Friday, October 19, 2012

Phew, That Was Quick, Shukan Asahi; Next Up, Shukan Bunshun

On Oct. 18, two days after the latest edition of Shukan Asahi hit the kiosks with its lurid headline about Osaka Mayor and Ishin-no-Kai JRP head Toru Hashimoto’s “bloodline”, its chief editor issued an apology and promised that the next edition would carry an apology in print. Hashimoto and his Ishin-no-Kai are now gearing up to sue the publisher of Shukan Bunshun, a conservative weekly a notch above the sextertainment- yakuza fanzines, for defamation in its latest edition, which went on sale on the 18th. Bunshun most recently scored a hit on Hashimoto in July with a true confessions story on a night club hostess who had an affair with him before he became a politician. Its line of attack this time around is a politically more serious allegation, that Ishin-no-Kai had received 700 million yen in secret donations from Seicho-no-Ie, a conservative neo-religion founded in 1930. This story will play out over a much longer timeline, but it will give Hashimoto another opportunity for counterattack, on which he thrives so well. I realize they’re just trying to sell copies, but they’re doing him a great favor by drawing attention away from the significant growing pains of his Japan Restoration Party.

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