Yoshiko Noda, voted in as the third prime minister in two years this afternoon by the lower house of Japan’s parliament, is already playing down expectations ahead of media criticism.
Call it downfall by "memo-awase." That's the term Japanese use to describe memo sharing, and the practice pretty much ensures unified Japanese media coverage of an event.
It also means that once the journalistic consensus goes negative on a politician, the Japanese public will get one-dimensional coverage hard for any leader to crawl out from under.
Today, soft-spoken Yoshiko Noda becomes the third premier exactly two years to the day after the Democratic Party of Japan's historic electoral victory ousted the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan from office, and Mr. Noda is already playing down expectations ahead of media criticism.
"Running Japan's government is like pushing a giant snowball up a snowy, slippery hill," said Mr. Noda yesterday after winning the leadership contest for the Democratic Party of Japan that effectively made him prime minister.
Hardly the rousing speech of an inspirational new leader, Noda's words instead reflect the daunting prospects for any Japanese prime minister.