Book Authored (ISBN-10: 0824821599)

Book Authored (ISBN-10: 0824821599)
Sovereign Rights and Territorial Space in Sino-Japanese Relations: Irredentism and the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands (ISBN-10: 0824824938)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Secret Funds/Third-Class Politicians Only Provide the Third-Rate Policy-XIII

On 30 April 2010, former Chief Cabinet Secretary Nonaka Hiromu who served as the government spokesman during 1998-1999, made a stunning claim in the Asahi Shimbun. According to Nonaka, the LDP gave an average of 50 million yen to 70 million yen a month to the key politicians and political commentators. On one occasion, a political commentator called Prime Minister Obuchi Keizo requesting approximately 30 million yen because he built a new house. All journalists except one political commentator, Tawara Soichiro, received the money. Here is the problem. The LDP has used a secret fund to manipulate not only opposition politicians, but also journalists who manipulated the public opinions for years. It might explain why the LDP successfully controlled Japanese politics since WWII. Those journalists who received the secret funds need to take responsibility for their actions. If the journalists cannot do their job to be objective and are merely in bed with the LDP deceiving Japanese voters, they should pay the price in the Japanese way – seppuku or hara-kiri. No wonder journalism by Japanese journalist are not well respected internationally.

Two days after the August 30 Lower House election ended decades of power by LDP, the LDP-led government withdrew 250 million yen from a Cabinet secret fund, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano Hirofumi. In Japan, the cabinet has a discretionary budget, “kimitsu-hi” or secret fund, which can be used without restraint by the chief cabinet secretary, who has no obligation to submit receipts on use of its funds. All past administration (LDP) described “kimitsu-hi” as necessary for “smoothly implementation” of their government duties. According to Kyodo News, the Cabinet Secretariat received around 1.2 billion yen each year from fiscal 2004 through fiscal 2008 – roughly 100 million yen each month. Documents show that the Cabinet Secretariat received a considerably larger sum of 250 million yen on September 1, two days after the DPJ landslide victory over the LDP in the Lower House election, but the money disappeared by the time the DPJ assumed power on 16 September 2010. About 250 million yen had disappeared in a period of around two weeks, Kawamura Takeo of the LDP is responsible for explaining what happened. Basically, the politicians stole about 250 million yen tax payers’ money; none is taking responsibility in Japan.

In 2001, the DPJ submitted a bill that would oblige the Cabinet to record how the fund is used and disclose it to the public. Hatoyama Administration disclosed that “kimitsu-hi” started in 1947, but it was not intended to be a secret fund (Sankei Shimbun 25 May 2010). Now the DPJ are in power, and what happened to “kimitsu-hi”?
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