Friday, June 29, 2007

This just in, twice

Busy news day.

Japan's former top intelligence official gets arrested...for playing footsie with the North Koreans.

Ex-intel chief Ogata nabbed over fraud
The Yomiuri Shimbun

Prosecutors arrested Shigetake Ogata and two others Thursday on suspicion of fraud in connection with the transfer of the ownership of the headquarters of a pro-Pyongyang Korean residents organization in Tokyo.

Ogata, who is a lawyer and former director general of the Public Security Intelligence Agency, has denied the allegations...

I would like to think that the Abe Cabinet insisted on expediting this indictment for a whole lot of reasons, not the least of which is the elections of July 29.

However, I am not even sure who is defrauding whom.

The biggest foreign policy and security news story in Japan right now, perhaps the most explosive story in years--that the former head of Japanese intelligence extorts from frightened zainichi chōsenjin the deed to North Korea's defacto embassy, then returns the deed hours BEFORE a court ruling seizing the property--and I do not know thing one about it.

Worthless me.

In other news, former Prime Minister Miyazawa Kiichi has died.

Japan ex-PM Miyazawa dies at 87
TOKYO, Japan (Reuters) -- Former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, whose career stretched from Japan's defeat in World War Two through the 1990s "lost decade" of economic stagnation, died on Thursday at the age of 87, his office said.

A finance expert at ease on the world stage and a diplomatic dove keen on better ties with Asia, Miyazawa first served as finance minister from 1986 to 1988, when low interest rates fueled soaring stock and land prices.

He was forced to resign the post over a shares-for-favors scandal that ensnared his party -- only to return as prime minister just three years later...

The man who made Japan--delegate to the San Francisco peace treaty negotiations; head of the Economic Planning Agency for five consecutive terms during the 1960s; Finance Minister during the Bubble and Prime Minister after the Bubble's bursting, then Finance Minister again in the darkest part of the Lost Decade--Miyazawa had been looking increasingly frail these past few months, as if he were imploding.

Nakasone Yasuhiro is alone now--the last survivor of the wartime generation handed the task of transforming this nation from from a mobilized and centralized imperial state to a democratic (some have argued far too democratic) constitutional one.

Miyazawa Kiichi, the diminutive giant of the bureaucrat-politicians.

Requiescat in Pacem.

No comments: