politics

Justice minister undone by cheap paper fan

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59 Comments
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Just one word. Ridiculous...

22 ( +24 / -3 )

The "good-ol' boys" network is probably pissed off at her and Abe for choosing her as Justice minister over some other crony that served their time and "deserved" the post more than her.

They went searching for any little thing to bring about her downfall and toss some egg on Abe's face.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

I am glad this eccentric lady is gone. Assigning her to the position of the justice minister was a big blunder. Her uchiwa is now priced at 16,000 yen in the Yahoo auction.

1 ( +7 / -5 )

Politicians here have an enormous need for money for gifts to constituents. Legislators have to attend countless weddings, funerals and other social occasions and give out envelopes full of cash.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The women are just not as experienced as the men in covering their tracks.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

These guys will nitpick any everything these women do until they all resign. I say hang in there and prove you are strong enough to handle the job. Stop being weak and destroying my daughters future.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Justice minister undone by cheap paper fan

No, she was undone by being a liar. If she had come out straight away and said she was sorry, I bet she'd still have a job.

7 ( +13 / -5 )

I,d take a guess that there were more skeletons in the closet and she resigned ( or was made to resign ) because of " paper fans " before any further " irregularities" were found. Btw, I bet if the senior male LDP oyaji politicians were put under proper scrutiny 90% of them would be out.

9 ( +11 / -1 )

that argument didn’t protect her from the heat of parliamentary scrutiny.

Hah!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The women are just not as experienced as the men in covering their tracks."

Maybe they have as many skeletons in their closet as male politicians. In due time we will know more and I in particular will be looking forward to legitimazing my theory that women throughout history never mounted to anything in politics. They were too smart then to interfere with a bunch of conniving and backstabbing men, now the women want to get in the same bathtubs as men. They'll should be contended with being masters who icontrol the water that flows into the bathtub that we men take a bath in.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

The decision to force a resignation might come back to haunt a few people.

I know I've received tissue packets with political advertising on a number of occasions, and at least one fan. There is no way she is the only elected official guilty of this.

7 ( +6 / -0 )

Yeah, she was given up to the slaughter. Abe, in the same honorable way he handled scandals in his first administration, let his appointees hang out in the wind alone and offered no show of support, or any kind of defense, or any help. He said, you're on your own, I'm saving myself! The Captain of the Titanic.

6 ( +5 / -0 )

These GUYS will nitpick any everything these women do until they all resign. I say hang in there and prove you are strong enough to handle the job. Stop being weak and destroying my daughters future.

Actually it was Renho, the female polititcian from the DPJ that was leading the attack,and it was quite humorous on tv

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Stop being weak and destroying my daughters future.

If your daughter thinks her future involves being a corrupt politician in Japan's most corrupt political dinosaur party, maybe you should Have a Talk with Her.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

A justice minister who stretches the law to suit herself? No, we're all better off without her.

However I do agree that the systematic targeting of the female ministers stinks of bullying and harassment. The same standards should be applied to the men, and I think the remaining female ministers should be bringing up the same issues about their male colleagues.. then maybe Japanese politics will get a little less corrupt.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Besides the fan, I do believe she had another issue with a residance and security guards hired to protect her. So, it was not just the fans as an issue.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That a paper fan valued at 80 yen could run afoul of Japan’s election laws is testament to the strict prohibition on gifts to constituents. What Nonsense...all politicians stink with foul money...and in this century no politician in whatever country can really be a politician if he/she does not stink with foul money...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah, her total disconsideration for the LAW was extremely obvious yesterday. truly thinking she's above it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I see them droning on about this endlessly on TV. A frigging paper fan? Really, don´t they have serious issues to talk about.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Old boys beat up on the woman, shows how backward this country is

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

My wife reckons Renho is guilty of precisely the same infraction as Matsushima. I suspect she's got this from one of her patriotic housewives websites. Can any readers shed any light on this for me?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Set up. another Abe "initiative" bites the dust.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yeah, she was given up to the slaughter. Abe, in the same honorable way he handled scandals in his first administration, let his appointees hang out in the wind alone and offered no show of support, or any kind of defense, or any help. He said, you're on your own, I'm saving myself! The Captain of the Titanic.

