Sunday, March 23, 2008

He's On To Us

Ibuki Bunmei, the increasingly unpopular Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party, has discovered the reason for the constant stream of bad news that has been undermining the image of the cabinet of Prime Minister of Fukuda Yasuo and public support for the ruling coalition:

The press is a tool of the Democratic Party of Japan.

According to an article in the today's print edition of the Tokyo Shimbun, Secretary-General Ibuki, fed up with a reporter's asking whether or not it was "difficult" (i.e., impossible) for the Diet to pass the budget enabling legislation, including the renewal of the temporary gasoline levy, by the end of the fiscal year, responded with a prophecy:

「どうしてでしょう。定例日以外審議しない民主党の態度を是認するのは報道の死を意味する」

"And why is that? Showing approval of the stance being taken by a Democratic Party that does not examine (a bill) within the set time limit except on the appointed days, this is the death of the Press!"
Well, yes, if you mean by "Press" the uncritical lapdogs of the ruling party and the Establishment. Yes, Ibuki-san is absolutely right on that score.

Later in the article he expresses shock and dismay that the Press, rather than printing only the approved leaks of the government--the endless parade of naikaku keikensha, naikaku ni chikai hito, tō no moto kanbu whose anonymous opinions are reported as fact on a daily basis--dares to facilitate the leakage of information by the Democratic Party:

「民主党に話をすると漏れて記事になってします。人間社会のルールを守ってくれないと,怖くて事前の打診できない」

"When we talk to the DJP, it gets leaked and become fodder for articles. When the rules of human society are not being preserved, then it's frightening when you cannot know aforehand the repercussions."
which is Ibuki-speak for "If the stuff the Democratic Party leaks gets printed, I cannot predict my ability to control my vengeful wrath."

...which means "Now that you people print what we tell the opposition, rather than vice versa like you are supposed to, we're scared of our own shadows to even approach the Democrats."

So be careful, members of the media--Ibuki Bunmei's on to your petty, treasonous schemes.

---------------- Image of Ibuki Bunmei courtesy of Reuters.

Later - So many strikethroughs! Thanks James.

2 comments:

James said...

MTC,

I think both those translations are incorrect. The first should be:
"And why is that? Approving of the stance of the DPJ to only hold deliberations on the regularly scheduled days; that is the death of the Press!"

事前に打診する translates as "put out feelers." Thus he is saying that is difficult to consult with the DPJ quietly before making a decision if every conversation ends up on the News.

Anonymous said...

The papers and TV in Japan are almost as bad as the US nowadays. Only the magazines offer stray nuggets of reality.

Perhaps a related question is what party lines from the mass media to believe. Is the LDP in a state of panic? Or is reality more along the lines of the gospel from the Nihon Keizai Shimbun or the Kuniuri Shimbun that the DPJ is being perceived as irresponsible by the public?

Another blog asks about why newspaper polls differ. I'd say it's like when there was different information in Pravda as opposed to Izvestia. By getting people to think about whether the chocolate ration has gone up 100% or only 50%, you can hope that they don't notice that the ration has actually gone down.