politics

Inose resigns as Tokyo governor over loan scandal

50 Comments

Embattled Tokyo Gov Naoki Inose on Thursday submitted his resignation over a loan scandal linked to his election campaign.

Inose, who was elected head of one of the world's biggest cities a year ago Wednesday, said he had handed his letter of resignation to the head of the assembly.

"I have decided to resign from the post of Tokyo governor," Inose told a hurriedly arranged press conference.

"I intended to fulfil my duty of explaining to the city assembly, people of Tokyo and people of the nation, but regrettably I could not clear doubts over me. It's solely because of my lack of virtue."

Inose also said he could not let the scandal impede preparations for the Olympics in 2020.

In November, Inose admitted he received 50 million yen from the political family behind the medical group Tokushuka before running in last year's gubernatorial election.

He failed to declare the sum in campaign accounts, and insisted the loan was for personal use. Under the Japanese election law, campaign treasurers must report all income, such as donations, related to electioneering.

Inose's resignation came amid mounting pressure for him to step down from the metropolitan assembly and the government.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is keen to resolve the issue "as soon as possible" to prevent the scandal from hampering preparations for the Olympic Games, Kyodo reported Wednesday, citing an Abe aide.

"The fact that Inose received a large sum of money from someone who does business related to his authority (to approve hospital openings) is enough to warrant his resignation," Masahiko Komura, deputy head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told reporters Wednesday, according to Kyodo.

Inose said in November that he was offered the money by the Tokudas, the family running Tokushukai, and that he felt "it would be rude to refuse when (the money was) offered".

But public broadcaster NHK reported that it was Inose himself who reached out to the Tokuda family and asked for 100 million yen before the election.

Prosecutors have investigated the Tokushukai group, which runs dozens of major hospitals throughout the nation, over an allegation of illegal electioneering practice, including providing money to campaign workers, at the time the younger Tokuda ran for the lower house.

Inose said he paid back the "loan" after the investigation surfaced in September.

He said he was only able to return the money after the probe because he had been busy running Tokyo's bid to host the 2020 Olympics, and attending to his wife, who was hospitalised.

Inose has undergone more than 20 hours of questioning by the general affairs committee of the Tokyo metropolitan assembly. The assembly has decided to form a special panel to investigate the matter further. The panel will have the power to summon witnesses and file charges if it finds that witnesses, including Inose, have lied.

© AFP/ Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

50 Comments
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The Japanese law is too lenient on officials who have accepted large bribes or embezzled large sums of money. Inose escaped the ultimate punishment to many years of jail time. In Japan there should be more discussions focused not only on the sentences handed down to corrupt officials, but also on the time they actually spend in prison. Otherwise, they will find a way to save their lives with the money they have embezzled. The people will be bitterly disappointed if the courts do not punish corrupt officials to the full extent of the law. The general public has a reason to demand severe punishments for corrupt government officials, because, in practice, only a small number of them receive heavy sentences. The majority are punished mildly after they confess their crimes or hand back part of the illicit money to the investigators.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Good bye, and it is a time for him to go.

He failed to recognize that It is a privilege (a special opportunity to do something that makes you proud) to be a public servant. When he took this opportunity, he was asked to maintain a higher moral standard and he failed.

Hope this is a beginning of clean up process for all unproductive oyaji politicians for ya.

6 ( +7 / -2 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is keen to resolve the issue “as soon as possible” to prevent the scandal from hampering preparations for the Olympic Games, Kyodo reported Wednesday, citing an Abe aide.

Well that answers the question, did he fall or was he pushed.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Mr. Naoki Inoue lacks the essential leadership credentials of judgment, honesty, integrity, and as a result has lost confidence in his ability to carry out his duties as governor of Tokyo therefore he must step down. Good luck and may you learn from your mistakes.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Is anyone really surprised, after all he was hand picked by the master thief ishihara. Now there is a guy who also escaped big punishment for his "failed bank." Inose is cut from the same cloth.

