politics

Amari resigns, but denies taking bribes; Ishihara named successor

56 Comments
By Stanley White and Leika Kihara

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56 Comments
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Interesting to listen to him on the news.

I personally would not have quit if I did not take the bribes. Will be good to see all those posters taken down in Yamato-shi.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

, but denies taking bribes

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Crickets are singing..

4 ( +6 / -2 )

In a packed news conference televised live, Amari acknowledged taking money from a construction company executive but said he told his aides to correctly record them as a political donation.

Part of the money has gone missing because of mishaps by his secretaries, Amari said, but two of them have resigned.

So, he admits to accepting bribes, but labelled them as political donations and then 'some' of the money cannot be accounted for? Now, two of his scapegoats resigned and now him, but there is no mention of exactly how much money they are talking about or is there any explanation as to what happened to the missing funds. Once again we see those above the law escaping workout convictions.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

There we go again.

How many so far during Mr. Abe's reigning period?

And of course, still no wrong-doing, no taking bribes, legally innocent.

Who is he to say that he is innocent. But, right, he himself investigated everything, so that's the result.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

It's always the aides' fault. Can't any politician stand up and say, "It's my fault"?

Watched the entire speech on TV beginning at 5 p.m. He read the whole thing ... which was probably written by a team of lawyers. The only time he cracked was when he announced his resignation toward the end of the speech. Guess he had no choice ... if he had stayed he would have been riddled with question after question about the scandal.

I'm now wondering ... will Abe ask Amari to stay on the job? Although I doubt it, Amari did do a good job of passing the buck to his secretaries. This might clear him of any misdoing in Abe's eyes.

All in all, I think it's probably sayonara Amari-san. And Abe will trudge on without him ...

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Why quit if you weren't on the take? Who you trying to fool with that B.S?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Is he resigning altogether, or only as a minister? Usually they only resign as minister with scandals such as this.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

For the sake of argument let's assume he didn't take the bribes, he's innocent, pure as the driven snow.

As the Minister in charge of the economy, he admits that he (or the staff he vetted and appointed) either deliberately or through incompetence, lost 'part' of a sum of money that came into his hands. He can't handle a little thing like a political donation (cough,cough), but we're expected to believe he can handle the world's third-largest economy? How much of our money, I wonder, have his aides 'lost' for us?

Note he's resigning only as minister, not as a member of parliament. He'll still be sitting in his seat with his pockets wide open.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

What I tell ya.....one week! Bye bye,....sadly it happened now, closer to the elections this summer and it would have been a serious problem for the teflon man, although he should be taking a hit in the popularity polls in the next week or so.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Yesterday Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to stand by his Economy Minister...'I want Amari to continue carrying out the important work that he has done, including work on TPP'..... Today Akira Amari threw himself under the political equivalent of a speeding bullet train. Without a hint of sarcasm, this is 'House/Diet of cards' with bells and whistles.

What political firework display is contained within 50 hours of audio data, vast amounts of materials', plus receipts from Amari’s office amassed by Takeshi Isshiki that Shukan Bunshun is clearly sitting on? Because Amari has been scarified to contain the fall out.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Note he's resigning only as minister, not as a member of parliament. He'll still be sitting in his seat with his pockets wide open.

That's what I suspected. Which makes it mostly meaningless.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Apologies that's sacrificed .........scarified is a method cut and remove debris from (a lawn) with a scarifier. ...all fingers and thumbs

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who wants to bet that after the next elections, if the LDP holds on to power, this dude gets picked for some role in Abe's administration?!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

“Anything that hampers this must be eliminated, and I’m no exception. I, therefore, would like to resign as minister to take responsibility” for what he said his aides had done.

Blaming his aide - pathetic. If you didn't know about it why quit - you know some people know you took the bribes and you don't want that getting out. Good job he's out - sets an example.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I saw the news conference, too and felt he didn't write a word of it - only read it... I felt a funny feeling he was gonna resign...I'm glad - but I wish we could find out WHY he got picked out... they're ALL guilty of the same crime, but for some reason it's his turn to bite the dust... anybody know anything deeper?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Amari resigns over 1 million yen and 5 million yen (3 million of which was embezzled by a worker). This is chump change to a politician. But it is a good thing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Be prepared for the dissolution of both houses, with opposition parties unable to recognize their backsides from their elbows, the ruling LDP will ruthlessly make 'hay whilst the sun shines' and smother any political dissent.

Lackluster polls, manoeuvring by LDP may give DPJ a drubbing in July election

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/01/28/national/politics-diplomacy/lackluster-polls-maneuvering-ldp-may-give-dpj-drubbing-july-election/#.VqnuJlJhiMk

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is what Amari needed a week to prepare for?

A canned speech and a resignation?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I am sure he will be shifted side ways to a well paying job at the expense of Japanese tax payers. Hey moderator are you going to censor my comment again???

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Why resign if he denies bribes? Typical political nonsense. At least he didn't cry and bang his hands on a table.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just like I said & how these ALWAYS play out.............

