Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Prime Minister Has Resigned...

It's not a huge surprise, but yesterday, prime minister Abe Shinzo announced he would step down. He threatened to resign earlier if Japan didn't renew the Indian Ocean refueling deal it had with the United States and NATO. His administration has been plagued almost nonstop by ridiculous scandals and some big setbacks during the recent elections. Still, I thought he'd hang on another month or so.

I learned this in my Bentenjima class from a man who barely speaks English but puts forth maximum effort. And the other male student, another older man (a retired fisheries professor who's been all around the world in his lifetime) said he felt Abe was just a rich boy with no staying power.

What does this mean? Not a whole lot. Abe's party (LDP) remains in power and they'll vote for his successor next Wednesday. Everyone already knows it'll be Aso Taro, the LDP Secretary General and number 2 man. Japan is a great place for business as usual.

Hmm... scandal-plagued, unpopular national leaders resigning. It'd be nice if this could become a fad.

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