Saturday, October 20, 2007

How do you solve a problem like Moriya?

One would think that for someone who had stuff to hide, Moriya Takemasa sure made an incredibly unsympathetic nuisance of himself in August.
Moriya played golf, dined with defense firm exec
Yomiuri Shimbun

Former Administrative Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya frequently played golf with and was wined and dined by a former executive of Yamada Corp., a trading company specializing in defense equipment, while he held the post, sources said Friday.

During the five years up to fiscal 2006, the Minato Ward, Tokyo-based trader received at least 117 orders worth about 17 billion yen from the ministry.

Because the Defense Ministry's ethical code for Self-Defense Forces personnel prohibits them from playing golf with individuals who have links to the ministry, the ministry plans to question Moriya about his relationship with the former executive.

The ethical code, which came into effect in 2000, bans SDF members from playing golf with people having vested interests in the ministry, irrespective of who offers to pay. Because the administrative vice minister is treated as a member of the SDF under the Self-Defense Forces Law, Moriya could expect to be punished if he were still in office.

According to the sources, Moriya played golf with the former Yamada executive more than 100 times and was entertained at restaurants after the games for years before leaving the ministry in August. The former executive's subordinate sometimes picked him up and drove him to the golf course and took him home afterward...

While the average person might ask, "What was he thinking, making such a visible ass of himself fighting his dismissal by Koike Yuriko? Did he expect none of the magazines and newspapers would do follow up stories?"

The question belies a lack of appreciation of the superior ethical and intellectual wonderfulness of a top-ranking bureaucrat. Like Fukui Toshihiko, who never thought that being an investor in Murakami Yoshiaki's fund and the Governor of the Bank of Japan at the same time raised conflict-of-interest questions, Moriya knew that he could not be swayed to look favorably upon anyone who paid to take him out golfing over 100 times, with Mrs. Moriya sometimes taking part as well.

He was simply being entertained by friends, that's all. Long time friends. Government officials are allowed to have friends, you know.

A frightful number of top-ranking bureaucrats believe that the rules exist only for the more earthbound and less ethereal ranks of the government. For the Celestials of the higher ranks, the rules are really more like guidelines, to be circumvented by persons of great moral character without shame or danger.

They are that good.

In his heart and mind, Moriya Takemasa did not only believe he was not guilty of any wrongdoing, he believed himself not even guilty of demonstrating poor judgment in creating the appearance of wrongdoing.

It almost certainly never crossed his mind.

For the implications of the Moriya revelations, see Okumura Jun's crackerjack post

Later - The title of this post has been changed. It turns out I have a somewhat faulty memory of the lyrics of the songs of the The Sound of Music.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "implications" are only one: Ms. Koike is not "done" with him just yet.