The "secretaries" take the fall, these secretaries JOBS are to handle the dirty work & BY DESIGN fall on the sword if caught, then the minister only resigns their post NOT their seat, they chill for a while & then later belly back up to the trough!!

This always happens the same way 95% of the time, the other 5% is just flavouring.......

Same ole, same ole, NOTHING changes, no one goes to jail............messed up but all highly predictable!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Just hours before the conference Amari said he,d fullfill his duties as minister "

Something made him suddenly change his mind about staying... No doubt the possibility of some other even bigger skeletons in the closet being outed eventuated. Will be interesting to see whether Japan still has any independent media willing to follow up on the story left. There is no doubt more to this than meets the eye.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The Global view.....

NYtimes .......

Akira Amari, Japan’s Economy Minister, Resigns Amid Scandal....

But a follow-up piece in the magazine on Thursday quoted a company representative as saying that Mr. Amari had twice pocketed envelopes containing ¥500,000 in cash. It claimed that further unrecorded payments were made, for a total of tens of millions of yen.....

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/29/world/asia/japan-akira-amari-resigns.html?_r=0

UK Guardian.....

Japan's economy minister resigns over bribery allegations.....

It wasn’t clear why Amari then decided to resign, but some observers have pointed to the possibility that other damaging revelations have yet to be published.....

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/28/japans-economy-minister-akira-amari-resigns-bribery-allegations

China Daily.....

Japan Amari stepping down as economy minister

Former Japanese Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara will succeed Amari as economy minister, according to local media report

http://www.chinadailyasia.com/asia/2016-01/28/content_15379683.html

France 24....

Japan economy minister Amari quits over graft claims

He admitted envelopes filled with cash had arrived at his office, but claimed to have ordered his secretary to deal with some of the money according to political donation rules

http://www.france24.com/en/20160128-japan-economy-minister-amari-quits-over-graft-claims

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Didn't Abe say just yesterday that he wanted the guy to stay on despite the scandal? What happened in the last 24 hours?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of my dog! And now we have Ishihara back in a top seat. He is one of the old horses that should have been put out to pasture a long long time ago.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And now we have Ishihara back in a top seat. He is one of the old horses that should have been put out to pasture a long long time ago.

Wrong Ishihara - this one is his son.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Wrong Ishihara - this one is his son.

Acorn...............tree..............

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Boom! EXACTLY what I and others have been saying for the past week!

"Part of the money has gone missing because of mishaps by his secretaries,"

Blame it on the secretaries, promise them good jobs to act as scapegoats, resign despite finding himself 'innocent' of taking bribes and admitting they got the money, and not leaving his seat, just the current role he's in until the amakudari job sets in -- and I bet he'll get a golden parachute to boot (more than the bribe).

Seriously... the guy, like so many other politicians, can't keep track of a 'donation' or handle the spiral down, but he was going to represent Japan and the economy at Davos? Hahaha...

As for putting Ishihara in his place... sheesh. The game of musical chairs continues; the guy has been 'environment and crisis minister' and 'secretary general' under Abe, so what, pres tel, qualifies him to be economic minister aside from his ties to his nutbag father?

"“He doesn’t have much previous experience in the cabinet. By choosing someone with less experience, this could give Abe and his office even more influence over economic policy,”

Yeah... sure... What it will do is add voice to the lunatic fringe that want a return to pre-war and pro-war Japan, and one who is guaranteed to support changing the constitution.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I think that Amari's resignation shows to the Abe administration and the US that PM Abe's cabinet is not impenetrable and nor is PM Abe himself. With 3 in his original cabinet picks now gone it looks as if the power of the cabinet itself is being attacked and widdled away. To what end I wish I knew.....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@BertieWooster,

This is what Amari needed a week to prepare for? A canned speech and a resignation?

No, no, of course not!!

The week was needed to give time to get the intelligence agencies on it, to figure out what information the journalists had and didn't have, apply pressure where necessary, and all of that.

Oh, and to line up a replacement in case they did have to throw him under the bus.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Less than 90 minutes after Amari announced his resignation, Abe named Ishihara as his replacement and stressed that reforms would continue."

Two things I take away from this statement.

He definitely took those bribes Abe knew that he took the bribes.
2 ( +2 / -0 )

Makes me wonder what kind of deal the opposition made with the company who offered the "political donation" in the first place and who told? Seems like he was setup from the get go by the shadow boss and company...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lackluster polls, manoeuvring by LDP may give DPJ a drubbing in July election

Lackluster polls, maneuvering,by the LDP, may give the DPJ ANOTHER drubbing in the July election.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“He doesn’t have much previous experience in the cabinet. By choosing someone with less experience, this could give Abe and his office even more influence over economic policy,” Tokuda said.

