Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
Japan’s prime minister may also be the country’s richest politician, but parliament is no longer the preserve of the wealthy, according to an analysis published by broadcaster NHK.
Lawmakers from the country’s lower house of parliament declared an average of 31.5 million yen (around $350,000) in assets, down more than 18 million yen on a previous declaration four years earlier.
That’s partly because of the large number of new lawmakers who made it to parliament in the Democratic Party of Japan’s historic election victory last year. Seventy lawmakers, most of them newcomers, said they had no assets whatsoever, almost double the number in the previous announcement.
At the other end of the scale, the assets of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, a grandson of the founder of Bridgestone Tyres, weighed in at 1.6 billion yen, media said.
“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.
I learned of Michael Jackson’s death this morning in a news bulletin from public broadcaster NHK, when the anchor began with: “This is urgent news just in from the United States.”
I wondered what had happened? News from President Obama? Another U.S. bank failure?