After the fall of Tanaka Kakuei, one man has become known as the heir to his tradition. One man has attempted to manipulate the flow of politics in order to either serve as a populist champion for Japan or embody the worst of the Japanese political process (depending on who you ask). His name is Ozawa Ichiro, and he is our topic for this week.
Listen to the episode
George Mulgan, Aurelia.
Ozawa Ichiro and Japanese Politics: Old Versus New
A Businessweek Magazine profile of Ozawa’s career up to 1991 and his final years with the LDP is available
A profile of Ozawa from The Economist which covers the leadup to his break with the DPJ in 2012 is available
Ozawa Ichiro (far right) standing next to Tanaka Kakuei. Kakuei would serve as his mentor until 1985, when Ozawa would betray him and split off into a new faction of the LDP. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Ozawa Ichiro on campaign in 2001. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Ozawa and Hatoyama Yukio (right) in 2009 after the triumphant electoral victories of the DPJ. Had Ozawa not been embroiled in scandal the victory would have made him Prime Minister — since he was out of the running, Hatoyama took control of the DPJ and the top seat instead. Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Ozawa in 2012 during his final days with the DPJ. Courtesy of The Economist.
A campaign poster for the Seikatsu no To (People’s Livelihood Party). The text reads “Protect our lifestyle!” Courtesy of Ozawa’s personal website (ozawa-ichiro.jp).