Tuesday, February 24, 2009

a sign you are an out of touch politician (japanese edition)

The Obama Administration is sending lots of love to Japan. First, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made Japan her first overseas stop. And now Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso will be the first foreign head of government (not "head of state" as the Washington Post had it, that would be the Emperor for Japan) to have a White House meeting with President Obama.

Don't worry if you haven't heard of Aso. He's been prime minister for a few months and like what's-his-name and old-who's-it before him, will be lucky to even reach the one year mark. Junichiro Koizumi, who lasted five-and-a-half years, was obviously the exception to the rule that Japanese prime ministers don't last long nowadays.

Anyway, Aso has popularity ratings somewhere in Dick Cheney territory, which seems unfair because it's not like Aso has shot anybody in the face or implemented a regime of extrajudicial torture or anything.

But he has also shown he's out of it. First he defended his Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa for showing up drunk at a big econ blab-fest in Rome. I can understand this - if I was an economic minister in Japan or pretty much ANY country nowadays, I'd want to be drunk, too. Well, that didn't work and now poor Nakagawa has said sayonara.

And it turns out that Aso enjoys a drink - which is fine. But his "out of touch" sign: Aso said he frequents ritzy Tokyo hotel bars because "they are safe and reasonably priced".

Safe? Absolutely.

Reasonably priced? Not by any reasonable standard. I've drunk in the type of nice Tokyo hotel that politicians like Aso might drink in, and I'd only consider it reasonable if you think $15 beers are reasonable...

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home