Important Trip to the Hospital

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I suppose I should watch the news more often. I went to Sakamoto’s today for lunch. About halfway through lunch he flipped on the TV. The top of the news mentioned that Prime Minister Abe had gone to the hospital. I was a little worried for him and asked a lot of questions.

Yesterday he announced that he was stepping down from his position and leaving Mr. Aso (麻生太郎幹事長) in charge. I hadn’t noticed since I haven’t been watching the news lately. He had some Asahi newspaper special editions from yesterday, printed in Japanese and English, and offered me as many as I wanted. I will be studying the Japanese in my spare time today because I have already noticed it is more detailed than the English translation.

My tendency is to want everyone to be alright, so I started asking about the hospital trip, since the news wasn’t giving much detail. Akira told me that it is normal practice for public figures when hounded by the media. Grab at your stomach or head; complain of ill-feelings; and head for the hospital. The word ‘snake’ was bandied about.

I hope they select a new PM soon. Abe, was certainly not perfect, but leaving things in Aso’s hands frightens me. His actions and words seem more hard-line conservative. This might be like Bush stepping down and leaving Cheney in charge. Although Democrats despise Bush, I don’t think any of them would be encouraged by the VP taking over.

How about some new words?

辞任 jinin resignation, step down
退陣 taijin resignation, step down
首相 shushou Prime Minister (term used in media)
総理大臣 souridaijin Prime Minister (literal title)
総理 souri Prime Minister (conversational term)
幹事長 kanjichou secretary-general
意向 ikou intention, wish, view, sense
衆院 shuuin short for ‘shuugiin’
衆議院 shuugiin House of Representatives
本会議 honkaigi plenary session
代表 daihyou delegate, representative, ambassador
号外 gougai special edition, extra
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