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Aso returns year's salary over scandal; 20 other finance ministry officials punished

57 Comments
By Kazuhiro Nogi

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57 Comments
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Which law says that Aso can buy himself out of crimes with govt salary ?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Totally entitled self effaced corrupt administration, Japan falls further on the global corruption list. Prosecutors won't touch this out of fear for their carrears. Top filth involved give up something they won't miss. And others carry on as if it's normal to behave with no morals. Not sure if there is a word that describes a gaggle of smug corrupt contemptuous people, if they actually see themselves as people.

31 ( +32 / -1 )

I guess this is his way of taking responsibility?

Since the LDP have been in power for 70 years and don’t punish their own, these guys probably think this is a real nice gesture of being a totally upright fellow.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

The only "honourable" way out of this is to fall on the family tanto, not to return the cash..it would be better if he donated his cash to a big charity, then someone, or people could benefit.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Surely a meaningless gesture like this won’t suffice? Will it? I guy that rich giving his salary back. He’s taking the mickey!

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Dude is arrogant as hell. Anyone else and he'd be screaming his head off for them to quit.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

return salary but still no resolution as to who did it?

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Page was slow to load. Seeing his ugly mug first made me assume he'd grown a pair and resigned. Shame.

Abe told reporters he wanted Aso to stay on to ensure lessons were learned from the scandal.

Talk about leaving the fox in the hen house.

A new opinion poll released Monday showed voter support for his cabinet down 1.6 percentage points over the past month to 39 percent, the lowest level since he took office

Which is probably tweaked upwards seeing as there's been massive rallies against this despot. What rallies you ask? That alone should answer your question. Disgusting.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

One year salary. Do think that'll put a bend in his wallet. Hope he is enjoying his plush life with my taxes.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

The old saying "there is a law for the rich, and a law for the poor" is definatly applicable to Japan.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Aso admits his guilt.

What about Abe?

15 ( +16 / -1 )

no no no no! You don't buy yourself out of a problem you GO TO JAIL!

17 ( +18 / -1 )

I am voluntarily returning 12 months of my salary as a cabinet minister, as this problem has hurt public confidence in the finance ministry and the administration as a whole," Taro Aso told reporters.

Admission of guilt. Arrest the scumbag.

But he added, "I am not thinking about stepping down", as he announced the findings of the ministry's in-house probe.

As long as he doesn't step down he will continue to hurt public confidence in the finance ministry and the administration.

Abe told reporters he wanted Aso to stay on to ensure lessons were learned from the scandal.

Comedy gold.

"We should conduct a through review of how to keep public documents and take measures to prevent a recurrence," he said,

Basically figure out how to cover their butts better next time they fleece the country.

adding that he wanted Aso "to take leadership in this and fulfil his responsibility."

Yeah, cause he's done a great job so far, hasn't he?? pfft

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Abe, in power since late 2012, is in no imminent danger of losing his job, but the scandals have affected his popularity.

Proof right there that Japan is a one party dictatorship. In a real democracy, No one would say that. Never.

>

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I do not have much complaint about Aso and Abe or about the finance ministry. Japan has many problems as other countries have but we are living in a society where relatively serious divisions of very rich and very poor do not exist.

-18 ( +1 / -19 )

I do not have much complaint about Aso and Abe or about the finance ministry. Japan has many problems as other countries have but we are living in a society where relatively serious divisions of very rich and very poor do not exist.

You obviously don'T live in the same Japan as the rest of us. Just because you don't see things on the surface, like you would in a developing country, but Japan has VERY serious problems with division of wealth. The "middle-class" here is disappearing at a shocking rate, and the younger generations are going to be paying for it!

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Admit guilt...offer to buy yourself out of it....wow!

Any other politician in any other country would have resigned and ran to the hills.

Not this guy. The arrogance is astounding with this dude.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The only "honourable" way out of this is to fall on the family tanto, not to return the cash..it would be better if he donated his cash to a big charity, then someone, or people could benefit.

Totally! The LDP wants to return to the old ways, right? It's the only way to maintain his 'dignity'. Shouldn't be hard to find a second...

