I’m a big Ogata fan but I don’t think she should take Koizumi’s offer to take over the Foreign Ministry. She’s done her duty, and getting involved in the current politics will only tarnish her platinum reputation….
Koizumi Sacks Tanaka, Nogami; Asks Ogata To Take Over Foreign Ministry
Putting a dramatic end to the quarrel between Foreign Minister Tanaka
and vice foreign minister Yoshiji Nogami, Prime Minister Koizumi called them
in separately Tuesday night and fired them. LDP Dietman Muneo Suzuki, whose
role in barring two NGOs from attending an Afghan relief conference last
week was at the center of the dispute, is also likely to be forced out of
his post as lower house Steering Committee chairman, reports said. Reports
said Koizumi asked former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata,
currently his special representative on Afghanistan, to take Tanaka’s job.

As of mid-afternoon, Ogata hadn’t answered. Mainichi and Nihon Keizai said
Environment Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi is also under consideration for the
post, though Kawaguchi denied she has been approached. Deputy Foreign
Minister Toshiyuki Takano, is considered likely to replace Nogami, reports
Early End: Koizumi executed the midnight sackings soon after the ruling
coalition pushed a Yen 2.6 trillion second supplementary budget through the
lower house in the face of an opposition boycott over the affair (Digest,
1/29). Because the dispute threatened to disrupt the legislative schedule in
the upper house, “I wanted to put an early end to the situation,” Koizumi
told the upper house Budget Committee when it met this morning. When a
committee members asked who he thought was telling the truth about Suzuki’s
influence at the Foreign Ministry, Koizumi said he didn’t want to get
involved in “an unending argument….In the end, the Foreign Ministry
decided to cooperate (with the barred NGOs), and so that’s fine.” Opposition
politicians, deprived of a juicy target, are still demanding a probe that
would require Tanaka, Nogami and NGO leader Kensuke Onishi to testify before
the upper house committee.

(From Japan Digest)