Parliamentary Vice Minister Nakagawa Yuko apologizing in the House of Representatives on 12 March 2015
A few minutes ago in Diet Budget Committee Session, in one of the most crass displays of false outrage ever, Democratic Party of Japan member of the House of Representatives Onishi Kensuke called up Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Nakagawa Yuko (Hokkaido #11) to explain her qualifications for remaining in her appointed position after she was photographed kissing her married colleague Kado Hirofumi on the night of February 23, the night when her ultimate MAFF superior Minister Nishikawa Koya resigned as minister.
Oh for Amaterasu's sake. Do you have, at long last, no sense of decency?
Nakagawa Yuko is the widow of Nagakawa Sho'ichi, the Liberal Democratic Party's most notorious alcoholic, forever remembered as "the inebriated Finance Minister." Sho'ichi died, for no known reason, one month after losing his seat in the 2009 landslide election toppling the LDP from power (Link). Sho'ichi's father Ichiro, the Bear of Hokkaido, also died mysteriously, in Ichiro's case after losing in an LDP leadership battle. (Link - Wikipedia)
Nagakawa Yuko was 48 years old when she lost her husband. She had been from the age of 24 the silent guardian/nursemaid of a man so perpetually soused that one American official once told me, "my memories of him are of peeling him off the couches at the Imperial Hotel, putting him into a car and sending him home -- almost every night." Someone who was loved by members of the press assigned to follow him around because "with him, there was never any work to do before lunchtime."
If anyone deserves a wild happiness, that sense of elation in the throes of passion, of losing one's bearings in being kissed by someone who is crazy about you -- and not just plain crazy -- think it possible it may be her.
Nakagawa slowly wended her way to the microphone, apologized profusely to the Japanese electorate, promised to be the best official she could be in the flatest, most abject of monotones, never once lifting up her face.
After putting Nakagawa through this public humiliation, one on top of the multitude she has suffered and will suffer (as the "other woman" in Kado's infidelity, Nakagawa should be liable for damages in case Kado's wife files for divorce) Onishi asked the PM his view of what the assembled had just heard, then moved on to badgering Minister of Education Shimomura Hakubun about his political support groups and their financing.
He dragged her before the electorate, in a live nationwide NHK broadcast, to answer one question. Just one question. And then he just tossed her aside.
Disgraceful. Disgusting and disgraceful.
Later - For those wishing to see the video, the active link list of questioners is here. Onishi's question time is the third from the last on the list, with the time signature "14:51."
Later still - In case you were wondering how the mainstream media organizations reported on Nakagawa's alcoholism, they covered it up for nearly two decades. Even after the Rome press conference disaster, mainstream media to my knowledge never identified N. Sho'ichi as an alcoholic.
And yet later still - I cannot believe it. Onishi summoned Nakagawa to the Budget Committee AGAIN today (March 13) this time to apologize for having been caught smoking during her emergency hospitalization after the publication of the photographs.
She again apologized, this time for violating the hospital's rules.
Onishi is truly without shame or a sense of proportion. How can the DPJ leadership not rein him in?