It seems President Arroyo is not the only one fond of an overly large contingent in a foreign trip; Japanese opposition leader Ochiro Ozawa is accused of the same thing in his trip to China, where he brought with him 45 Minshuto lawmakers--24 from the Upper House and 21 from the Lower House-- while the Japanese Diet is in session.
China apparently is giving Ozawa the red carpet welcome to prepare for the time when the bumbling LDP of Japan is finally thrown out of power. In this sense, the visit by Ozawa is comparable to the historic visit by Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang two years ago: an opposition party warming up to China while the ruling party maintains a more distant stance.
Ozawa is concerned about the declining regard for Japan in the international community, with it being increasingly seen as a mere minor player that curries favor with China and the United States. North Korea has, for instance, proposed to chuck out Japan from the six-party talks. Ozawa is proposing a more independent Japan that maintains an equal distance between China and the United States. Earlier, Ozawa blasted Prime Minister Fukuda for supporting Japan's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean to support U.S.-led anti-terror activities.