Ichirō Ozawa - Leader of DPJ

Leader of DPJ

After becoming the leader of the Democratic Party, Ozawa led the party to its largest victory in history in the upper house election on 29 July 2007.

On 4 November 2007, Ozawa announced he would resign as leader of the DPJ, after a controversial proposal made by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda about a grand coalition between the DPJ and the ruling LDP. He brought the proposal to a meeting of the DPJ leadership, which rejected it. He faced criticism for failing to immediately reject the proposal. At a news conference, he said that he took responsibility for this political turmoil. He also said that he was not leaving the party. There was speculation that the proposal originally came from Ozawa. However, Ozawa denied the press speculation except the Asahi Shimbun and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, and he said that they manipulated public opinion. It was reported that the power broker of the proposal was Yomiuri Shimbun's executive director Tsuneo Watanabe. On 6 November 2007, he retracted his resignation offer after he was asked to stay on as leader by senior party officials and members.

The DPJ re-elected Ozawa as party leader for the third time on 21 September 2008. Ozawa stated on this occasion: "I will do my best, considering this is my last chance to put an end to the LDP-led government and bring about a government that puts a priority on people's lives." He was also announced by Secretary-General Yukio Hatoyama to have decided to switch from Iwate Constituency No. 4 to Tokyo Constituency No. 12 at the next House of Representatives election.

On 24 September 2008, the House of Councillors, controlled by the DPJ, elected Ozawa as Prime Minister; however, the House of Representatives, controlled by the LDP, elected Taro Aso instead, overriding the upper house's decision.

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    If you would be a leader of men you must lead your own generation, not the next. Your playing must be good now, while the play is on the boards and the audience in the seats.... It will not get you the repute of a good actor to have excellencies discovered in you afterwards.
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    If you would be a leader of men you must lead your own generation, not the next. Your playing must be good now, while the play is on the boards and the audience in the seats.... It will not get you the repute of a good actor to have excellencies discovered in you afterwards.
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