Thursday, September 06, 2007

Your Honor, we plead...


It seems that the Environment Minister Kamoshita Ichirō is well placed to survive the purported scandal involving his fund raising organization. According to the story told in the back pages of the Yomiuri Shimbun, the so-called "missing funds" actually should have been called "virtual funds" --having never existed except in the imagination of the bookkeepers.

Evidently, under the accounting rules followed in Kamoshita's funding organization
200 +1000 +300 = 2300

which seems to offer a brand new excuse for those accused of financial shenanigans:

"Officer, I'm not a crook. I just can't count!"

In a possible sign that the turmoil within the Cabinet is dieing down, the revelations that State Minister For Population and Gender Relations Kamikawa Yōko has applied to have her public accounts restated made the front page of only the Mainichi Shimbun. Other papers chose to put the story on page 2 or the penultimate shakaibu page.

Backtracking a bit, even after being cautioned by Okumura Jun in comments yesterday, I still cannot get over the suddenness of the swipe the Yomiuri took at the Cabinet by publicizing Kamoshita's accounting problems. Abe Shinzō is the Yomiuri editorial board's man; the paper has defended his governance at every turn over the past 11 months, even to the point of sounding absurd.

Did the editors think they could redeem their newspaper's reputation by approving a large-type, front page, top story treatment of what is looking like a palid scandal arising out of a stupid, honest and decidedly minor mistake?

Are the rats panicking?

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