The passage of the bill has led to some serious soul searching for members of the Ozawa faction in the DPJ, which has consistently voiced its dissent to any move to force tax increases onto the population given that the DPJ's own manifesto pledged not to do this if it came to power. As PM Noda effectively aligned himself with LDP's policy position in order to have the bill passed (thereby giving him a political victory over his internal opponents), those DPJ members who owe their political fortunes to their association with Ozawa (such as former PM Hatoyama Yukio) have voiced their concerns that the rifts within the party are too great to heal and that the DPJ is destined to disintegrate.
This sentiment was tempered somewhat earlier in the week, with Ozawa allies stating that their opposition to the Consumption Tax bill did not necessarily mean they were considering leaving the party. All such comments did was fuel speculation that this is precisely what they have in mind. What the past week has also done is thrust Ozawa back into the limelight, which is a position that Ozawa himself is happy to occupy. The question now is whether Ozawa will indeed jump ship and forge yet another party based around his personal influence. While he may do so, such a move would not improve his own political standing with the public (who, after decades of negative press coverage of Ozawa and his 'reformist' mindset are loathe to allow Ozawa to extend his political career any further than it has already gone) and would merely add to the already overcrowded theatre of political parties within the Diet (not to mention the absence of any likelihood that the new party would have any greater success in opposition given the relatively small number of members it would attract).
One strategy that he seems to have decided to concentrate on is to ramp up debate within the DPJ on what the party actually stands for, convening a 'New Policy Discussion Group' based on an idea that all politics revolves around the policies pursued by parties. Leaving aside the obvious nature of this statement, Ozawa appears to have anointed himself the leader of disaffected politicians seeking to extracate themselves from the DPJ executive. Not only this, Ozawa has hinted that only a general election will reveal whether the DPJ still has the support of the people, and may use his newly formed group to pursue those ideas likely to resonate well with most Japanese - namely an end to the use of nuclear power, a reduction in the presence of US forces in Japan, the removal of consumption taxes, and a reduction in the size and influence of the bureaucracy.
On another note, the lower house of the Diet, after consultation with the Supreme Court of Japan, has decided to go ahead with the adoption of an amended Copyright Law bill that criminalises various forms of on-line activity (mainly file sharing) that (according to the bill) violates the rights of copyright holders. As the legislation is so open ended that leaves it liable to misinterpretation, it has been rejected by the EU and by the Australian government as unworkable, however the DPJ, together with the coalition LDP and Komeito, have given it the green light.
Anonymous, in its somewhat misguided wisdom, has taken exception to this decision, and so has launched DDoS attacks on those websites of institutes it believes were responsible for the legislation being adopted, such as the Ministry of Finance, the Supreme Court of Japan, and the DPJ. As a side note, Anonymous does appear to have missed its mark when it targeted the offices of the Kasumigaura branch of the Ministry of Transport in Ibaraki prefecture, rather than the Ministry itself in Kasumigaseki, Tokyo. Nevertheless, the fact that lawyers for media production and other copyright holders have leant on the Japanese government to approve harsher penalties for copyright infringement cannot be a positive development for intellectual property rights in Japan, no matter what benefits might flow to political parties as a result of such a deal.
The arbitrary nature of the legislation, and the fact that it can be applied to any form of file sharing (or whatever corporation concerned defines as file sharing) will merely impose penalties on end users without addressing the problem of intellectual theft in the first place. If, as a result of this legislation, there is a spike in the number of youths being hauled before courts on charges of intellectual theft and given suspended sentences or harsher penalties, then the public backlash may be greater than any benefit accured by either the companies or political parties concerned. Bad legislation only perpetuates public contempt for political process, hence the only redemption available for the government would be to send the legislation to a review committee for further consideration before committing itself to a law whose limits may beyond the ability of the government to curtail.