Reports are out that Katsuya Okada will be the foreign minister in Hatoyama’s first cabinet, which is (unfortunately) not nearly as cool as the footnote to the AFP report:
One of [Okada’s] more peculiar hobbies is collecting items that depict frogs. But there is a serious political point — “frog” in Japanese is a homonym for “change” — the slogan used by the DPJ during last month’s election campaign.
This is a fairly popular pun in Japan. Last year I came across this banner at the Akasaka Sacas complex in Tokyo. It says “アカサカカエル、オイシサヲカエル” (Akasaka kaeru, oishisa wo kaeru) which could be read several ways, such as “The Akasaka Frog is changing tastiness,” or perhaps “Change Akasaka and frog the tastiness.”