Over at GlobalTalk 21, Okumura Jun does the heavy lifting on yesterday's opéra bouffe over Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Masuzoe Yōichi's admission that the govenment would never meet a self-imposed March 31 deadline for clearing up the missing pension accounts mess.
I must confess I did not want to address the brouhaha, even though it dominated the evening newscasts. My heart hardened at the government's defenders refusing to admit that there had never been any hope of fulfilling the campaign promise of "every yen and every passbook number accounted for." I was equally ticked off as the DPJ's, the Communists' and the Socialists' attack dogs issued smug denuciations of the government's "breach of trust"--when the government that had issued the absurd, overreaching promise was only nominally related to the one in office.
In a typically self-confident, shambling gambit, former LDP Secretary-General Nakagawa Hidenao offered his decapitated head up once more, saying, "The ones who have to apologize for this unfulfilled promise are those who were LDP executives at the time."
Who will be the LDP maverick who will halt the rot and admit:
"Abe and his people lied. There was no way to fulfill their campaign promises on this issue--and they knew it. They did not want to tell the truth to the people because the truth could lead to defeat in the July elections. Abe and his allies had a higher purpose in mind--the salvation of Japan--so any act that could keep them in power, even blatant lying to the people, was permissible. On July 29, the voters indicated that they had seen enough. Now Abe is out of power and his friends are outside of the government. Let us stop hitting each other over this. Instead let us cooperate on reducing the number of lost accounts to the barest minimum as early as possible."
Kamei Yasuhisa would have been able to issue such a statement...but he is in the opposition now.
So who can stop this infuriating charade?
Later - Fukushige Shin argues that Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura Nobutaka has taken the plunge--sort of.