mouth first got him into serious trouble on October 1st when he opened a committee meeting with the observation that, "We have such stupid people in this party like the one who said 'the job of freshman lawmakers is only to win their next election.'"

This obvious reference to Ozawa being "stupid" (baka) raised the hackles of many DPJ lawmakers close to the former party leader.

Makino soon backed down with the lame explanation: "The duties of freshmen lawmakers are various. It was not a criticism of Ozawa."

Makino was thus already on thin ice when he popped off again yesterday, going far beyond other DPJ leaders in his response to the announcement of the impending indictment of Ozawa on suspicion of campaign finance violations. "He should voluntarily leave the party," said Makino, "but if he can't, the party should urge him to quit or even expel him."

While the anti-Ozawa elements within the DPJ probably agree with Makino's basic sentiment, his comments gathered national headlines and were too far out ahead of the party leadership. Also, his words could not do other than to sting the pro-Ozawa lawmakers who were already angry at Makino for his outburst just a few days earlier.

Obviously, Ichiro Ozawa is himself in no position to have played any role in the removal of Makino from his Diet Affairs Committee post, but his fall is a salutary reminder that the "Ozawa Children" are still major players within the party, and that the party leadership, probably starting with DPJ Secretary-General Katsuya Okada, does not want intramural antagonism overflowing the banks.

PanOrient News

© PanOrient News All Rights Reserved.