Slices of Japanese business, politics and life
Forget about funding scandals, budget debate or rifts over foreign policy: the big to-do in Japan’s parliament this morning was over three tardy cabinet ministers.
The upper house budget committee meeting had been scheduled to begin at 8:50 a.m. but had to be delayed until the three showed up, leading to an uproar from the opposition and a short recess.
When the trio – transport minister Seiji Maehara, internal affairs minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi and national strategy minister Yoshito Sengoku — arrived, they bowed before the committee and apologised.
Haraguchi, who media say was tweeting at 8:52 when he should have been in parliament, blamed his assistants for a scheduling error.
Tech-savvy Japan is home to many high-tech companies and more than 70 percent of its people use the Internet. But politics on the Web falls far behind.
Both politicians and voters can be found online. Lawmakers have their own blogs and channels on sites such as niconico and youtube, and political parties such as the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and main opposition Democratic Party of Japan have websites. A couple of politicians are even tweeting on ”Twitter“.