Adamu scoops the Japanese mainstream media

ZAKZAK cites a Mainichi investigation that estimates that the LDP could earn up to 250 million yen in extra public funds allotted to political parties if they act by the end of the year to readmit some of the LDP members who were ousted for voting against the bills to privatize Japan Post. Since the tallies for how much each party gets in this funding scheme are calculated based on the number of Diet seats the party holds at midnight on January 1, the shuffling of party affiliations to maximize the subsidies is a practice that has been going on for years, and was especially fierce during the political turmoil of the 90s when new parties were popping up and fading out constantly.

This year, however, the LDP opened itself up to extra criticism after kicking out the postal rebels, a group of connected, effective politicians whose only crime was to violate party discipline and stick up for their sleazy bloated constituencies. Letting the ones who are really really sorry back in would prove that the move was just another Dentsu-inspired publicity stunt and leaves the less experienced new lower house members who the LDP ran against the rebels with their rear ends exposed. Leaving the rebels hanging means the party not only loses money but also a good deal of political talent that could end up working actively against them. Making it all worse is a divided LDP that can’t decide one way or the other – Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa met with the rebels’ leader Takeo Hiranuma to help seal the deal, while the new Diet members and their supporters such as ex-LDP sec gen Tsutomu Takebe fight to guard the positions of the “Koizumi children.”

It’s nice that the major news organizations are focusing on a more cynical angle that may motivate the LDP. Too bad I already covered this more than two weeks ago! Remember this post?

(2) As you may know, the deadline for Diet members to register for government subsidies for political parties is the last day of December. As you can see from the fact that the timing for people to join and leave parties has almost always been at the end of the year, it would not be surprising if this recent scandal, too, centers around the money. That’s because if the postal rebels and unaffiliated members were already members of the LDP, then the party’s subsidy, in other words the funding for its activities, would probably substantially decrease. Meanwhile, if the rebels manage to rejoin the party by the end of the year, their party subsidies coming to the LDP will increase. (tr: here he seems to be implying that the postal putsch was a scam to earn more party subsidies)

The only Japanese-language news source that even came close to my level of intestinal fortitude was the Sanyo Shimbun, a Chugoku regional paper that brought up the funding issue in a Nov 7 editorial, noting that not only will the LDP lose money by not bringing them back in by the end of the year, but the rebels themselves would lose possible monetary impetus to go back and could even form a new party themselves. Sankei may have picked up on it last week with some sweet graphics, but I still beat them both. And that’s all that matters.

Looks like these so-called “reporters” should have been listening to DPJ Upper House Dietman Tetsuro Fukuyama (or reading Mutant Frog, as it were). I owe this man a beer.

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