« [SSJ: 5466] Japan's aging population - Catastrophic interpretations, an antidote | Main | [SSJ: 5468] Re: Why was Nishimatsu contributing so much money toOzawa? »

March 16, 2009

[SSJ: 5467] Why was Nishimatsu contributing so much money to Ozawa?

From: Ethan Scheiner
Date: 2009/3/14

Dear all,

I've just had a really interesting email exchange with Aurelia George-Mulgan in which she raised some terrific questions about the reasons behind Nishimatsu's contributions to Ozawa.

This really got me thinking: It seems to me that we (i.e., general observers) are too quick to jump on the tabloid version of all of this. I.e., how involved was Ozawa and will he lose his post?

But just as important is the question of why are these contributions being made in the first place.

What does each individual/company expect to get from it?
In particular, what does Nishimatsu expect to get from contributing to the leader of the opposition? Is this something newish because the DPJ is perceived as more likely to gain power? Or do such contributions go back to earlier years when DPJ power was less likely?
If so, why is/was Nishimatsu contributing?
And is this the norm now for how Japanese politics work?

None of this gets at the sexy issues in Japanese politics right now, but it gets at something really structural, which we need to understand if we are to grasp how Japanese politics really work today and the shifts that will or will not occur in the party system.

(I'll be out of town for a couple of weeks, so won't be able to reply for a bit if anyone writes me directly, but I'll be very eager to see any responses people have.)

All the best,
E. Mickey Scheiner

Approved by ssjmod at March 16, 2009 02:37 PM