Would you rather he show public support for lying, cheating politicians?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@harvey

He said, you're on your own, I'm saving myself! The Captain of the Titanic.

That's absolutely not what the captain of the Titanic said. He was a brave and honourable man, though admittedly panicked as his ship was going down.Don't be dragging good people's name through the mud.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Old boys beat up on the woman, shows how backward this country is

This is nothing to do with womanhood. New cabinet members are prone to come under media scrutiny.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Two women resigning in one week? Abe's toast!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@haroldbloodaxe

My wife reckons Renho is guilty of precisely the same infraction as Matsushima. I suspect she's got this from one of her patriotic housewives websites. Can any readers shed any light on this for me?

yep. A quick google image search shows a few things that could be Renho fans, also something that looks like a mousepad. I'm sure this will pick up over the next couple of days as the media devolves further into frenzy, scrutinizing everything handed out to voters by every politician in the last six election cycles.

fangate2014
2 ( +2 / -0 )

It does seem a bit strict bearing in mind the existence real corruption of politicians getting kickbacks from companies to which they provide work, which is often claimed to be rife. And as pointed out, Renho herself distributed a round "mouse pad" or coaster which she claims is different. It is only lacking the stick to be a fan and could be used as one. Fans have a long history as memos (things to be read as well as waived) This shows the full story. http://nyliberty.exblog.jp/23528311/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

just more of the god ol boys bashing the women, Japan will never change

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Personally, I see no problem with these 'uchiwa' fans. It's no different to the printed posters plastered around the towns and it's definitely a lot less offensive than those loud speaker vans they travel around in. If she was using the funds for trips to the beauty salon or to buy clothes I could see a problem, but that is not the case. This situation just seems rather petty and immature to me.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

just more of the god ol boys bashing the women, Japan will never change

Renho - who has led this absurd fight - is female.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If the opposition is "clutching its pearls" over this issue, then both parties need to be fired. If the opposition thinks that this is the most pressing matter concerning the people of Japan, then they have missed the boat. All this tells me is that they just want to get a chance to get their hands in the "till" to steal from the people just as the other party. If the majority party can't say, "deal with it" and it's only a fan and try to focus on the real issues, then they need to be fired since they can't seem to focus on what the real problems are.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What a shame, the old shadow bosses have too much control and so the corruption will continue. Their agenda is to make sure the women of Japan know their place and to stay put. I really hope this action will anger the women further to step up and if cleaning is what it will take to get the job done and get rid of this old corrupted good ol boy system, then who better to clean than a woman.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Given the nature of Japanese politics, Renho may not be squeaky clean but she is a fighter and she is not afraid to take on the LDP and more important she is not afraid to take on the elite bureaucrats that really control Japan. I would prefer to have her as the first woman PM over anyone that the LDP can put forward.

By the way, everyone who is crying for the poor LDP should take a look at the underhanded things they, the bureaucrats and their allies in the so called free press were doing to undermine the DPJ when they were in power. Karma is a bi**h!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The problem here is that giving gifts to constituents is illegal. The law isn't that they can't give gifts to users over 100 yen or some other value, it's that they cannot give gifts of any value. She screwed up, as it's a serious law.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That a paper fan valued at 80 yen could run afoul of Japan’s election laws is testament to the strict prohibition on gifts to constituents. It’s a legacy of once-common vote-buying in Japan, says Koichi Nakano, political science professor at Sophia University in Tokyo.

LMAO! ..........Eh I am pretty the brown envelopes stuffed with 10ers are still VERY prevalent country wide, vote buying is still a happening phenomena sadly!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hope she at least realized that she was a just a puppet of Abe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LMAO! ..........Eh I am pretty the brown envelopes stuffed with 10ers are still VERY prevalent country wide, vote buying is still a happening phenomena sadly!

