Have a look at this Taro Aso is not just the average Japanese politician. He stands out by a number of points.

His is a Catholic who studied in the USA (Stanford University) and the UK (London School of Economics).

He worked in the diamond business in Sierra Leone (ever heard of blood diamonds ?), then worked for his father's mining company in Brazil. He speaks English and Portuguese fluently.

Our man is not just a businessman and politician, he was also a member of the Japanese shooting team at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

On the family side, he is also the grandson of former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, and the great-grand-son of Toshimichi Ōkubo, one of the three great nobles who led the Meiji Restoration. His father was a close associate of Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, and his wife is the third daughter of Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki. To top it all, his younger sister, Nobuko, is the wife of Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, a first cousin of the Emperor Akihito. Quite a pedigree ! I don't know if his sister is also a Catholic, but that would be strange for a member of the Imperial Family, the "spiritual leaders" of Shintoism.

It does not make him more clever for that. On October 15, 2005, he praised Japan for having "one culture, one civilization, one language, and one ethnic group," and stated that it was the only such country in the world. I am not going to make a list of countries that also have a single culture and language (Iceland, Greece...). The big blunder was to think that the Japanese are a single, homogenous ethnic group. It is not ! Okinawans and Ainus are clearly different. Japanese people themselves are an admixture of many ethnic groups, more so than the Koreans.