Yasuo Fukuda never looked happy during his year as prime minister of Japan. Whenever he appeared on television, he usually had his face fixed in a grim mask. One gets the impression that his decision to resign was a kind of personal liberation. Of course, Fukuda had a lot to feel grim about. The economy is tanking again, the government is deadlocked because the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DJP) won control of the upper house of parliament and is in a position – not to mention eager – to obstruct and delay.