[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Tokyo governor quitting to form new party
Shintaro Ishihara, in office for nearly 14 years, says he wants to fix Japan's fiscal and political problems.
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2012 16:58
Shintaro Ishihara blamed the government and bureaucrats for obstructing policies beneficial to the country [EPA]

Tokyo's outspoken and nationalistic governor has said he will resign to form a new political party ahead of expected national elections.

Shintaro Ishihara, who has spent nearly 14 years in office, told a packed news conference on Thursday that he wanted to fix the nation's fiscal and political problems.

Ishihara recently played a key role in reviving a bitter dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea.

He blamed the central government and bureaucrats for obstructing policies he believes would benefit the country.

"We must change the inflexible rule of the central government bureaucrats," he said, comparing their influence to the dictatorial rule of the shogun.

Ishihara, 80, angered China earlier this year when he proposed that Tokyo buy and develop a cluster of uninhabited islands controlled by Japan but also claimed by China. The islands are called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

The national government responded by buying some of the islands from their private owner, saying it would not develop them.

"I'm returning to national politics by forming a new party with my colleagues," he said. "What I'm trying to do is everything I've been trying to for Tokyo."

Ishihara is renowned for his outbursts against China, North Korea, foreigners, immigrants, women and even the French language.

He once told reporters he "hates" the American icon Mickey Mouse for not having the "unique sensibility that Japan has".

Ishihara wrote the 1989 book The Japan that Can Say No, a best-selling paean to ultra-patriotism. He also has tried his hand at screenwriting, authoring the 2007 film I Go to Die for You, which glorified so-called "kamikaze" pilots who flew suicide missions in the ending months of World War II.

Ishihara blamed Tokyo's failure to win the right to host the 2016 Olympic Games on behind-the-scenes deals, saying Japanese sports officials must become more adept in dealing with the inner workings of the International Olympic Committee.

The governor has been credited with pushing through reforms such as restricting diesel emissions for better air quality and cutting government spending.

342

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.