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  4. 2020.07.07

Diet Session Adjourned, and Now

 

People and opposition political parties requested loudly to extend the Diet session, worrying about the second wave of the pandemic, but the ruling bloc did not concede the appeal. The government parties have chosen a path to conceal scandals, to survive longer and to cling to their vested interests, disregarding people’s lives and livelihood.

 

COALITION GOVERNMENT RUNS ABOUT TO SEEK FOR AN ESCAPE

 

The 201st Ordinary Session of the Diet began with harsh criticisms by the opposition parties to the government led by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s: these were over a scandal of Premier’s cherry-blossom parties, arrest of a lawmaker of the leading Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on charges of casino bribery and dispatch of troops to Middle East of the Self Defense Forces, which violates the Constitution.

 

Full of scandals

 

The government made a cabinet decision January on extension of retirement age of Mr. Kurokawa Hiromu, who was sarcastically labeled as ‘a guardian of the Abe government’, former Superintendent Prosecutor of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office, for a purpose to nominate him as Prosecutor General, which violates the relevant law.

 

In March a diary was open public, which was written by Mr. Akagi Toshio, a bureaucrat, who had committed a suicide, suffering from pressures to forge public documents on the sales of state-owned land to the Moritomo School, a private school with which wife of Premier Abe is closely connected. The disclosed facts tell us more grim implications.

 

In April countermeasures were proven to be hopeless amid the growing spread of the new disease; delivery of a present from the Abe government of two face masks to every citizen and fuss over cash benefit in terms of its amount and recipients. In May the ruling bloc attempted to revise the Prosecutors Office Act with an intention to control the prosecution authority, but it has given up amendment efforts during the year’s session. It was because of a rapid surge of public opinion that the revision might undermine independence of prosecutors’ office. Consequently, the bill was abolished.

 

Some problems, however, remain intact. The cabinet’s decision is not cancelled and the premier’s statement to alter his interpretation on prosecutors’ retirement age is not yet made. That means the Abe government clings to a hope to reign over the prosecutors’ office.

 

Mr. Kurokawa, who was said to be no more than a person to be prosecutor general, resigned due to the disclosure that he was absorbed in gambling mahjong when people spent hard time, threatened by the pandemic.

 

A prosecutor is a guardian of the law. Mr. Kurokawa occupied the second highest post in the office. He left the position due to the illegal game, but his penalty was admonitory warning, which is extremely light, instead of disciplinary dismissal. No government official took responsibility for Kurokawa’s mission. Circumstances are unclear how his punishment was given.

 

LDP and Dentsu Inc.

 

Scandals continue. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has outsourced administrative jobs to Dentsu Inc., the largest advertising company, of a program of cash payment to business operators hit by the pandemic. The private company has further transferred the work to its sub-contractors, which has produced a murky flow of taxpayers’ money. A tourism promotion program, the GOTO Campaign, has failed and is to be restarted from the very beginning. A colossal, shadowy sum of tax money was paid to Dentsu. The connection between the LDP and Dentsu is long, giving off a foul odor.

 

Furthermore, an unprecedented, big reserve fund of 10 trillion Yen is compiled in the second-round supplementary budget, violating rules of fiscal democracy.

 

Parliament escapes people, harboring Abe

 

A no-confidence resolution of the opposition political parties has been made to refrain from presentation, which condemns the adjournment, in exchange of a pledge to resume debates during prorogation.

 

The ruling parties smoothly respond to a request to debate on measures for the pandemic, but continue to refuse a demand of oppositions to hold a Budget Committee meeting attended by Premier Abe to discuss violation of the election laws by former minister of justice, Kawai Katsuyuki, and his wife, Anri, Member of the House of Councilors. Hiding scandals and sheltering Prime Minister Abe Shinzo – these are not acceptable.

 

 

 

July 7, 2020


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