Posted by ampontan on Monday, August 30, 2010
WHAT IS IT about Japanese politics that creates so many coincidences? No authoritative studies have been made, but chance occurrences remarkable for their interrelatedness seem to arise more frequently in the Japanese political environment than in any other.
Yet another one materialized over the weekend involving Sengoku Yoshito, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of the Kan Cabinet and the man whom many suspect is keeping that Cabinet functioning.
Recall that Mr. Sengoku has long been an opponent of Ozawa Ichiro, who announced that he plans to challenge Mr. Kan for the party presidency next month. Stories are circulating that Mr. Ozawa told Mr. Kan he wouldn’t run if the latter would remove certain Ozawa enemies from the Cabinet, starting with Sengoku Yoshito. Rumor has it that Mr. Kan declined.
Well golly, here it is less than a full week later, and a story just happens to pop up that Mr. Sengoku is involved with some questionable financial dealings of his own:
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said Sunday that he saw no problem with political entities he controls giving money to a company run by his eldest son, because the funds were paid as fees for handling some of the entities’ activities.
Sengoku, the top government spokesman and Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s right-hand man, told reporters the three political bodies paid a total of ¥3.2 million, or ¥100,000 per month, to his son’s real estate management company for two years and eight months until last December.
What a coincidence! And here’s another one!
The three political bodies are based in a room in a building in Minato Ward, Tokyo, together with the the offices of Sengoku’s lawyer and his son.
One of these days, I’m going to have to write a monograph on the subject.
Update: Mr. Ozawa, Mr. Kan, and Mr. Hatoyama are scheduled to meet this evening for discussions. Everyone assumes that Mr. Ozawa will again set forth his terms for not running against Mr. Kan. These are likely to include the replacement of the Cabinet members who displease him and ceding control of the party to Mr. Ozawa.
If Mr. Sengoku decides that he should step down and take responsibility for those fund transfers to a company coincidentally controlled by his son, the reason should be apparent.