Nero fiddles while economy tanks
So your economy is slowly but inexorably being sucked down the toilet. And though the government’s popularity has sunk to an almost unprecedented 9.7%, fear not – at least the Finance Minister knows how to keep calm in a crisis.
Now, to the untrained eye, like perhaps both yours and mine, he might look drunk off his arse. But what do we know? No, it was down to a surfeit of ‘cold medicine’, he later revealed.
His aides probably forgot to ask for the non-drowsy formula. You know, the one you can take and still ‘operate heavy machinery’. Or represent your country at a G7 summit during the worst economic crisis for a century.
The Prime Minister announced his immediate support for the minister who he believed “had taken sleeping pills” (like you would during a G7 summit). But this was early on before the government had got their story straight.
In the face of international derision, all and sundry called on him to resign, making much of the “shame” he has brought on Japan, and at lunchtime today he announced his resignation.
Prime Minister Aso faced a straight choice in the exercise of his authority – sack him or support him. And he got it wrong, offering support to a man who was clearly incapable, but also happens to be a close friend and ally. Now that Nakagawa’s gone, life isn’t going to be getting any easier for Aso.