politics

Japan's 'sontaku' clouds where the buck stops in school scandal

11 Comments
By Linda Sieg

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If officials who signed off on the deal or altered related documents were engaging in sontaku, it could be hard to prove their superiors did anything wrong, at least in legal terms.

It's easy to prove that Abe was ignorant of a matter that he should have had thoroughly investigated, i.e. the business dealings of people his wife was associated with.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

i.e. the business dealings of people his wife was associated with.

ie business as usual.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

But hey, let’s be honest. Abe should’ve been more careful in this case. A discount to the school your wife serves as a honorary principal, should have been enough to alarm you.

You should’ve done your own research and you should’ve also guaranteed the «neutral» discount to the parliament before this cronyism arised. You’ve been sleeping in class, Abe. And now face the consequences! Don’t even try to blame others.

Even if it wasn’t you who ordered it as you said, you still should’ve seen this coming!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's easy to prove that Abe was ignorant of a matter that he should have had thoroughly investigated, i.e. the business dealings of people his wife was associated with.

Right, like he never knew that his wife was going to be named honorary principal of a school? How dense can some people be, while no one may find a smoking gun, the system here will demand that he resign if the protests keep up.

Secretly Abe is hoping for a disaster of some type to take the pressure off him and Aso!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

while no one may find a smoking gun,

One dead, one resigned, two in prison, admitted doctored documents, lies...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

YubaruToday 09:01 am JST

"It's easy to prove that Abe was ignorant of a matter that he should have had thoroughly investigated, i.e. the business dealings of people his wife was associated with."

Right, like he never knew that his wife was going to be named honorary principal of a school?

Exactly. If he wasn't fully aware of all the arrangement and checking it was all legit and above board, why not?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Exactly. If he wasn't fully aware of all the arrangement and checking it was all legit and above board, why not?

Reread the article. He does not have to be "fully aware" or even partly "aware" and he still will have to take responsibility!

Don't know what country you hail from, you have to understand the politics here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe and Aso are guilty as all hell. And the people that are all a part of this are tied to Abe pretty tight. His wife, Aso, Kagoike, all are people with very close ties to the PM. Trying to explain this off is not going to work. he is responsible. He and Aso need to be removed from office pending a serious investigation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YubaruToday  11:44 am JST

Exactly. If he wasn't fully aware of all the arrangement and checking it was all legit and above board, why not?

Reread the article. He does not have to be "fully aware" or even partly "aware" and he still will have to take responsibility!

Don't know what country you hail from, you have to understand the politics here.

Yes, I get it - the possibility that these bureaucrats acted on their own initiative to do something they thought would please the boss is an excuse for Abe to wriggle off the hook. I was saying that if they were arranging any sweetheart deals that involved associates of his wife, he should have been looking into it as anyone with any common sense might. So I don't think he can dodge taking any blame - at the very least he has been incredibly negligent.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Abe is no Hitler, but in bureaucratic structures the wish to please superiors is an inevitable practice to which fawning underlings are prone , especially in rigid undemocratic hierarchical systems. According to historian Ian Kershaw, the Nazis were wont to second guess Hitler's wishes, "working towards" the Fuehrer (dem Fuehrer entgegenzuarbeiten) to carry out unspoken orders, thus relieving Hitler from responsibility for criminal policies and illegal actions. The Japanese ruling class has had far more experience than the masters of the twelve-year Reich in covering their $sses, so the majority has, unfortunately, become inured to the crooked "Game of Thrones above the clouds".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think the idea of sontaku is nonsense. If the bureaucrats involved broke the law on their own initiative then they should be arrested, charged and jailed. If they were told to break the law they should still be arrested and given the option to testify against their superiors, or go to jail.

Instead, nobody is arrested and the corruption and lawbreaking goes unpunished.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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