In politics, as elsewhere, timing is everything

Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara has been brought down by illegal campaign donations received from a "foreign national". Who is a 72-year-old restaurant owner Maehara has known since he was 14.

The Wall Street Journal's Mariko Sanchanta explains: "Hundreds of thousands of Koreans still live in Japan today, a legacy from the Second World War, and most have retained their South Korean citizenship though they speak Japanese fluently. These individuals are not permitted to vote in elections and are still considered “foreigners,” though many have been living in Japan for decades and paying taxes."

More interestingly, when former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was holding Japan's top office, it was (heavily) rumored that while he had served as Foreign Minister, over 10 years previously, he had had an affair with a woman believed to have been China's senior spy in Japan at the time.

In politics, as elsewhere, timing is everything.


BiggerInJapan said...

errrr, yes, and no.

My take on this is that Maehara is resigning now, because he is aiming to be Prime Minister himself one day - either when Kan is forced to resign/resigning somewhere this spring/summer, or any time thereafter. By playing this resignation card now, smartly and quickly, he is taking the wind out of the Opposition's sails, so that he can go full thrust for the Crown Jewels in the near future.

Roberto said...

Yes, I think so. And he'll probably succeed.

Though perhaps instead of "Crown Jewels" you might have written "Poisoned Chalice". ;-)

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