politics

Obuchi resigns over misuse of political funds; justice minister also resigns

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For how long?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Two months as minister, well that was fast.

Seems like political reality is finally catching up with Abe - his economic reforms have not actually translated into tangible benefits for people, his nationalist views have alienated China and Korea for literally no purpose other than, apparently, to alienate China and Korea and now his new cabinet appointees are almost nothing but a revolving door of political scandal.

I can`t wait to be rid of him. Well, until I see who replaces him......

7 ( +11 / -5 )

I was careless .. . I didn't realize .. . They were my supporters..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Perhaps I'm being overly-cynical, but I'm surprised that she has been ousted for doing something I presume all politicians to do themselves.

8 ( +8 / -1 )

Feminists take note: Give some women a little power and money and they are apt to be as corrupt as their male counterparts.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Fools. Minister Obuchi did not have to resign. No one person can be accountable for all people and organizations that support them. A person is accountable for themselves and their own actions. Unless a person directly authorizes an action, how can he/she be accountable?! And to be accountable for a group of people so far removed from their sphere of direct access, is beyond common sense. This is only political witchhunting by the opposition that is in bed with Communist China. Anyone believing that 'Abenomics' is going to change Japan's economy overnight is a fool as well. Real change takes time to happen, to form, to set in motion, and for that change to take place. The entire World is in an economic malaise, no Nation is going to come out any of this World recession at a breakneck pace. China is now doing the same thing as the U.S. Fed, pumping printed money to prop up their Government programs. Japan is one of the few countries thriving at this time, doing anything less than what Abe has been doing will take Japan down a very bad road.

-17 ( +6 / -23 )

Good to see, one less grub, many more to go. Now - Pay the money back!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Must have been a pretty sweet ordeal to walk away with all the things she already bought for herself...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

One thing this article does not make clear is that she is not resigning from her position as an elected official, she's only resigning from her ministerial position in Abe's cabinet. So it's not like she is suddenly jobless.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Does this mean she's not PM material anymore?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How unfortunate, she was supposed to be a role model for women here but instead has probably set all women back 5 years or so.. What a disgrace

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"I feel that ignorance is no excuse,”

Is not what you know, is what you can prove. I wonder how long would she have been "ignorant" if this had not come to light.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If you or I done that, we would be fired and probably arrested for stealing... She simply pretends to resign and moves from one overpaid position to another.. Talk about double standards...

14 ( +15 / -1 )

bpsitrep : Fools. Minister Obuchi did not have to resign. No one person can be accountable for all people and organizations that support them.

It's entirely coincidental that her brother-in-law's (or whatever's) shop got the big clothing contract (or whatever).

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@ eatup "Must have been a pretty sweet ordeal to walk away with all the things she already bought for herself..."

In her press conference she explicity denied using any of the funds for her personal use. She has arranged for an outside audit to clarify the details of the financial affairs of her support groups.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Perhaps I'm being overly-cynical, but I'm surprised that she has been ousted for doing something I presume all politicians to do themselves.

Most, if not all, politicians, do much, much worse. They just take a little bit of effort to not do it so blatantly as to get caught.

It doesn't take much imagination to get free stuff as a politician, or to use roundabout ways to spend campaign money on hookers, for example.

This lady is just an idiot, and thinks she so above it all she doesn't even need to make an effort to hide or unethical behavior.

And Abe's an idiot for not at least TRYING to screen her before hand.

Which pretty much goes to show the attitude of J-leaders. They think they are so above it all they don't even need to cover their tracks.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

How unfortunate, she was supposed to be a role model for women here but instead has probably set all women back 5 years or so..

How so? You'd have to blame other women for her mistakes for that to be true, but how are other women responsible for her mistakes?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

So when is the rest fired for accepting "gifts" using state funds for personal things, and subsidizing useless projects?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Of course she had to go. Other politicians have been binned for much less. With respect to the speed of her departure, Obuchi is nowhere near the record holder. I believe that might be the late Mr. Satoh who lasted about 11 days as the head of the Management and Coordination Agency back in 1997. Anyone know a shorter period than 11 days?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Fools. Minister Obuchi did not have to resign. No one person can be accountable for all people and organizations that support them. A person is accountable for themselves and their own actions. Unless a person directly authorizes an action, how can he/she be accountable?! And to be accountable for a group of people so far removed from their sphere of direct access, is beyond common sense.

