Looking at the current brouhaha over multilevel marketers like Amway giving small amounts of money to politicians (gasp!) to be their advocates in the Diet (1, 2, 3, 4) and the Yomiuri Shimbun's front page reports on consecutive days of the auditor's investigation finding twelve prefectural governments misappropriating 500 million yen over the last five years, I am tempted to draw parallels between Japanese politics as reported on in the Japanese media and the products of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, wherein, according to Douglas Adams, "the fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by the superficial design flaws."
Arrrrgh...the amounts in these cases are piddling. In the prefectural case, the auditors found 5 million dollars' (USD) worth of fraud and abuse in 12 prefectures over a five year span...ridiculous! As for the direct selling scandal, current Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Noda Seiko once in 1996 asked questions in the Diet about the government's treatment of direct sales organizations... and Amway Japan bought a total of 8 tickets (total costs 160,000 yen) to her fundraisers...in between 2002 and April 2008.
No one is his or her right mind believes that anyone is going to jail or has been made ill or has died as a result of these ethics violations, if they can even been so classified.
Get back to the tough issues, boys and girls!
The business of US economic diplomacy in Asia
5 hours ago