Despite a reputation of being one of the chief thinkers/heavy hitters of the Democratic Party of Japan (E), former chief cabinet secretary and current Acting President Sengoku Yoshito continues to be his own worst enemy.
The denouement of Sengoku's most recent publicized case of self-wounding came on Tuesday, when the judge in his libel suits against Shukan Shincho and Shukan Bunshun ruled in favor of the defendants.
In January of 2011 both magazines reported that Sengoku had sexually harassed a woman reporter in a 2010 end-of-the-year celebration at the Prime Minister's Residence. Rather than going the smart route of doing nothing, only noting that neither of the publications is a friend of the DPJ and neither is very scrupulous about printing the truth, Sengoku pulled an Oscar Wilde, filing libel suits against the publications, demanding 10 million yen from each.
On Tuesday, the judge ruled that far from being libelous, the accounts of the incident at the Residence were indeed truthful -- that Sengoku had said something to the woman and that that something was sufficiently vulgar and demeaning as to constitute sexual harassment. (J)
So, as of Tuesday, Sengoku is no longer a stumble bum and possibly a cad. He is now a stumble bum and definitely a cad.
Sengoku is considering filing an appeal.
In the meantime, Sengoku -- the DPJ's point man on the restart of the Oi nuclear reactors and the nuclear industry in general-- met yesterday with his counterparts in the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito to finalize the details on the legislation establishing a new regulatory system for the nuclear power industry (J). He is also leading the drafting of the DPJ's new policy manifesto. (J)
Good to see that the DPJ is not entrusting Sengoku, who has a demonstrated tendency to trip over himself, with any important tasks.