警察庁長官 五輪開催で治安確保を指示 NHKニュース

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One of the world’s most interesting political stories
unfolded without the world ever be-
coming aware of it. After decades of complaint from ou
tside and inside Japan that this coun-
try is taking too long to develop genuine leadership
, a new era appeared to have begun with
the first real party political challenge in half a cen
tury to what had been in truth a one-party
system. But the central figure behind it, Ozawa Ichiro
, who had long been widely regarded as
the one politician with the combination of vision a
nd enough skills to initiate new political
leadership, was an obvious threat to those who treasure
d the status quo and routine policies.
The first task for the masters of the status quo, with
the public prosecutor in the lead,
was to force Ozawa out of a position that would have
made him prime minister. That was
easy enough, with a trick frequently used to defuse t
hreats, in the shape of ambitious figures
in politics or business, to Japan’s established powe
r structure: a manufactured scandal. The
scandal thrown at Ozawa before the 2009 elections con
cerned something that would have
been treated at worst as an administrative misdemeanor,
if indeed he had been found guilty
of the charges involved. But senior editors of Japan’
s national newspapers plus NHK, who
form a team with the public prosecutor in such matters
, ensured that Ozawa was rendered
politically invisible by the clouds of suspicion wh
ich surrounded him with an aura of crimi-
nality. After many months of newspaper innuendo, the
judiciary officials conceded that they
could not find any evidence as basis for prosecution
The guardians of Japan’s political order could of cours
e not leave it there, and pulled
something out of their hats that defies every stand
ard of credulity. Under a recently passed
law (based on a legal relic from occupation days) a
committee of carefully selected (and
coached) lay people may force the public prosecutor t
o prosecute after he has decided not to
do so. With that process ongoing, two years of furthe
r character assassination and distraction
away from politics were guaranteed. Until a year ago wh
en Ozawa’s acquittal became news
that most national newspapers reported blandly. After
all their earlier hysteria, no review
emerged of what had befallen political Japan.
But that is not the full story. Two ordinary Japanese
citizens, doing the investigative leg-
work that Japanese journalists have stopped doing qui
te some time ago, have come up with
some amazing evidence of irregularities among the judi
ciary authorities. Their findings sug-
gest that much of what passed for laymen judgment ab
out the merits of an Ozawa prosecu-
tion was simply invented by the authorities to keep
Ozawa away from policy making power.
The LDP of Prime Minister Abe won its suppposedly “s
wing to the right” with as small
a number of votes as it had received in the election
of 2009 when it was clobbered by the
DPJ. Those who had three years earlier voted for the refo
rmist party stayed home; almost
certainly out of disgust with what had become of it,
to a large extent because of the machina-
tions recounted here. It is worth turning our heads fo
r another look at that quite important
episode of recent Japanese history.
Karel van Wolferen

党首討論 手詰まり感漂う海江田民主党

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2013年3月13日 13時58分









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