|I couldn't find an anime picture of actual Japanese politicians, so here's|
a picture of their Yakuza friends instead. Better ones at Liddell's Blog.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS
From drunken sprees in the Vatican to suicide by dog leash, Japan beats the world when it comes to political scandals
Power is said to corrupt, absolute power to corrupt absolutely. But in Japan, just getting elected seems to have this effect—politicians here have one of the poorest reputations for honesty and integrity in the world. In honor of next weekend’s Lower House elections, we take a colorful look back at some of the country’s most memorable political scandals.
KAKUEI TANAKA: LOCKHEED & LOOPHOLES
The wide-ranging Lockheed scandal, involving a diverse cast of politicians, businessmen and yakuza fixers, is often seen as the culmination of the career of Kakuei Tanaka, once described by Timemagazine as Japan’s “paragon of corruption.” When allegations surfaced in 1976 that the Lockheed Company had been paying billions of yen to secure aircraft contracts, Tanaka had already stepped down as prime minister over an earlier misdemeanor. When eventually found guilty of taking $2 million in Lockheed bribes, in 1983, the former PM was able to stay out of jail thanks to legal loopholes and with the full support of his Niigata constituents, many of whom had benefited from decades of lavish pork-barrel politics.
SOSUKE UNO: THE FEMINIST GEISHA
When Sosuke Uno became Prime Minister in 1989, the LDP was reeling from an affair known as the Recruit scandal. The dweeby-looking Uno hardly seemed the man to restore confidence, and support for him started ebbing away almost immediately. The killer blow, however, was struck by his former geisha mistress, Mitsuko Nakanishi, whose revelations about the PM’s arrogance and stinginess were picked up by the media. Divorced before becoming a geisha, Nakanishi clearly had an agenda of her own, telling reporters that Japanese women have “always been beaten down by men and have always quietly endured the pain.”
(several more HERE.)