“I know. I thought that Matsushima would survive, but the Abe administration apparently couldn't let the matter keep the ongoing Diet session focused on the scandals for another week minimum and away from the legislative agenda. Plus, she was Minister of Justice of all things.”
Also, the gist of my response in a phone call that I took:
No, I don’t think that Obuchi knew about the irregularities. Politicians typically shield themselves from indictment by having a trusted majordomo handle money matters. Plausible deniability, and I don’t see Obuchi having been otherwise. As long as she is not charged with a crime, this is a temporary setback in her career—say, five, ten years? And she is only 41.
No, I don’t think that there is any satisfaction being felt by right-wing members of the LDP who have a beef over the promotion of women under Abenomics seeing Obuchi’s fall. If there is schadenfreude here, it is coming from Diet members with more seniority who have failed to secure cabinet appointments for themselves—except members of the faction to which she belongs, since the faction does not have anyone else considered a post-Abe prime minister candidate.
(No, there was little talk about Matsushima. I just reminded the caller that the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade is a stepping stone; the Ministry of Justice is a reward.)