Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thank You, Martin Fackler

There, I have said it.

And this is why:
In Japan’s Scandals, a Clash of Old Order and New
The New York Times

TOKYO — It had all the trappings of a typical political scandal in a nation that has seen all too many of them: stacks of cash from construction companies, shady land deals and late-night arrests of grim-faced political aides widely seen as fall guys for their powerful bosses.

But the unfolding investigation into possible political finance irregularities by the kingpin of the governing party, Ichiro Ozawa, has also gripped Japan for a very different reason. It has turned into a public battle between the country’s brash new reformist leaders and one of the most powerful institutions of its entrenched postwar establishment: the Public Prosecutors Office...

Read the rest here. It is really good*.

That the prosecutors are out to get Ozawa Ichiro by hook or by crook does not excuse Ozawa from his responsibility to explain to the public where the mysterious 400 million yen originally came from...and if he has some time left over, the justification for the Rikuzankai's investments in illiquid assets like land and apartments.

* I reserve judgment on the author's refusal to use the word "whom" when the reference seems to be to the direct object of the verb.


Anonymous said...

If what is refered to is the relative pronoun in the phrase of "against a politician who they fear is accumulating excessive power with his near-total control of the governing party's purse strings" where "they fear" is a parenthesis, it seems quite reasonable that it is in the subjective case. kmns

David H. said...

Who woulda thunk! I had avoiding reading that article earlier when I saw who had written it. I need to reconsider as he has written some decent stuff recently...

Bryce said...

Actually, a few of his recent articles have been good. Three possible explanations for this.

First, the brouhaha over the change in government and the Futenma/Henoko manufactured "crisis" has meant that there are now more eyes on Japanese politics. Instead of wiling away the time by focusing on vending machine costumes and strange bars where salarymen go to throw plates, or indeed, stories about politics that make the usual assumptions, the English language media has been forced to cover real stories where facts can be checked by other observers. Hence, the quality of their reporting has improved. Second, merely by commenting on what's written in the Japanese media, Tobias has made the foreign correspondents in Japan look like clowns in comparison. Third, OH MY GOD! HE'S GONE NATIVE! THE JAPANESE HAVE TRICKED HIM INTO THINKING HE CAN EXPLAIN THEIR INSCRUTABLE SYSTEM TO READERS IN THE STATES! QUICK NEW YORK TIMES, GET HIM OUT OF THERE!