Chris Nelson of the Nelson Report has confirmed that the ambassador-designate to Japan is California securities lawyer John Roos. Team Armitage members have been whimpering it to him all day. Hmmm.
I still will believe it when the White House issues the nomination announcement.
It is interesting that this information was kept so secret from Chris. That is unusual. There is indeed a new sheriff in town.
State says things will operate on the Bush/Schieffer model. There is a difference, however. This time the President is in the loop and knows where Japan is. Both Roos and Obama are lawyers who like to get things done and who understand financial issues. Tokyo has every reason to be afraid.
The similarity is that Japan's economy is in as bad a shape as it was when Bush's first term began. And again, it is likely to provide Tokyo the security to say no, a lot. We forget how obstreperous Japan's leaders were before 9/11 and how little the Japan managers knew about economics.
Talking about being afraid, Sentaku reported in its May issue that Aso may appoint Shinzo Abe as foreign minister before the election. The article's author describes Abe's political reemergence with provocative quotes and says he "took" Seiji Maehara to Washington earlier this year. A lot of money is going toward Abe's comeback.