With Ozawa, there’s no easy option

Ozawa Ichiro has escaped indictment by the Tokyo Public Prosecutors Office again. Once again, his former secretaries were not quite so lucky, with three, including sitting Diet member Ishikawa Tomohiro, being indicted for political funds violations.Michael Cucek rightly points to the gross misconduct of the PPO in its Ahab-like pursuit of Ozawa — and perhaps …

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Is it possible improve Japanese political financing?

Less than two months after succeeding the tainted Ozawa Ichirō as DPJ president, Hatoyama Yukio is mired in a scandal of his own, related to the use of fake contributions to cover for illegal transfers from Hatoyama's personal funds to his political support group.Jun Okumura describes the scandal in painstaking detail here.Asō Tarō naturally singled …

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Will he stay or will he go?

Okubo Takanori, Ozawa Ichiro's chief secretary, has as expected been indicted by the Tokyo district public prosecutor's office for violating the political funds control law..Ozawa is due to announce whether he will remain as DPJ president today.In the days leading up to the indictment, the DPJ has rallied behind its embattled leader, which in practice …

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Did the LDP just find its miracle?

Hold the debate, indeed.Naturally Ozawa Ichiro's top aide had to get himself arrested the day I wrote 1,000 words on what kind of leader Ozawa would be as a prime minister.Jun Okumura has the details here.In brief, Ozawa's aide has been accused of receiving funds for one of Ozawa's political support groups from Nishimatsu Construction, …

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Can the LDP — or anyone — eradicate amakudari?

The Aso government, looking to hasten the passage of the FY2009 budget (the third stage of Prime Minister Aso's plan to overcome the recession), has promised to accelerate the timetable for introducing the ban on the practice of amakudari and the related practice of watari, whereby a retired bureaucrat wanders to other employers who might …

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