Japan's new foreign minister,

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Japan's new foreign minister, Makiko Tanaka, is getting herself into trouble. She's outspoken, fluent in English and not your average Japanese bureaucrat. She's been called "feisty," a "maverick" and she really is a breath of fresh air, even if she is offending people right and left by cancelling appointments with foreign dignitaries and making bold comments.

"The nail that sticks up is hammered down" is a saying applied to peole in Japan. Anyone who is different is shunned or forced to conform with the group. Yesterady in the Diet, Tanaka got chastised by her fellow LDP members. She defended herself, but this might be the first step in hammering her down. I hope she can find the right path between her current undiplomatic state and the old, stodgy party line.

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