6 ( +7 / -2 )

It is a matter of course that Mr.Inose resigns. The problem seems to be deep rooted.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That nice Mr. Utsunomiya who came in second, had he been in office, Tokyo would be a little better off.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is keen to resolve the issue “as soon as possible” to prevent the scandal from hampering preparations for the Olympic Games

= Otherwise there's nothing wrong with accepting bribes.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Well, that didn't take much, no constant apologies, no running off his mouth, no backtracking in the media-spotlight. No city council being forced to strip him of his powers. If only Toronto could be so lucky.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If looks like the Ishihara era in Tokyo has finally come to a close.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"it would be rude to refuse"

Classic!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

“it would be rude to refuse when (the money was) offered”.

What he meant to say: "They had better give me the money I demanded"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This mung should be prosecuted for accepting bribes and be sentenced to prison. Is the moral fibre in this country in tact or not, lets see them show us it is by slamming this lie monger.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

“it would be rude to refuse

Pants on fire. It is not rude to say "NO".

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Bring on the next crook!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I wonder if they will vote for a third neo-fascist in a row. Whenever Japan gets to vote for their leaders directly they seem to like them.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I wonder if they will vote for a third neo-fascist in a row. Whenever Japan gets to vote for their leaders directly they seem to like them.

Not much of a facist when he was easily caved in due to the pressure.

Looking at the press conference, he looks like he's ready to cry at the podium.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The sad thing about this whole affair is that he took so long, and also that he wasn't kicked out

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Inose had no other options left after the LDP publicly told him to resign. Now in other news it was reported Shizuka " The hairstyle guru" Kamei also took 20 million from the same family.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Goodbye Mr Arrogance. Good riddance. Let US hope the youth get involved with 1. the vote and 2. standing for office. They have disenfranchised themselves by buying iPhones and the internet. Get active and VOTE. No more to cronyism and bad taste liars. The construction industry will now be waiting to see who it has to pay off, but don't let them in. VOTE for someone who will serve The People. Not themselves or their own interests.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yoooshi!

Good riddance.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There are many poliicians who feel great reliefs that Inose was focused upon and they are not. There are many politicians who received money from Tokushukai. Victims are those who received unnecessary expensive surgeries at Tokushukai hospitals.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

During this whole thing his demeanor was one of someone obviously lying. Nothing about his facial features or body language looked relaxed or confident, even my 5 yr old picked up on it. Good-bye you scumbag. Thanks for wasting my tax money for the last couple of weeks. I`m sure all the city hall bureaucrats were real productive too while their leader was in the hot seat. No honor. I hope no one wastes a yen on his stupid book that just come out yesterday.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The weeklies have been proposing former PM Koizumi as the next Tokyo governor for the past few weeks. I wonder if he is up for it?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“it would be rude to refuse when (the money was) offered”.

Awww, I almost feel sorry for him...

But even if it were true that he was offered the money without asking for it himself first (and media report clearly suggest otherwise), what happened to a polite, but clear "NO"???

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

About time.His stubbornness made him a laughing stock.With this letter and that bag with the money leading his flailing defence.The sad part is that along the way, he trashed his wife's name in order to remain in power. If they meet up again what lies will he have to justify his actions?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good riddance. He had no business being governor to begin with. Of course, according to Japanese custom, he'll land some plum job from yesterday where he can continue not doing his job and collecting heaps of money.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Good riddance. He had no business being governor to begin with. Of course, according to Japanese custom, he'll land some plum job from yesterday where he can continue not doing his job and collecting heaps of money.

Methinks, smith doesn't know Inose was an accomplished writer. Personally, he should of stayed that way instead of trying to be a politician.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

From accomplished writer to accomplished crook. And what was it all for?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Bring back Ishihara!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It's ridiculous how lax laws against bribery and fraud are in this country. Resign, and suddenly all is forgiven? This guy got off easy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

his mung should be prosecuted for accepting bribes and be sentenced to prison

Doing so would set a dangerous precedent in Japanese politics. If every politician in Japan who has accepted a bribe were sent to jail, there would be no place to put the regular criminals.

