With its incessant and ever-increasing financial needs, Japan’s political system is structurally corrupt. The extent of personal corruption of an individual politician is then a discretionary matter in a very grey area. Yohei Kono, an intelligent and therefore cynical actor in this elite, compared the implication in the Recruit scandal to a speeding ticket: except for cyclists all are sinners, and a few unlucky ones get caught.1 While corruption — the trade-off between corporate and private donations for special favours and services by the politician — is a daily occurrence, an affair which qualifies as a major scandal that is played up by the media and subsequently brings down a government happens on average only once a decade. While the material is plentiful, it is only a very few select stories that make it into a scandal and a national obsession.
KeywordsPublic Prosecutor Political Reform Tokyo District Cabinet Secretary Kawasaki City
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