Hashimoto then said he also wanted to resign as coleader, saying: “I want to concentrate on issues in Osaka, including my plan to reorganize Osaka and nearby municipalities into a larger metropolitan administrative entity. Because there will be no national elections for the time being, I want to bring an end [to my time in this post].”
This caused a furor among members at the meeting. Shintaro Ishihara, the other coleader, told Hashimoto, “If you resign, I can no longer live.”"
After causing an international incident with his big mouth and getting trounced in the recent national elections, Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto tried to step down as the leader of his (struggling) party, only to be told to stay.
You wanna know why Japanese politics is so fucked up? Look no further.
I’ve made no secret of my contempt for many things Toru Hashimoto has said and done over the years, but there’s a reason he was elected governor and later mayor of Osaka: he has plans to fix Osaka. Specifically, he wants to smash the entrenched bureaucracy of the city/prefecture separation and create a single administration for Osaka.
I’m no insider but in my limited capacity I’ve already seen the inanity that comes from having too much government. During my JET years I attended many meetings and seminars that were exclusively for prefectural JETs - those teachers working for the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education as well as those working for smaller, local BOEs. However, those who worked for the City of Osaka BOE had to attend entirely separate meetings and seminars.
Never mind the amount of time that was wasted, think of how much money must have been spent on keeping two groups of similar employees apart for decades.
So yes, Hashimoto is a tool, but he has shit to do. Important shit. And the fact that he’s a known commodity to everyone in Japan shouldn’t take precedence over him getting shit done.
Is this a situation of his own doing? Pretty much. No one forced him to take his “Osaka Restoration Party” and turn it into the “Japan Restoration Party” by aligning it with other failing parties. No one forced him to team up with Shintaro Ishihara, a vile racist, sexist asshole who cannot possibly depart the political world (if not our mortal coil) soon enough.
But now that he wants out, they won’t let him out. Which means he’s worth more to that pathetic political party as a “controversial” figure than he’s worth as a competent leader of Japan’s second-largest metropolitan area.
tl;dr: Asshole gets what he deserves, but his constituents pay the price.