Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Prime Minister, the Mother, the Aide and the "Scandal"

Image of the "1950's Akira Kurosawa’s Scandal movie**"

Akira Kurosawa’s Scandal was a tough description of the
rising power of the Japanese press and their practices
in the newly-Americanised postwar Japan of 1950.
Kurosawa was outraged by the gutter press actions,
where “personal privacy is never respected”, and by how
the public’s voyeuristic tendency to delve deeper into
the lives of celebrities only encouraged this
disrespect. Stirred to broaden his film’s scope,
Kurosawa made the film a study of personal honor, one
which highlights the need for ordinary individuals to
speak out against injustice and corruption.

Hatoyama, a Bridgestone heir and money politics,
through the Japanese media prism: "It has been
reported, it is believed, according to the sources, he
had trusted the former aide". Anybody sure of something
here or is it an other Philistine instigation?


"Prosecutors have begun considering questioning Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama's mother, 87, over an alleged
political donations scandal involving him, sources
close to the issue said Friday.

It has been reported that Hatoyama received a total of
900 million yen from his mother over five years up to
2008 and some of the money may have been recorded as
donations from fictitious donors in his political funds
reports, the sources say.

A special squad of the Tokyo District Public
Prosecutors Office is believed to have decided to ask
her how she started giving the funds to Hatoyama,
president of the Democratic Party of Japan who became
prime minister in September, according to the sources.

Meanwhile, the prosecutors have questioned a former
policy secretary of Hatoyama on a voluntary basis over
the allegations, the sources said.

The former secretary, who was dismissed from the
secretarial job in July with the dissolution of the
House of Representatives, served as treasurer of
Hatoyama's fund-management organization.

He is believed to have denied any involvement in the
alleged false declarations in the prime minister's
political funds reports.

The special squad is examining the source of more than
300 million yen that it believes was falsely declared
in Hatoyama's political funds reports as well as how
the former policy secretary had divided
responsibilities with another state-paid aide who was
in charge of accounting.

''The accounting of the fund-management body was
controlled by the former state-paid secretary,'' the
former policy secretary told Kyodo News earlier.
Hatoyama said Friday that he had trusted the former
aide in charge of accounting and let him do the work
for more than 20 years.

... On June 30, Hatoyama, as head of the then
opposition DPJ, admitted that his political fund
management body made false statements in its annual
reports that donations were made by people who were
already dead or who had never donated." (end of quotes,

Mr Ozawa, DPJ Godfather, was himself involved in
dubious political contribution, had said he "wanted to
reform Japanese politics and its political structure
once and for all. "

I remember a statement from a political observer : "The
Japanese have voted for change they don't believe in
and a leader they're not all that crazy about," said
Jeff Kingston, director of Asian studies at Tokyo's
Temple University.

Local media have such fun down here!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cold blooded massacre : Journalists targeted in the Philippines

Massacre of a political clan that included several
journalists in the outskirts of Ampatuan, Maguindanao
in southern Philippines (photo agencies)

South Philippines : state of emergency!

Certainly one of the worst day for the profession of
journalists. Philippine authorities will resume the
search Wednesday for more victims of a massacre that
left at least 46 people dead, amid fears the death toll
could top 50, Philippines military said.

Here are the quotes of various media reports :

"The mass killings of aides and relatives of a local
politician in the southern Philippines, as well as
journalists accompanying them, occurred on Monday in
remote farming area on the volatile southern island of

Military spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Ponce.
"The search will continue in the general area today".

The journalists were accompanying a local political
family, the Mangudadatus, on their way to file
candidacy papers for gubernatorial elections on the
island of Mindanao. After a vicious hold up 46 people
in the traveling group were massacred, in what has now
emerged as political clan warfare.

The murderers are hiding in plain sight. Members of
the Ampatuan clan, political allies of President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo, were seen and readily identified as
being in the gang that hijacked the Mangudadatus
convoy. The son of the governor was in the attack
gang, as was the local mayor. Pushing aside her
allegiance to the Ampatuan clan, President Arroyo has
ordered the "immediate, relentless pursuit" of the

Arroyo ally top suspect in massacre—police according to
Agence France-Presse as Police on Wednesday named a
political ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as
the prime suspect in an election-linked massacre of at
least 46 people. "According to the initial reports,
those who were abducted and murdered at Saniag were
initially stopped by a group led by the mayor of Datu
Unsay," national police spokesman Chief Superintendent
Leonardo Espina said. The mayor of Datu Unsay is Andal
Ampatuan Jr., a member of Arroyo's ruling
Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats coalition and
son of an extremely powerful regional politician who
has ensured local support for the president in previous
elections." (end of quotes, agencies, blogs, web)

And this dispatch :

Vendetta Linked to Election

"The murders in the southern province of Maguindanao on
Monday are thought to have beeny related to next year's
national elections, when posts from village chiefs to
the president will be up for grabs. 'This explosion of
violence arises whenever there is an election,' said
Samira Gutoc, one of the convenors of the Young Moro
Professionals, a group helping the government in peace
talks with armed Muslim groups in the south.

Indeed, dozens of people are killed each election
season in this impoverished and often lawless south
east Asian nation. Local political warlords have for
generations competed for political power and the
accompanying business riches that government posts
offer. These clans control private armies, which carry
out assassinations and attacks on rivals. The
proliferation of over 1.1 million unlicensed firearms,
most of them in the hands of rebel groups or
paramilitaries, contribute to the general lawlessness
in many remote areas, according to police. The
Telegraph (24 November)"