Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Unless I've Missed Something, This Is the First Scandal to Hit a Cabinet Member

Genichiro Sata, the cabinet minster in charge of administrative reforms, is under the gun for filing a false report on his political finances (Yomiuri, Asahi, Mainichi, Sankei, and Nikkei). It seems he reported 78 million Yen in expenditures between 1990 and 2000 for a non-existent office. Worse, during that period, the office shared the same address as the Tokyo branch of a construction firm owned by his father.

Mr. Sada had been rewarded with a cabinet post for his efforts in rounding up Diet members behind Shinzo Abe. If Professor Honma was Gennifer, then this is the Monica. Mr. Abe will survive this, but it certainly looks like a gloomy winter for his administration.

I don't think Junichiro Koizumi expected this. But I guess my question is, is he surprised?

PS: Mr. Abe has let his instincts hold sway, and has told reporters that he has received a report from Mr. Sada and expects him to investigate the situation and give an explanation to the public. He indulges the offender, and declines the role of "the decider". Wonderful man to have as a friend and neighbor.

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