Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

I really don’t want much for Christmas

December 25, 2009

JAPAN-POLITICS/“I want to give dreams and hopes to the Japanese people,” Hatoyama told reporters on Christmas Eve when asked what “Hatoyama Santa Claus” wants to give the public this year, Japanese media said.

Hours later, Hatoyama apologised for the indictment of his former aides, who were charged over falsifying political funding records to make cash funneled from Hatoyama’s own family fortune look like donations from individuals.

In a related scandal, the prime minister came under fire for receiving 15 million yen a month over the last seven years, or  a total of 1.26 billion yen, from his wealthy mother, a daughter of the founder of tyre maker Bridgestone Corp. The premier has repeatedly said he was not aware of receiving such cash from his mother said he would pay as much as 600 million yen in gift taxes if that was deemed necessary.

So when a reporter asked what he wants from Santa Claus, Hatoyama only said, “I have been told that I have been given too much.”

I guess no Christmas present for the Japanese prime minister this year then — not even a jump in his sagging poll ratings.

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Issei Kato

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