For the record, the violation of campaigns laws for which Kobayashi Yutaka has been forced to give up his Diet seat--the disbursement to 24 persons, some of them college students, of 1.5 million yen (about US$13,000 or 9500 euros), which works out to an average of 62,500 yen (about US$538 or 395 euros) each--as payment for the handing out flyers at train stations--is shameful.
Shameful in its niggling, anti-democratic puritanism.
Kobayashi did not resign from office voluntarily--he was pushed. He was sacrificed in order that the arrests of his underlings would not mess up the fall Diet session schedule.
That the seat is forfeited to the Komeitō's Matsu Akira (just when we thought her Night of the Living Dead political career was finally dead, she's baaaaack), giving to the "Clear Government Party" one less reason to hate its coalition partner, must have greased Kobayashi's exit.
It's just too bad the way this denouement betrays the expressed will of the electorate.
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