In 1976, when former Japanese prime minister Kakuei Tanaka’s involvement in the Lockheed bribery scandal surfaced, he tried to pin it on his secretary. Former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama also used his secretary as a scapegoat when he got into trouble over political contributions.
Former chief secretary of the Liberal Democratic Party Ichiro Ozawa breached the law on political contributions, but the person who ended up being arrested was his first secretary Okubo Takanori.
In 1989, when former prime minister Noboru Takeshita became embroiled in the Recruit scandal, which involved insider trading and corruption, his secretary, Ihei Aoki, took the blame and committed suicide so as not to leave behind any evidence of what really happened. This is a clear demonstration of the Samurai or Bushido spirit of sacrificing oneself for one’s master that was an ideal of the ancient Japanese feudal retainer system.
Regardless of whether it is the “familial corruption” of Chinese politics or the “feudalistic corruption” prevalent in Japanese politics, these activities often come back and bite the people involved.
Hung Chi-kune is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party’s Central Executive Committee
Translated by Drew Cameron