Among Japan’s hereditary politicians, Abe and Aso (“A&A”) are the current
Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Brought up on military-purist values and revisionist history by their fathers and the numerous uncles and in-laws in their sheltered cacoons, they now occupy the number one and number two positions of the government. Just like their fathers, uncles, in-laws and fellow black/white gloves before them.
To be sure, there is so much inbreeding among the exclusive politician families and industrial/financial kiretsus in Japan that the quality of their leaders understandably exhibits socio-biological syndromes (putting it diplomatically). A&A grew up greenhouse-style, seldom ventured outside of a few blocks in Tokyo, chauffeured to school and activities, and hanged out in private clubs later on in life with each other for company (many failed by drinking themselves to death before their turn to inherit the family political largesse). Jokingly, it was said that they were amazed to learn that the subways take people to work, or vice versa. These are the elites that the Japanese masses are taught to suffer and obey.
Both had already been PM once, in tenures that lasted little more than a year, in what was known as “karoke politics” (you sing one or two songs, then it’s my turn”). Abe suffered stomach ailment (actually nervous breakdown) amid “work pressure” and resigned. Aso, a man of dimunitive stature who talked boldly, was forced out when his popularity sank close to single-digit.
As Abe returned to power last year, Aso became his side-kick as Deputy PM and Finance Minister. As before, the Aso spoke his mind, advertently or inadvertently. In his latest speech at Tokyo University, he advocated following the Nazi example of changing the Constitution “quietly”:
As the current Finance Minister, he obviously has to face the dilemma of 250% government debt ratio that is still climbing, and the social security burden of the aging population. At 72 years of age and still kicking, he complained that others should be patriotic and die sooner if they cannot afford it. Obviously, they made his job unbearable:
Back in 2008, when he was briefly the PM, Aso was told by his Party officials that his lavish lifestyle was bringing the Party’s popularity rating down, because the rest of the country was forced to go through austerity. Specifically, he was told to try to not dine at the Park Hyatt every night with vintage wines served by sommeliers. He complained: “But I grew up with this everyday! I pay for it!” Shortly thereafter, his Party was defeated for the first time in over 50 years by the opposition. He should have had his dinners privately with Marie Antoinette instead.
Perhaps historians do have good reasons to question whether MacArthur should have preserved Japan’s Emperor and oligarchs after WWII.