I mentioned her very briefly in the previous post, but after talking to some Japanese friends and reading up a bit on her I think I need to share with you all some of the greatness that Makiko Tanaka has achieved in her political life. I’m not going to write a bio or anything like that, for those details you can just read up on wikipedia. It seems like she has support for being “outspoken” and “frank” and not as stuck up as most politicians. However, her frankness has oftentimes bordered on the bizarre and definitely amusing side.
After that incident she got barred from the ruling LDP party and got thrown out in the cold but now, in a move that to me seemed very opportunistic, she latched on to Hatoyama and joined the DPJ (I’m sure there were negotiations there for her to get a nice minister position in exchange for bringing in her fans from the LDP voting herd). So now she’s made a glorious comeback into Japanese national politics, joining the previous adversary, and we’re bound to see a lot more of her, something that actually might be quite entertaining.
Let me share with you a very funny true anecdote from 2001 when she was supposed to support a local LDP candidate in Gunma prefecture at a public rally. A Japanese friend told me this entertaining story and you can also read about it on the Japanese wikipedia page. Basically, she arrived one hour earlier at the location and could not be bothered to wait for the candidate she came to support and started her speech where she launched into a tirade about how she didn’t want to be in Gunma (can't really blame her, Gunma is a pretty sad place) doing this speech because she had other much more important business elsewhere and how she didn’t know anything about this candidate she was supposed to endorse, not knowing even whether it was a man or a woman until a few minutes before the meeting when she was given a pamphlet from a staff member.
On Wikipedia there is also a quite amusing collection of quotes from her, but I will just treat you to my favorite here:
“That person looks like he’s had a lot of curry and then had diarrohea and that’s why his face got so thin” (said about a political opponent)
Oh yeah, then she also proclaimed that the reason for former prime minister Abe not having any children was because he was “shooting blanks”, it is unlikely that she had access to reliable information about his actual sperm count though...
Well, at least Japanese politics doesn’t look like they’ll get boring this year…