Friday, January 29, 2010

Japan interpretation on the art of kickbacks

Kickbacks usually refers to political corruption...

A bullet arrived in the mail Thursday at Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's office in Tokyo's Nagata-cho district, and another one was sent to Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa's office in the Diet building along with a threatening letter. Hatoyama, Thursday evening : "I truly hope this kind of despicable act is stopped", who added that "people should confront politicians with words if they have complaints." Awful situation with DPJ leader Ozawa Ichiro, the DPJ "Shadow Shogun" and his troubles with Tokyo Prosecutor Office for alleged kickbacks.

VDO: The DPJ ruling party is ashamed with the financial scandal, Japanese commercial TV

Since last month, envelopes containing bullets and letters criticizing Ozawa have been sent to his office and home, at the headquarters of the ruling DPJ, and to the TV Asahi.

After these tricky facts, I read this information published in a forum on Japanese politic and social affairs: "The 2001 Mediation for Profit Prohibition Law (Assen Ritoku Kinshiho) makes it a criminal offense for politicians (and their state-funded secretaries) to profit by receiving money or goods (i.e. kickbacks) in return for exerting influence on government employees in areas such as public works contracts." in SSJ-FORUM Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo

Of course it is right. Now my understanding is that the Ozawa-san's case is not that easy to directly invoke the mentioned law since the influence he has exerted is not to profit the main contractors of the public enterprise but to the sub or under-sub contractors. Of course this has to be double checked. Also we can not say that it is absolutely illegal in Japan to exert influence on private companies, especially if it is a private contract.

In other words, I guess Ozawa Ichiro is a kind of a boss of bid rigging, which is well known as Dango in Japanese. The problem is that Ozawa's activies appear as totally unclear and should be opened to public knowledge.

As one of my sources told me I do not wonder wether this Ozawa case is "to lead to the decline in support for all the politics". I'd rather say, can Japan (and elsewhere) implement new rules and have them respected in this field of political bribery? Well... hum... no, no. "First of all these are not kickbacks, these are just "technical violation" of the rules on political contribution!"

I see...

(sources: ann, wire services, reporter's notes)

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