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"I am voluntarily returning 12 months of my salary as a cabinet minister, as this problem has hurt public confidence in the finance ministry and the administration as a whole," Taro Aso told reporters.

12 months? should be 12 years and that still wouldnt be enough. This guy needs to leave politics and serve time. His time has passed a LONG LONG time ago.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Ministry should just change the locks

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan truly is a country where money talks and BS walks (free). 30 million yen ($300,000) is nothing to him. It's only small percentage of the discount on the land he and Abe 'gave' to their mate. Once again we see Japanese politicians and/or business leaders buying their way out of jail. Corporate fraud is unbelievably common in Japan and nobody ever goes to jail for it.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Just the good old boy Network looking out for itself

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I watch BBC "Hard Talk" and see how the world are corrupt. I feel we are comparatively living in a good country where people are hard working and conscientious. We do not have big thieves and leeches. By the way, we are all poor. We think 95% of Japanese are poor but we do not have people who have to worry about the food for tomorrow in today's Japan.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

 we do not have people who have to worry about the food for tomorrow in today's Japan.

Open your eyes, Schopenhauer. May do some work with a group like Second Harvest. Just because NHK won't cover it, doesn't mean hunger doesn't exist in Japan.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

We do not have big thieves and leeches. By the way, we are all poor. We think 95% of Japanese are poor but we do not have people who have to worry about the food for tomorrow in today's Japan.

Wake up man, your feudal overlords are just laughing at you. Do you seriously think, as Taj points out, that NHK tells you the truth about what's happening in your country?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

People guilty of fraud do not get to choose their own punishment. That is the legal system's job.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I watch BBC "Hard Talk" and see how the world are corrupt. I feel we are comparatively living in a good country where people are hard working and conscientious.

That's fine if you want to compare Japan to 3rd world and developing countries. Most here want Japan to live in the developed world... As such, Japan often does not compare well. Harsh, but true. We don't do tatemae and gaman like Japan does. We call it as it is both and back at home (when we live there) when something needs to be called out. Taking it personally only delays the process of improvement.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

THat's alright... he's still got all the money his family made off slave labor, which he has also denied, then had to admit. One year's salary won't hurt him one bit, and this is the typical politician's way of admitting guilt and just asking you to forget it. It's not enough. Take him out of office, PERMANENTLY. None of this "I'll retire so I can run against Abe in the next election" crap, which we know he wants to do.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Aso said the ministry had penalised around 20 officials, imposing pay cuts in some cases and issuing verbal reprimands to others.

More precisely, 10-20% pay cuts for a couple of months and finger wagging and a wink to others.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Nice to see institutional corruption still running rampant, NOT!!

These kinds of scandals, which rarely have any light shone on them, have been happening non-stop since the end of WWII, really kicked into high gear in the 80s & continue unabated to this day!

THAT is why Japan is in so much debt & costs for things are so expensive!

It is to pay for corruption & graft that is very often woven into govt regulations etc so much that its washed to look legal!

Japan is headed for a really hard fall, we all better buy helmets

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A drop in the ocean for this guy whose wealth was derived from slave labour during the war.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Enough evidence for him to feel guilty and lose a bit of salary, but not enough evidence to prosecute the officials. The links between the Japan Estabishment and the Judges/ Prosecution service seem to be very strong.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I know a guy that just turned 60, so his meager salary of ¥4.700,000 was cut to ¥3.100,000 and he did nothing wrong.

If Aso was not 77 years old or what ever, would his real salary be much much higher than ¥30,000,000? Because we all know that when everyone hits age 60 their salaries are cut.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"I am voluntarily returning 12 months of my salary as a cabinet minister, as this problem has hurt public confidence in the finance ministry and the administration as a whole," Taro Aso told reporters.

