The Asahi Shimbun published an article comparing Noda to Obuchi. According to the newspaper, there were many similarities between the two. But there were also some differences.
“Noda doesn’t appear to have the kind of personality that helped Obuchi develop a rapport with American leaders,” said the Asahi Shimbun.
In addition, Noda does not have the close relationship with Komeito that Obuchi had. During his term, Obuchi was able to form an alliance between Komeito and the LDP. By contrast, according to the Asahi Shimbun, Noda would have a hard time forming an alliance between Komeito and the DPJ.
Lacking a close relationship with America and Komeito, Noda would have a hard time getting things done. At least that’s the impression I got after reading this article.
During the Obuchi administration, the government passed a series of stimulus packages to boost the economy. Obuchi promised to raise the sales tax to pay for those stimulus bills, but he died before he was able to do that.
About ten years later, Noda would be faced with a similar situation. He would have to pass a series of reconstruction bills. That legislation should boost the Japanese economy. And to pay for them, he would promise to raise the sales tax.1
This article makes it seem like Japan killed Obuchi before he could raise the sales tax. No wonder why Noda always looks so glum.
1 An idea I completely disagree with, by the way.