politics

Agriculture minister resigns amid political funds questions

32 Comments
By ELAINE KURTENBACH

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“No matter how much I explain the situation, if people don’t understand they don’t understand,” Nishikawa told reporters. “There is absolutely no conflict with the law, but people can still use this to tarnish my image.”

Has he been trying to explain in English? what an excuse ! Anyway, It was Abe's choice and he is not going to resign anytime soon.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

as long as it was regrettable, and lots of bowing ensued

7 ( +8 / -1 )

“There is absolutely no conflict with the law, but people can still use this to tarnish my image.”

LOL. The "image" of most Japanese politicians is already only slightly above Mad Cow disease. Besides, he'll just resign, lay low for a few months to a year, and then magically reappear. The "talent pool" for J-politicians is ridiculously low, so they have to recycle everyone anyway.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

So, he received a one million payment and says it's ok, even though it is illegal to do so? I think he is right when he said that nobody would understand.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Pretty sparse on facts. Was he actually involved in something illegal or is it just the opposition creating a problem?

Opposition questioning over such issues in the parliament tends to slow work on the body’s main priority, pushing through the annual budget before the fiscal year starts on April 1.

And when it's their turn, the same thing will happen, just as it always has.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Abe's and his gang's "second coming" is almost the stuff of Yeats. "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How can you tarnish something that's so corroded that you cannot see what it was in the first place?

If only we had a Snowden or Assange in Japan!

But if we did he would probably get bumped off by the ultra right wing like Itami Juzo.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It seems as if nearly all of these LDP ministers have the done same or worse, but it is just a matter of the "bad information" being released if they fall out of favor. I am not surprised, but I don't forget either. Go ahead and thumb down, but at least this comment will get many other thinking.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Politics' bedfellow: money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that he had resisted, but in the end accepted Nishikawa’s resignation."

Please. You know as soon as Nishikawa showed up to the office the next morning, his fishing pole and tackle box was outside the door and his resignation was already written up for him, just needed his signature. Nishikawa's gone fishin!

No President or Prime Minister is concerned if you take something on the side, just don't let your business get out in the streets.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Besides, he'll just resign, lay low for a few months to a year, and then magically reappear. The "talent pool" for J-politicians is ridiculously low, so they have to recycle everyone anyway."

"He said he was asking lawmaker Yoshimasa Hayashi, who preceded Nishikawa as farm minister before a Cabinet reshuffle in September, to resume the post."

Well there you go.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What is it with Abe and Agriculture Ministers? In his first stint as PM I think he went through 3 or 4 in a few weeks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Haha the ldp have been pilfering from the country for over 5 decades and counting!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“No matter how much I explain the situation, if people don’t understand they don’t understand,” Nishikawa told reporters. “There is absolutely no conflict with the law, but people can still use this to tarnish my image.”

wow. so, it is the people that are the problem? now i get it.

er, uh... what people? did someone in the minion neighborhood around me here squawk?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

if it was a trade union, then nishikawa is correct. but the article is a bit vague on that. corporations cannot donate money but unions can. http://www.idea.int/political-finance/country.cfm?id=114

0 ( +0 / -0 )

During a Diet session last week in which the Nishikawa problem came to the fore, Abe said something like everyone is doing it ... and he specifically named an opposition party doing such things. Later he said he was mistaken on this charge, but in actuallity never apologized for his mistaken charge.

When Minshuto took over the government several years ago, Jiminto, Abe's party, lost big because of its corrupt image. It's now a little more than two years since Jiminto regained power ... yet it still has failed to clean up its corrupt image. Perhaps Abe should work on this problem a little harder. How many more ministers in his administration are traveling the road of corruption? How many more members in the Jiminto Party are riding down the same road ... ??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm shocked, shocked do you hear, to learn that an LDP cabinet member stands accused of corruption.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

All government people steal and miss use money. Think about it, what makes them more important to you? Nothing. All the government does is suck money from your pockets, making laws that imprison you.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that he had resisted, but in the end accepted Nishikawa's resignation.

Geez, it I had 10 yen for every time a prime minister said this tatamae line I could retire by now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Like with anything in Japanese politics, keep your dirty laundry quiet, but if it gets out be prepared to fall on your own sword and take one for the Abe.

Who wants to bet that everyone in Abe's cabinet has something to hide?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

1 million yen?

That's what.. $8500?

Who cares. In most countries this would be considered an oversight by the accounting department. Return the money and move on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yesterday BertieWooster was on here arguing that approving the TPP is going to line the pockets of the top 1% wealthy without any real proof or valid discussion.

A day later, the head of farming steps down for campaign contribution issues. Bertie, I think you have it backwards. Just follow the money trail.

Politicians promise continued (and even expanded) subsidies for specific crops. Meanwhile they cut out foreign competition by imposing HUGE tariffs on imports.

And the votes and campaign contributions come from who again? The wealthy land-owning class that continue to reap subsidies and continue to prosper.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, if there was 'absolutely no conflict within the law', why did he later have to return the money? I watched him being grilled on the news last night and his answers were extremely pathetic. He just kept saying, "I've explained myself already," and sitting down, and Abe later defending him. Then they both left the room all smiles and posing for pictures. Scum.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Gotta watch out for those agriculture ministers

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The man had probably known all along that it was wrong to accept the donation from the company, but like a lot of politcians here, he is too thick-skinned to admit it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr. Nishikawa I understand "donations," kickbacks, money under the table, promises, etc.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@smithinjapan

Enlighten me.

His office took a donation from a building management company. When it was discovered that members of the Sugar industry association were on the board of directors of that company, the money was returned - regardless of the fact that there is no legal obligation to do so.

How does that kind of transparency qualify one as "scum"?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm sure JA has a lot more tricks up their sleeve to do anything to kill the TPP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese politicians are like underwear, they must be changed often.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Typical j politician with little credibility feeding a dearth of expectation from the Government to provide a solution to the woes of the Japanese economy; dark as it seems, the only way is up...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

¡I'm amazed!. In my country there is a lot of scandals of corruption and no one step down. Even in the japanese cases of corruption the citizens can receive this news about the step down of corrupted politiciens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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