* Posted by Mr. Takeshita on his blog – June 9, 2012 –
English translation of reprint from a Japanese article: Ashore blog
Original contributor: gikou89 dated March 24, 2012
[Washington, Correspondent Yoshihisa Komori, Sankei Shimbun]
Mr. Michael Green, the former Senior Director for Asian Affairs, U.S. National Security Council (NSC) made a comment on Osaka Mayor Hashimoto, who is shaking Japanese politics, and the “Osaka Restoration Association” led by him, at a seminar on new leaders in Asia on March 20th : “Mr. Hashimoto has exceptional leadership ability and will be able to become a kingmaker in national political arena who can influence the appointment of a prime minister.”
At a seminar on new leaders in Asia, Mr. Green, currently director of Asian affairs with responsibility for Japan and Georgetown University professor, commented “Popularity of Mr. Hashimoto is an exceptionally important phenomenon and he has his competent ability as a populist (politician appealing to the public).
While he pointed out that it was not structurally easy in Japan for a chief of any local government and his/her group to immediately make an advance into national politics, Mr. Green expressed the opinion that it was likely that he would break this framework and play an active role in national politics. In that case, he said “It is thinkable that he will be able to become a kingmaker who can influence a prime minister or the appointment of a prime minister. He may become a leader like the former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi who gained the public trust.”
As for the influence on Japan-U.S. relations, Mr. Green mentioned “Even though he should become a prime minister, considering his supportive stance on Japan-U.S. alliance and Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) Agreement, bilateral relations based on Japan-U.S. Security Treaty as well as economic relations would develop smoothly.” However, he criticized Mr. Hashimoto's anti-nuclear stance, saying “Considering the Japan’s economy, it would be equal to a daydream.”