Thursday, February 28, 2008

No good times

Afer watching the first few minutes of News 23, I'll have to agree with Okumura Jun--Defense Ministry Ishiba Shigeru looks like a goner.

One can be deceptive in one's Diet testimony most of the time, hewing right to the line of truth or even over it. But when you have grieving, grizzled fishermen on the nation's screens umpteen times a day, you really do not have the capacity to define "there was no attempt to meddle in the investigation of the accident in any way" according to the meaning that suits you.

Having a commander fly out the to the ship and question those aboard without notifying the Coast Guard--the government agency in charge of investigating shipboard accidents--and having the navigator of the MSDF vessel airlifted to your office on the day of the accident to brief you on what happened...may not strictly be meddling...but wow does it look unnecessarily suspicious when the movements of various personnel are not revealed on Day One but in a series of leaks over the course of a work week.

With the Prime Minister's support level at 30% and the budget about to undergo a month of excrutiating scrutiny in the House of Councillors, the LDP Diet membership is rightly starting to panic.

If they had seen how the Ministry of Infrastructure, Land, Transport and Tourism got ripped to shreds in the evening's second report, about a planned elevated road in Toyama Prefecture, the LDP members would have been asking for air sickness bags.

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