Wasn't the money used for her sister's store, etc? Why would people "so far removed" want to help out her family?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Gives the news something to take pressure off the real issues

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

"Which pretty much goes to show the attitude of J-leaders. They think they are so above it all they don't even need to cover their tracks."

Well most of them are, at least the legacy politicians. Obuchi is quitting the cabinet, not politics altogether. She and Abe are both hereditary politicians, one the daughter of an ex-PM and the other the grandson of an ex-PM. Both entered politics after their respective politician fathers prematurely passed away (Abe's father in 1991, Obuchi's in 2000). Neither are going anywhere in the incestuous world of Japanese politics. They belong and are both basically above it all.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

BS she is NOT resigning, she is stepping down from a job, she is NOT resigning from politics!!

Same ole same ole, people caught in these scandals should RESIGN from politics PERMANENTLY! Then we would never have to hear from those like abe, mori, aso who all feed from the trough get caught in scandals & reappear back in no time like nothing happened, this BS needs to stop!

But it wont, the rot continues unabated, business as usual nothing to see here, move on now..............

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I laughed when I saw this article.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

There is a problem also on the side of voters. This was the fashion Japanese politicians were expected to do by thier supporters. The trend is strong in the counry side. This is a minor evil. I guess bigger money is moving between politicians and businesses.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

bpsitrep

A person is accountable for themselves and their own actions. Unless a person directly authorizes an action, how can he/she be accountable?!

Apparently you have never heard of vicarious liability. Employers (Obuchi) should most certainly be held accountable for the misdeeds of their employees. If Ms. Obuchi actually had no knowledge of her employees' actions, which I doubt, she should at least resign for not knowing what they were doing in her name.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@ HongoTAFEinmate Fumio Goto was PRIME Minister for just 3 days in the 1930s....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With all the other events happening around the world is this really worth caring about???

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I talked on the phone to my folks about this case last night, and felt genuinely embarrassed about it.

I guess that makes me Japanese now....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As the line in my favorite movie goes,"You've gotta have a little dirt on you before anyone can trust you." She'll be back.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

22lucabrasL I am not embarassed as I know this kind of action is traditional in Japan. So. I am not a Japanese? Why any Japanese should get embarassed on somebody else's action and problem?
-2 ( +2 / -4 )

good news!!! She should be punished for corruption too, resigning is not enough... however at least here in Japan, they resign immediately after corruption accusations come out, unlike our politicians in the Philippines.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder if Abe's tummy is starting to hurt.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Some aspects of the LDP never seem to change even though there's a long history of them. Here today, gone today. The LDP, Obuchi and Justice Minister Midori Matsushima are having meltdowns.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So let me get this straight... Pilfer government coffers. If you get caught, resign so you avoid being criminally prosecuted?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Interesting that Justice minister Matsushima has also resigned.

Also of interest is that political logic has dictated that there is no problem at all with having a justice minister known to assort with neo-Nazis, but there is a huge problem with having that same justice minister distribute paper fans of no value at a rally.

I`m glad to see her go, but would have felt more comfortable with her getting ditched over the former rather than the latter.

8 ( +7 / -0 )

Matsushima was the worse of the 2, by far.

The Justice Minister, blatantly lying in front of everyone?! Disgusting.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Justice Minister, blatantly lying in front of everyone?! Disgusting.

You are certainly easily disgusted if you are bothered by a politician lying in front of everyone. It's nothing new.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@toshiko

It's not a question of "should" or "shouldn't". Some of us just feel embarrassed on the part of our countries and their politicians, probably needlessly.

My point was that this is the first time I've felt that way about Japan, despite being English.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My point was that this is the first time I've felt that way about Japan, despite being English.

Strange, feeling embarrassed by a politician who lies, or gets their fingers caught in the cookie jar.

I for one would be more embarrassed by admitting (publicly) that I was embarrassed about something that I have no control over.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Whether one likes it or not, this is a sad day for the country. Too bad I can't vote even though I'm a tax paying foreigner, as this politician hasn't done anything others still in office haven't or are doing for themselves. One thing is clear she at least is making an attempt to maintain integrity and I can't say much the others. Despite her mistakes, overall her performance thus far was not by any means questionable. She did an honorable deed in resigning and has my respect for at least resigning unlike the last clown who was bawling all over the place and made Japan into a laughing charade for the entire world. That was embarrassing.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

You are certainly easily disgusted if you are bothered by a politician lying in front of everyone. It's nothing new.

