Legacy of Shinzo Abe: Corruption and Hopeless Japanese Economy(2)


The corruption culture and the wrong leadership in Korea can lead to the same economic fate as in Japan


Joseph H. Chung (정희수), Ph.D. Professor of Economics, Quebec University in Montreal



 (지난 호에 이어)


1989: the Recruit Scandal: the Recruit was a company of labour recruit brokerage, real estate and other businesses. The company sold its stocks before going public to large number of politicians at low price amounting to USD 1.2 million allowing the politicians to make fortune by selling stocks at a very high price. This was hidden bribes given to the politicians. Two former prime ministers (LDP) were involved, namely Yasuhiro Nakasone (1982-1987) and Noboru Takeshita (1987-1989).




1989: Tajao Fujinami, former chief cabinet Secretary (LDP) was convicted for receiving 40 million Yen and unlisted stocks from Recruit Co.


1992:  Shin Kanemaru, LDP king maker was forced to resign from his Diet seat for relationship with known organized crime organization.


1993: Shin Kanemura, former director general of the Japanese Defence Agency was arrested for receiving bribes from a construction company.


1998: Yoichi Otsuki, former Ministry Finance (LDP) official, hanged himself with his necktie in his apartment after his apartment was searched.


1998: Shokei Arai, former LDP politician hanged himself in a Tokyo hotel after learning his imminent arrest for receiving bribes from a brokerage house.


1999: Muneo Suzuki, vice-minister of the cabinet of Keizo Obuchi (LDP) put pressure on the Foreign Ministry to fund the Japanese-Russian Friendship. In 2002, he was arrested for receiving bribery from two Hokkaido companies.


2001:Yukio Koshimori, former mayor of Okushiri was arrested for bribery, sentenced foe two year jail terms but sentence was  suspended.


2003-2006: Tadahiro Ando, Goveronor Miysaki Prefecture was convicted for bid-rigging.


2017: As many as 63 current employees of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (LDP) secretly negotiated with university to assure their post-retirement university jobs.


2018: Okayama University opened the Veterinary School against any justifiable reason. It was argued that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe allowed, because the head of the University, Kotaro Kake was a close friend of the Prime Minister.


2019: Tsunekazu Takeda, former president of the Tokyo Olympics Committee chairman, resigned for being involved in the scandal of brine of USD 2.3 million given to African IOC members.


2019 December: Tsukasa Akimoto, LDP Diet member, was appointed by Shinzo Abe to lead the promotion of integrated resorts. He was indicted for receiving bribes from a Chinese gambling house. He was fined USD 33,610.


2020. January: Takamori Yoshikawa, former minister of agriculture (LDP) was indicted for taking bribes from egg producer.


2020, March: Masako Akagi, widow of former official of Ministry of Finance (LDP), Toshio Akagi, sued the government claiming that her husband killed himself after the Ministry officials forced him to falsify public document on the land deal scandal involving the former Prime Minster Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie.


2020, May: Hiromu Kurokawa, head of Tokyo high prosecutor, close friend of Shinzo Abe, tried to change the regulation to extend the retirement age so that he could say longer in his office. But he could not do it, he had to step down after the revealing of his illegal gambling.


2020, June: Katsuyuki Kawai, former Justice Minster (LDP) and his  wife Anri distributed USD 280,000 to 94 Hiroshima local politicians during Anri's campaign for upper house election on January 2019. Katsuyuki Kawai was imprisoned for three years.


2020 August: Three corporate executives were arrested for bribing witnesses at the trial of the former Lawmaker Tsukosa Akimoto indicted for receiving bribe of 3 million yen from a Chinese gambling house.


2021, February: 11 officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication were reprimanded for accepting expensive dinner, taxi tickets from a media company.


2021: Isshu Sugawara, former Trade Minister (LDP) was indicted for bribing USD 4,800 to 33 organizations and 29 individuals. In 2021, in six months, there were four lawmakers who had to resign for bribery charges.


What you have seen above are cases of corruption which have been reported. It is more than possible that these cases are a just a tip of an immense iceberg of corruption.


There are other indicators of the corruption of the LDP. For instance, the hereditary politics and LDP's monopoly of power are additional indicators of corruption.


In Japan, family succession of politic is an integral part of the national political world. Since WWII, only 10% of Japanese prime ministers had no political background. No less than 45% of prime ministers inherited their seats from their fathers.


Japan is supposed to be a liberal democratic country. One of the basic conditions for a liberal democracy is the change of government in function of the quality of the government performance. It is a known political fact that there is a positive correlation between the extent of corruption and the longevity of the government in power.


It is so because, if the party keeps power for long, it is inevitable that the members of the governments become tempted to promote laws and regulations favourable to their personal or group interests at the expense of those of the people.


As of 2020, out of 75 years since 1945, the LDP has ruled Japan for 70 years. Under such situation, corruption is inevitable. Even in Canada, one of most authentic liberal democracies in the world, when the Liberal Party stayed in power for ten years, one could detect signs of corruption in Ottawa. (다음 호에 계속)




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