Sort of like when Obama was put in office.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Need Tina to pop in, stop putting this guy down, bribes are a traditional part of Japanese business and look, so and so country is bad too..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

could of just given him a reprimand, This stuff goes on all the time in Japan. Bribes arent really seen as bribes, its like the reikin for apartment downpayment money or kuruma shakken etc. It all part of the grease that keeps the wheel turning. If its part of the system and culture

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"Please allow me to finally give my explanation. I resign."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yay! With that rotten apple gone the barrel is totally clean and will remain so. Forward the Glorious Suicide of the 120 Million!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If its part of the system and culture

...then why do they have a law against it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ishihara junior is one of the very few LDP politicians with a brain, though, so Abe could have stumbled accidentally onto a positive move for Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nobuteru Ishihara, man of the people? Well, his own words. are reveling...Mrs Ishihara page is a highlight...It is telling how Nobuteru grounding in media and broadcasting has paid off!

It would be disingenuous of me to suggest his site is the work of political or economic research assistants, so I won't..

Welcome to the English homepage of Nobuteru Ishihara, Member of the House of Representatives. I hope you find my website both interesting and informative.

http://www.nobuteru.or.jp/english/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wrong Ishihara - this one is his son.

I stand corrected, but I don't think it's any better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Provided that Amari didn't accept any bribes, he should have remained in his position at least until TPP deal has been completed. His resignation makes him look more suspicious.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Whatever you may say about Amari,He is a mastermind and Godfather of Japan economy reformation.He did a good job.its really a big loss.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

He is a mastermind and Godfather of Japan economy reformation.He did a good job

As we can see by the tremendous resurgence in the economy? Non-existent. The man is a crook, and Ishihara will be worse.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Its too early to judge,it takes time.Dont forget long term economy depression,he is dealing with in a very complicated circumstances.to see and feel real recovery,it takes time.In order to be fair,you should take into consideration Japan economy difficulties when he becomes a minister of economy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

to see and feel real recovery,it takes time

It also takes competence, responsible spending and real reform.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Still too early to judge in an objective way.From my own experience in politics,i learned not to be rush in my judgments even if some times some details or traits prove my opinion,because fair and objective judgments needs the whole picture details to be completed and clear.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This whole affair reeks of sleaze, larceny and embezzlement. A Key Senior Cabinet Minister responsible for vital TPP negotiations, and crucial economic policy decisions has effectively been forced to resign.

Economy Minister Akira Amari has taken personal responsibility but insists he did not take bribes, if there is even the faintest possibility that this is the case then a full Judge lead public inquiry, where all parties involved are forced to give evidence under oath, supervised by senior career police detectives.

In focus: the man responsible for bringing Amari's graft allegations to light......

The prefectural government eventually gave the construction company an eviction order. In response, the company sought help from two right-wing organizations in Tokyo and elsewhere to negotiate with the Chiba Prefectural Government. The right-wing groups demanded 500 million yen in compensation for the eviction, but the prefecture refused to comply. UR then went ahead with the removal of industrial waste left in the lot and construction of the new road. The construction company then sought assistance from one of the members of the right-wing groups to negotiate on its behalf. This man, whose membership from the right-wing group was subsequently dissolved, is the man who provided Shukan Bunshun his side of the story.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160129/p2a/00m/0na/015000c

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This NEWS just disappeared from international news with negative interest rates, I wonder about the timing of such things.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He was told to take one for the team, and that he'd be compensated later for falling on his sword. Look for him to re-appear in the next cabinet reshuffle.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Look for him to re-appear in the next cabinet reshuffle

He is a cancer patient, so I don't think so.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Hi tinawatanabe early stage tongue cancer.......Is Akira Amari guilty of nothing more than over work and haplessness? Why did he get directly involved in the first place. Who are these so call right wing groups, you must have an opinion? Do you think he took a bribe? Why would he? He is not a well man

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is there never any talk of police investigation? Has his office been raided just like a private company which has lost a load of pencil sharpeners? Didn't think so......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you think he took a bribe? Why would he? He is not a well man

This kind of thing comes up when some force wants to pull somebody down from a position. It may have been a setup and he fell into it

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When dealing with J officialdom every detail is meticulously checked and recorded. When I obtained my driving license, one had to present the relevant paperwork in person, at the center, on a prearranged date and time, where a police officer will studiously walk through line and verse making a written account.

There is no room to veer off the 'straight and narrow' nothing is left to chance or misinterpretation. In essence if laws are broken sooner or later 'your collar is going to get felt' simply because there is going to be a trail of paperwork leading right to your doorstep.

It's remarkable then that Akira Amari, hitherto a cabinet minister with a distinguished unblemished career, responsible for a government portfolio that encompasses the conclusion to vital TPP trade negotiations, whose decision-making could directly affect J economic policy having repercussions for the whole country.

Yet the same Akira Amari has somehow got entangled with what amounts to a land dispute between a quasi-public housing agency and a construction company. In the possess risking his whole career, his reputation and dishonoring his family, hand in the cookie jar taking bribes, Its Billy Bassett bonkers, loony tunes.

Akira Amari has publicly proclaimed his innocence, bribery is a serious criminal offence. So full open independent investigation is the only logical course of action to establish Akira Amari innocence and uncover the truth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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