Tuesday, May 10, 2011


April 14, 2011
The Yomiuri Shimbun

The following is a translation of the Henshu Techo column from The Yomiuri Shimbun's April 14 issue.

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Major League Baseball slugger Jose Canseco was traded from the Oakland Athletics to the Texas Rangers in September 1992. He was called over to the bench and told of the trade while he was in the on-deck circle during a game.

Some of you may remember this since Japanese media reported it with surprise. The team apparently had its reasons for letting him go so abruptly. But surely they could have told him of the trade someplace else, rather than a ballplayer's "battlefield." I felt some pity for him.

There is always a right time for everything. Even when the ability of a player to be part of a team's fighting force is put into question, the future of someone on the battlefield should not be treated lightly.

The voices saying Prime Minister Naoto Kan should take responsibility for his handling of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant accidents and his party's humiliating defeat in the April 10 unified local elections are getting louder and louder within the Democratic Party of Japan.

The prime minister is no doubt someone who is on the "battlefield." Indeed, we feel uneasy about his capabilities, given the delays in disclosing information and unnecessary political grandstanding that have occurred in his administration's handling of the accidents. But holding intraparty battles would be even more risky, similar to replacing a surgeon during an operation. These matters should be put on the table only after the radioactive materials being released from the plant are completely contained and the "Fukushima" that is grabbing global headlines returns to normal.

There is plenty of time to notify players they will be fired or traded after prospects for victory appear in the game against this tough nuclear opponent.

(Apr. 18, 2011)

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