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Where Is the Justice?

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On June 18, 1988, the Asahi Shimbun daily newspaper carried a scoop: the information-industry company Recruit had allegedly bribed the deputy-mayor of Kawasaki city. Thus began the Recruit scandal and the nightmare for Hiromasa Ezoe, the company's founder and chairman.

Established newspapers reported that Recruit—which had been growing steadily since it was founded in 1960—had transferred, to bureaucrats and ruling Liberal Democratic Party politicians, pre-listed shares of a Recruit subsidiary, Recruit Cosmos. Media reports cast Ezoe as a villain, even though the share transfers had been legal transactions.

Detained by investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, Ezoe underwent abusive interrogations based on untrustworthy, sensational reports by newspapers, TV news programs, and weekly magazines. With many prominent ruling party policymakers having accepted shares, the Takeshita cabinet resigned en masse in the following year.

Meanwhile, Ezoe, physically and psychologically drained, agreed to sign interrogation records that he claims were fabricated by prosecutors. After his thirteen-year-long trial, he received a suspended sentence.

In a new book, Ezoe vividly presents a harsh criticism of the reported collusion between Japan's media and judiciary system. Referring to news articles and his original notes, and including facts he has been able to disclose after two decades, he highlights the irrational and malicious approach of the prosecutors.

Many experts of Japanese contemporary politics see the Recruit scandal as marking a turning point from the years of the bubble economy that signaled the culmination of Japan's postwar prosperity, to the time when economic expansion came to a total halt, known as the "lost decade."

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7 Comments
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Where Is the Justice?

There is no Justice in Japan; the system is corrupt, rotten and deadly.

(source "Harsh Justice - Japan": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0BQyS1u8uk)

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I need a copy of this book!!

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I agree with kyoken. The Japanese justice system is so corrupted, that they don`t even know what corruption is anymore. Japan needs to revamp their justice system along with the way they train their police officers.

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Asahi has fabricated stuff before so this still smells of being a political attack. The 60s-Left-romantic naivety of Asahi is a tradition. They probably feel that they were really "activist" when they could attack something that looked capitalist-LPD connected. Sadly, they are too engulfed in their romantic ideals to be able to reflect upon anything. A second class newspaper.

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It should not be overlooked that Recruit was launching lots of new magazines and cutting into the revenues of the big boys. It was rapidly emerging as a competitor. This story is a reminder that capitalism in Japan is about knowing your place. Or else.

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Good comment Beelzebub. In a sense, Ezoe was a maverick, getting politicians to buy into things (insider trading), including soon-to-be PM's etc. In a sense he was his days version of Horie-mon?

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This is just as relevant now as ever, unfortunately. How long will this awful situation drag on...?

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