Well, sorry! The problem, i.e.:corruption, does sort of erode any confidence in you and the administration. Don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

Aso said the ministry had penalised around 20 officials, imposing pay cuts in some cases and issuing verbal reprimands to others

Scapegoats the lot of them

"Officially approved administrative documents should never have been altered and submitted to parliament. I find this extremely regrettable"

Of course they should not have been altered, but when you get a government as corrupt as yours, it is bound to happen. And yes, you would find it regrettable, as you have been caught with your hand in the proverbial cookie jar. The fortune your family has made had been off the back of corruption.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan, the 2nd best democracy money can buy!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Absolutely disgraceful and disgusting. Aso completely admits guilt, offers a pathetic token and yet SOMEHOW, still avoids jailtime...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"To expect cleanliness to politicians is asking fish at groceries."  "When beat the cushions, they emit a lot of dust." (Japanese sayings). They are the human beings same as us.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

"I find this (that we got caught, not the act itself) extremely regrettable"... Aso and the cabinets true feelings.

"We should conduct a through review of how to keep public documents and take measures to prevent a recurrence (of being caught)"...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Why is he not being charged?? Honestly, this country thinks it's okay for men to throw money at their crimes and allows them to walk away free. It's pathetic. He should be fired and arrested, not giving up his salary for a year and being allowed to keep his job. Pathetic.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Schopenhauer

Schopenhauer was a great thinker and writer, one of my cultural heroes, but I think he would beg to differ. Were he alive today, I'm sure he would agree with me, in his wisdom: Sperrt ihn ein! - Lock him (Aso) up!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Abe wants Aso to stay on so the lesson were learned from the scandal... (okay to be repeated)... haha

what a joke.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Returning a years salary...meh, probably earned 10 x that much on the side...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nothing new...

If you study Japan even with Japan Today articles only, you already know it is very far from a democracy as for justice.

Countries of real democracy have their presidents/prime ministers challenge by opponents, and that can get punished if so.

Evidence is there. Where are the judges ?

I see it is even the same at any level (senpai/teacher/boss...)

It does not mean Japan is not wealthy on average at the same time (or rather median average)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I watch BBC "Hard Talk" and see how the world are corrupt. I feel we are comparatively living in a good country where people are hard working and conscientious. We do not have big thieves and leeches. By the way, we are all poor. We think 95% of Japanese are poor but we do not have people who have to worry about the food for tomorrow in today's Japan.

You obviously live with rose colored glasses on your face. The very reason he is giving money back is BECAUSE there are thieves and leeches. The worst of them wear fine suits, have nice smiles

And if you think 95% of Japanese are poor, then you just have to believe too, contrary to your previous post, that there is a HUGE divide between the haves and have nots!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This and other LDP stories were bumped unusually quickly to the back blocks.....mmm could there be an agenda? But who am I to moderate on these matters.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just checked apparently sports news that no one ever comments on supersedes a lively debate on political machination..my life choice sports because no one cares, political it's interesting but apparently not so important.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If Aso knew and he’s soo close to Abe, how could Abe not have known about it? How could Aso not have tipped his boss about what’s going on in his own government? They’ll get their losses back plus a bonus. From whom, time will tell us. For sure Abe & Co. are panicking. Let’s see how Japan, Inc. deals with this. Already one has told me she’s moving to Europe with relatives if Abe is re-elected.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If he can afford to hand back a year's Salary, then he must have another Income that's not being declared, or perhaps is not in the interest of his public Servant (i.e. he's being paid to vote).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@zichi- and how would your Wife verify that he had actually stopped drinking Sake for a year ?

I would also think that the employees within the Sake Industry may have something to disagree about Politicians giving up that drink... they'd go out of business soon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You knew everything to hide and now when disclosed, returns year's salary over scandal? It's nothing from the all wealth you have Mr. Aso. And, 20 other finance ministry officials punished and they deserved for your position stay there as Minister of Finance and vice PM in this current government? Is this the reality of Japan to be still controlled from the feudal system? I'm fed up of all this story!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If he can afford to hand back a year's Salary, then he must have another Income that's not being declared,

What makes you think it's not declared? They all have to declare their income every year - the information is out there for you to see.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He's returning his salary as a cabinet minister - around 1.7 million yen

His total declared income as a senior member of the LDP is in the region of 31.86 million yen.

https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/223777

https://www.nenshuu.net/special_public/spe/diet_member_pages.php?diet_member_id=124

He won't even notice it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Buying your way out of a financial scandal. Oh Japan, never change!

(good catch, Cleo)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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