I for one would love to hear how you can back this one up with fact rather than conjecture.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The suggestion that a jealous "old boys network" within the LDP brought her down is a bit ludicrous. It was a female member of the opposition DPJ, Renho, who brought the issue up and inflicted the massive embarassment which led to Matsushima's resignation.

I am not saying such old boys networks do not exist, just that in this case nothing suggests that was the case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Like Geoff said, ridiculous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The suggestion that a jealous "old boys network" within the LDP brought her down is a bit ludicrous.

It's ludicrous to think that the LDP is just one happy family.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

the fan is probably more realistic than the wasted paper i get from US politicians on government paper when it comes to election day - all touting how well they voted.

i think i would rather have something i could fan myself with and reuse than a newsletter that details the wins- when all the emails i get just tells me the failures of the same politician.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope she goes out swinging. I have no particular love for her, nor do I really care about her specifically... but if she's getting ousted over something like this she should do everything in her power to show that everyone else is doing the exact same thing.

It might be wrong what she did, but for her to get targeted by others who are doing the exact same thing is stupid. The whole "holier than thou" system in play needs a good shaking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i think i would rather have something i could fan myself with and reuse than a newsletter that details the wins

And that sentiment is exactly why giving constituents gifts is illegal under the elections act.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm not a fan of this type of nitpicking to bring her down. Although Abe keeping these women in Cabinet was always a bit of a fan-tasy anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ridiculous that she got done over fans.

But one less nazi in power... what's to complain about?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

...she should've distributed tissues instead, huh;p ... tissue wud make no issue ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Those saying that its ridicules for her to resign over a fan seem to misunderstand that it’s against the law for any politician to hand out stuff during an election. She broke the law, got found out (which is the problem) and is paying for it but the shocker is she will not be made to resign from her post in Tokyo.

They are all as bad as each other and it has nothing to do with bashing women or men. I bet each and every civil-servant has their hand in something and the J public could care less!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All that is wrong with country and they did a big news story on the fans complete with interviews with the nan on the street, comparing with other politicians fans, educating us on the difference between the U was. The tax increase that is cooking us, the Fukushima man made disaster that is slowly killing and THIS is what today's news was.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

She broke the law

Simon, as I said in another thread, do we have case law to show the law was really broken? She hasn't been charged, let alone convicted. It's an assumption that she broke the law and as someone else said this is a case of "trial by media".

And even if the law was broken, so what? This is clearly a very trivial infringement assuming handing out paper fans was technically illegal. The laws against vote buying are to do just that - avoid vote buying. Who realistically would have their vote bought with a cheap paper fan?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No real news here to be honest... I just did a google search trying to find out if gift giving is illegal and I got barraged by documents on Japanese political corruption.

For example: http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/APCITY/UNPAN019148.pdf

So, while this is big news now, it unfortunately seems to just be par for the course at least as far back as the 80s.

The bigger question isn't about this particular minister, but why the Japanese public continually, habitually responds with nothing but apathy.

They seem content when a particular individual is removed but don't seem to realize the entire political party as a whole is the problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@kaynide

Most japanese are perfectly aware corruption is a larger issue than just some individuals. The problem is ordinary voters dont know what to do about it. They once voted for the DPJ but that didnt end well. What's left? The communist party? Isshin no kai?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

do we have case law to show the law was really broken?

Do you mean case law for fans? We don't have that. There is case law for gift giving from political groups though (alcohol, bentos, towels etc.) But in most cases where this kind of thing happens though someone usually turns up to tell them to knock it off before it gets anywhere. I think you'd struggle to show that the distribution of fans wasn't in violation of the letter of the law. You are right, though, that we can't assume that she can be held legally responsible, or that anything will come it.

The laws against vote buying are to do just that - avoid vote buying.

