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Blink and you'll miss it! Japan has just changed its PM again. This time the new guy is some suit called Fumio Kishida who defeated a shirt and tie by the name of Taro Kono. 

Really, that's all you need to know so I should stop here. But for fans of micro-trivia, I should just point out that this leadership change had absolutely nothing to do with the voters, or even the party members of the so-called "Liberal Democratic Party." Instead it was merely an "election" by LDP bigwigs.

The LDP, btw, is rather like America's GOP or Britain's Conservative Party but without the pale semblance of democracy. Yes, that bad!

In fact, if anything, the guy who lost the election, Taro Kono, was actually the "voter's choice" as Kono is quite popular with the people who wake up around election time. But, like, that's really unimportant in Japanese politics where the same party has been in power since Time began.

So, why is Kishida being selected as PM, apart from standing too close to the revolving door outside the PM's office?

Probably it's because he's viewed as a millimetre more hawkish than Kono, and Japan is sheepishly -- but distantly -- following along in the wake of the new US-Australia-UK re-alignment in the Pacific. 

Kono was seen as slightly too soft on China. His old man, who was also a politician -- surprise! surprise! -- once led the pro-China faction of the LDP (actually pro-Japanese-corporations-doing-business-in-China).

None of this was a problem until extremely recently, as Japan-China links had been growing hand over fist before the Covid Pandemic. But now, post-Covid, the mood has changed...slightly...and Japan wants to have a little more distance from its giant neighbour and cling instead to the coattails of America a little longer -- without making things too obvious and upsetting the Chinese, of course. Kishida is considered just the right shade of wishy-washy dishwater to achieve this.

Essentially Kishida's premiership represents the traditional Japanese strategy of doing as little as possible to ensure the safe international conditions that allow it to sell its cars, computers, and wank cans to the rest of the World.

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