Japan from the inside out

More on the choreography

Posted by ampontan on Friday, December 9, 2011

BUILDING on yesterday’s expose of the Finance Ministry-choreographed policy reviews of social welfare schemes, the Nishinippon Shimbun reported today that an office created by the (mostly) Finance Ministry bureaucrats in the Government Revitalization Unit held preliminary “study meetings” at which information was distributed and certain decisions and declarations encouraged. It was also revealed that Ren Ho, one of the policy review MCs, attended, along with private sector panelists, ministry bureaucrats, and Diet members.

During the meetings, the bureaucrats coached the private sector panelists by saying, “We would like you to make this statement in this form,” and “We’re thinking of something along these lines for the conclusions to be drawn from the debate”.

One participant who wished to remain anonymous said:

“The material distributed was clearly a script. While there may have been no coercion involved for specific statements, they did create the flow of debate.”

Another added:

“I suspected that it was all choreographed and stitched together to look like a debate.”

A senior member of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare explained the reason:

“The unification of the pension systems and taxes are the most important issue for the Noda Cabinet. It would be very difficult to have the ruling party openly discuss ways to increase the burden on the citizens (i.e., raise taxes)…People are likely to be opposed to these policies, so they can’t be raised by politicians who face elections. We thought an alternative would be to have the recommendations made during policy reviews.”

Politicians take responsibility? Perish the thought. Then again, the politicians in this (as in most) instances are just willing tools.

The newspaper reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura Osamu denied that any of this took place. Ren Ho promised to explain later today.

This must have been the inspiration: choreography, cash, and Pig Latin.

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One Response to “More on the choreography”

  1. toadold said

    I’m starting to wonder if the Japanese newspapers are starting to turn on the “establishment?”

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