That sounds like you are preaching apathy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

About the lying, the specific incident in question with Matsushima was particularly embarassing to watch. In the Diet DPJ member Renho asked her "What is this?" while holding up what was obviously a fan. She then refused to admit that it was a fan and during the back and forth only went so far as to admit that it was "Something which might be interpreted by some as being a fan" but not actually a fan. The whole exchange and use of verbal diarhea to avoid answering such a simple and obvious question (literally almost as simple as the "is this a pen?" of English lesson yore) was so ridiculous it made her look like an absolute idiot.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“As a member of the Abe cabinet… I am sorry and offer my sincere apologies for having contributed nothing to economic revival"

That's an expression every cabinet member could - and should - be using. And then resign.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Most of us would agree that the current political climate is inbred and narcissistic to the point of absurdity. Japan can never reverse its spiral down until the Government actually cares about the population. Or the voting public start to care where their tax dollars go. Either way the current situation is negative and destructive for Japan. How many corrupt politicians does it take to change a country....1000000s.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Two ministers selected by the PM are resigning shortly after being appointed. And the BBC reports that

"Eriko Yamatani, minister in charge of the North Korean abduction issue, was shown in photographs with members of an ultra-nationalist group accused of hate speech against Japan's ethnic Korean community."

More than anything, this shows his inability to choose and manage his people, so how can we trust that he can govern the country. He should resign to take responsibility.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As an analogy, SHE DID NOT SPEND people's money. She spent her party funds donated by individuals/corporations... which everybody is doing, in every corner of the world. In AMERICA and most countries, the top 50 charity organizations has a maximum of 37% utilization of donations. One of the worst is the SALVATION ARMY, only 7% utilization. That means, all the money donated are not all given to the intended recipient but used by the charity organizations but by themselves as mobilization, operational costs like electricity, water/gas, telephone, internet, and foods/partying. Same thing in DEMOCRATS and REPUBLICANS race. The money you gave to them are spent as mobilization and operational costs including partying and eating and drinking.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

its more likely she was put so shinzo abe can get all the money then she was threatened from abe's mobsters i should say to keep quite then she realized what she got into so shes going to disappear from politics lol. and i laughed when i saw this on BBC

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That sounds like you are preaching apathy.

It's called reality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ AU_user_since_1998

There are so many inaccuracies in your post. I don't know where to begin.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

SHE DID NOT SPEND people's money. She spent her party funds donated by individuals/corporations...

Party funds are supplemented by billions of yen that comes directly from the treasury. From this year: http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASG415Q3WG41UTFK012.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As an analogy, SHE DID NOT SPEND people's money. She spent her party funds donated by individuals/corporations..

So...corporations and individuals who donated cash to her are not considered people by you. Interesting theory.

The rest of what you wrote doesn't matter one bit, as whatever happens in gaikokuland doesn't count because it ain't Japan and it ain't Japanese politics.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It looks like that anywhere in the world where politicians are in charge of public funds corruption follows.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh~~~~~! This sounds as if Japanese politicians are enjoying their "道楽" (・・・just a moment. Let me refer to a dictionary...Yes, the translation of 道楽 is debauchery or indulgence ! ! !) while they can make living with their own people's tax. They must be called fraudsters or, just "parasites" of Japanese people !

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Yoshiteru YanagitaOCT. 20, 2014 - 07:33PM J

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

I suggest you stop writing Japanese in Kanji if you are not familiar with Japanese language. Many comment writers are very fluent in Japanese kanjis. What you wrote is Douraku HOBBY for kind way. Debauchery is Houtou Meaning fooling with multiple women spending money in prostitute houses never used for women's actrion. Insulgence is Amayakashi meaning spoiled. Do you know how Douraku is used in Japanese language?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm probably the only one that sees it as funny and a little coincidental that the financial and industry ministers resign, leaving the two most pressing issues TAX and NUCLEAR REACTOR RESTART open for someone to come in and make radical decisions. Hmm

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe was using Obuchi for reopening Nuclear Reactor Restart. Well. Sanuo and Mitsubishi are now promoting new types of solar energy plant and Mitsui is now parter of NY Energy plan. Obuchi is free. Hope she will check these new trend as she has no obligation ion out of dated Nuclear Palnt opening in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So when will we see Obuchi and Matsushima arrested and prosecuted for their crimes? I expect the police to uphold the law.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Sorono. What kind of criminal act did they do? Robberlu? Attempted murder?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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