Vote buying is a big part of it - but it's more subtle than that. Matsushima can afford to spend hundreds of thousands of yen on fans with her face on, and get people to carry them around (it's hard to throw away a fan immediately). A candidate with less resources is not going to be able to compete with this. It's supposed to (in theory at least) level the playing field.

Away from the specifics of this case, I disagree with the idea that any infraction of the basic election laws can trivial. It's supposed to be the legal framework that hold the hold democratic process together. Any infraction of this, big or small, should never be glossed over.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Read any politicians bio with Wikipedia. Select Jsapsnese Lasnguage. You will read bunch of their contribution scandals. Not in English version. Anyone, Find they cikkect donations from business associations and that was illegal in Japan,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a pity that the current prime minister is a US uni dropout according to wiki. So someone like Jeremy Rifkin or the idea of "small is beautiful" will not really be considered over here and can be found only on the other side of the globe. Paperfans are the subject of concern and maybe a million housewifes will even attempt to get a nobelprice not for questioning the constitution but for not starting the next war.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Isn't it a sad thing for government officials to be so involved with petty protocol which is written as rules regulations and even into laws that much too often prevents or at least take the time and effort away from what they should be doing...?

Isn't it sad that the general population is so out of touch with reality and not pay attention to the pettiness of the governing body,... and do not make an effort to change it...?

Isn't it sad that the general population even voted for those now in office that use these minor and petty protocols, rules, regulations and laws to cover their own misdeeds and their inability to really take meaningful action for this society...?

The problem some how does not appear to be just political,.. the problem is social... our entire host country appears to be in a daze,.. tied into protocols, traditions and outright self-righteous justifications for everything while ignoring the often meaningless and useless activities they spend, while trying to look honorable and righteous..., but accomplish just the opposite...?

Why don't our host country try to find the "causes" and the "solutions" rather than not concentrate on finger pointing and blaming each other for what often becomes a petty argument...?

Of course the MEDIA is probably partially to blame for all this. While they do report the NEWS as they happen somewhat factually, there is no in-depth research or background to allow the public to evaluate the facts. Often the reporting is biased and judgmental, depending on the editors and the company reporting it. And commentaries by so called well-known personalities or college professors or experts are too often used to move public opinion or be represented as the truth, without proper factual data and rebuttals.

Of course it is happening all over the world. However, our host country at least on the surface seem to swallow everything whole and just live in a dreamlike world of false satisfaction and acceptance of everything as "it cannot be helped".

I hope I am wrong in my observation. That is because something much worse is happening to my home country because of similar kind of public mentality.

Your rebuttals... please...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Her trouble began when she had scarf on top of her suit coat. So, three new female Ministers visited Yasukuni to chase eyes away, Now, all of ale Diet members are careful. You can visit their home prefecture office and Tokyo office but make sure you bring your own water bottle and paper tissues. Don't borrow pens or pencils there. No more chewing gum given to you there, They are careful now, Because three went Yasukuni that Obuchi became target. 2 are gone, 3 more witch hung DPJ and CPJ are targetting to gain Japanese female votes to get back tp power in Japan. LDP are not well liked by gaijins. So, coalition of DPJ and CPJ they are planning. Working well. Two are gone. Three more witch hunts.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Simon, as I said in another thread, do we have case law to show the law was really broken? She hasn't been charged, let alone convicted. It's an assumption that she broke the law and as someone else said this is a case of "trial by media".

We'll see for the complaint has now been filed to the prosecutor's office. I'm also curious to how the prosecutor will approach the dual purpose 'leaflet' & "fan".

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If the fan didnt have a handle then it would have been classed as a flyer of sort but as teh fan had a handle it is classed as a gift! (try and work that out). But these are the rules setup in Japan and what I was trying to get at was that all she resigned ffrom was her Abe job not the job that she missunderstood the gift giving campaign.... whats the point of quiting from a minster role but will continue the job that they are highlighting. My personal opinion is she should have stayed with Abe if she aint going to leave her district area!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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