2 ( +6 / -3 )

It's a pity to see him go but in some areas he was just too inexperienced and not strict enough. He never seemed like the post of governor was suited well for him.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Good riddance to bad rubbish. Don`t let the door hit you on your way out, Mr Ichinose

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

He will be paid ¥25 million plus for his resignation/retirement, just like the previous governor of Nagano, Yasuo Tanaka, also an author who resigned twice. Once and won election and twice so was paid twice.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yeah I'm cynical, but I'm a pragmatist. Okay he got caught, everyone who's playing the same political game view this as a "lesson learned" at Inose's expense (so they don't screw-up and get caught as easily), and nothing really changes too much in the world of ethics of between corporations and politics. Wash, rinse, crush, and burn.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's the big deal?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nigelboy: "Methinks, smith doesn't know Inose was an accomplished writer. Personally, he should of stayed that way instead of trying to be a politician."

Correct, I did not know. Which means he is not THAT accomplished, is he? I agree with you that he should have stayed out of politics, though, although with with perks and the fact that you only need previous fame as an athlete or writer or comedian as criteria for becoming a politician, I don't think you can blame him for taking the easy money.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Man when will the locals realize that their govt & J-ink are rotten corrupt to the core!!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It took too long to get rid of the arrogant Bozo. If Tokyo next votes in "sonno manma" Higashi, that will make it three clowns in a row..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The sad part is he'll probably be voted in again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The sad part is he'll probably be voted in again.

Well, Abe was

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hey, he's got a long, 15 minutes of fame. Inose show is over... just in time for kohaku show season.

I agree with you that he should have stayed out of politics,

He has never been "out of politics", he is a writer, yes, but exclusively in the extreme-right politics and history revision genres. But surely, when he reached 60, he should have gone to go play golf, trim bonsai or grow rice in some old farm. Why do all those jiji think Japanese politics should serve them as rojin home ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Inose actually had a pretty clean record for a politician and he did quite a bit during 3/11. From the outside looking in, this was a case of one poor judgement and going after the low-hanging fruit...you sell your soul to the devil and one day he will come to collect.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Correct, I did not know. Which means he is not THAT accomplished, is he? I agree with you that he should have stayed out of politics, though, although with with perks and the fact that you only need previous fame as an athlete or writer or comedian as criteria for becoming a politician, I don't think you can blame him for taking the easy money.

Smith. If you didn't know, might I suggest you research a little bit more about him like what was his master's degree at University of Meiji and who he worked under immediately after? Do you even know what he wrote about? His background and expertise is politics but that doesn't mean he's qualified to be a politician especially being at the top of one of the largest cities in the world.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

nigelboy: "Smith. If you didn't know, might I suggest you research a little bit more about him like what was his master's degree at University of Meiji and who he worked under immediately after? Do you even know what he wrote about?"

Nope. I really do, honestly, appreciate the suggestion, but in this case I'm really not interested in the writings of a man who accepts bribes, lies about them, tries to downplay them, then ultimately has to retire with a golden parachute. I agree his previous career as a writer does not at all qualify him to be what he was until forced to quit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nope. I really do, honestly, appreciate the suggestion, but in this case I'm really not interested in the writings of a man who accepts bribes, lies about them, tries to downplay them, then ultimately has to retire with a golden parachute. I agree his previous career as a writer does not at all qualify him to be what he was until forced to quit.

Then perhaps you need to be clear on what "qualifications" are needed to be a politician for you are all over the place.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

nigelboy:

It must be so sad for you to see yet another stain on Japanese politics. I notice you don't really comment much when something bad happens and tarnishes the image of Japan.

Methinks, smith doesn't know Inose was an accomplished writer.

How the heck does this help Tokyo taxpayers?! Trust you to put a positive spin on every single miserable episode of Japanese politics.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

nigelboy: "Then perhaps you need to be clear on what "qualifications" are needed to be a politician for you are all over the place."

Please... you're saying this guy was qualified? why? because he was a writer? That only proves my point, and I think we know quite well his confessions of "I didn't know politicians need to be so professional" are further proof about his lack of qualifications. But hey, if calling a spade a spade is 'all over the place' in your books, then you need some new books -- preferably not Inose's.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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