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Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010


Incompetent leadership showed

Although the Kan administration managed to get the fiscal 2010 supplementary budget enacted during the latest Diet session, which ended Friday after 64 days, Prime Minister Naoto Kan failed to help generate meaningful exchanges of opinion between the ruling and opposition forces on important domestic and diplomatic issues.

Mr. Kan and Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Katsuya Okada demonstrated incompetence when it came to working out strategy and careful approaches to get cooperation from opposition forces, which control the Upper House. As a result, Mr. Kan had to give up on enacting bills to change the shape of the privatized Japan Post, the most important bills for his Cabinet.

Although the opposition forces share part of the responsibility for the poor performances of the latest Diet session, the main blame should be put to Mr. Kan and Mr. Okada, who have the responsibility to lead the Cabinet and the DPJ, respectively, when they cope with the opposition forces in the divided Diet.

Mr. Kan's incompetence as a government leader was clearly shown by his failure to make Cabinet members realize the simple fact that the Cabinet was facing a truly difficult situation in the Diet and to make them fully prepare themselves for expected offensives from the opposition forces.

Despite the difficult situation in the Diet, some Cabinet members obviously lacked prudence about their behavior and remarks. They made careless statements one after another. Justice Minister Minoru Yanagida was forced to step down over a statement in which he made light of his own job.

The Kan Cabinet's image of being weak helped the opposition forces become combative. They passed censure resolutions against Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku and transport minister Sumio Mabuchi. Even if Mr. Kan reshuffles his Cabinet, it will be difficult for him to restore trust in him and his Cabinet. His difficulty derives from the fact that he has no strong message with regard to what he wants to achieve as a nationalleader — an extremely sad state.

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