Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
I already feel nostalgia for former Prime Minister Taro Aso. He remains in politics, of course, but now marked with the deep shame of the LDP’s humiliating defeat in the August 30, 2009 general election. He will probably lose his job as leader of the party, as well. Sure, his waxy complexion makes him look like a living Madame Tussaud’s exhibit, or a mortician’s mannequin, or the Terminator after being blown up a bit. Sure, after a long life of heavy smoking his voice sounds like he is calling to us from the bottom of a well. Sure, his oral gaffes and foot-in-mouth disease inevitably compelled him to insult just about everyone in Japan in turn, as if it was his mission to proclaim his disregard for the rest of us. Sure, he thinks comic books are a great cultural achievement. Sure, he is a veritable illiterate who can’t read kanji beyond a Grade 5 level.
But mostly I will remember the good times.
Taro Aso stepped down as leader of his party on August 31, 2009, the day after the election. Or, he announced his resignation. The point in that I wrote this letter on the evening of Sunday, August 30th (and mailed it the next morning), but Aso acted so soon that my comment that “He will probably lose his job as leader of the party” was disqualified as out of date so fast. I was correct, though, one way or another.