Friday, July 20, 2012

A Brief Overview of Allegations of Prominent Politicians in Extramarital Relationships

Working on memory except for numbers—I have a poor memory overall but there are some areas where it functions quite well, thank you—I’ve come up with the following lists. The numbers are too low to say much with conclusiveness, but my impression is that the public is less forgiving when someone is having an affair with someone young enough to be his daughter. Otherwise, kind of meh. Oh, and mere allegations, however often repeated, do not seem to work. I haven’t read the Bunshun report itself, but the indications are that it was a case of mutual attraction, not pay-per-view. I see the hostess angle as a negative and the flight attendant cosplay neutral. I don’t see anything to make me alter my assessment that Hashimoto’s affair is of the speed bump variety, but maybe that’s just me.

Confirmed affairs
1. Sosuke Uno: 69(!)-day reign as prime minister began and ended in 1989 when the LDP suffered heavy losses in the triennial upper house election, largely the consequence of the public complaints filed by his geisha ex-lover over the amount of severance pay.
2. Taku Yamazaki: 2003 failure to win 11th straight term attributable at least in part to 10 year affair with club hostess that went wrong.
3. Yukio Hatoyama: Guilty of stealing wife of benefactor as a graduate student in management engineering at Stanford. His reign as prime minister was cut short, but for reasons unrelated to his youthful indiscretion.
4. Goshi Hosono: Guilty of being Focused married while canoodling with Mona Yamamoto, female announcer/tarento, turns out to be mere speed bump in high-flying career.
5. Ichiro Ozawa: Technically, he has not fessed up. On the other hand, he has not denied the authenticity of his ex-wife’s letter in which she reportedly details his infidelity including the existence of an extramarital offspring. It is hard to gauge the impact of the allegation because of a) the paucity of public support for his latest breakout move and b) the very low expectations that the public has, fairly or unfairly, for Ozawa as being anything other than a political cyborg.

Plausible but inconclusive rumors
1. Ryutaro Hashimoto: Persistent allegations of improper behavior with young Chinese assistant.
2. Naoto Kan: Allegations of joint sleepovers by newscaster in hotel suite reserved for party purposes. (Sleepover apparently true, though allegations of sexual congress circumstantial.)

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