Ichiro Ozawa, secretary general of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, is theoretically subordinate to Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who is also the DPJ president. Ozawa has even stated that all policy matters must be decided by the government, not by the party. Yet, in reality, he has established a political machine that is more powerful than Hatoyama’s.

Ozawa’s primary interest at the moment seems to lie in winning the Upper House election next summer. Currently, his DPJ has an overwhelming majority in the Lower House, but its seats in the Upper House fall short of a majority, forcing the prime minister to form a coalition with the Social Democratic Party and the People’s New Party, which do not necessarily follow the same ideologies as the DPJ.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.