Maehara Reportedly Quits
Image Credit: FCCJ

Maehara Reportedly Quits


The Japanese government was dealt a potentially fatal blow Sunday with reports that Seiji Maehara has thrown in the towel as foreign minister.

Maehara was under pressure to quit over his receipt of 200,000 yen in donations from a family friend of South Korean nationality (under a political funding law it’s illegal for lawmakers to receive contributions from non-Japanese). It’s not yet clear whether Maehara was aware of the donation.

NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, reported Sunday evening that Maehara had submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

With Kan’s approval ratings having dropped to around 20 percent, the prime minister has been under intense pressure to either depart or call a snap election. Maehara is one of the most popular government figures and had been touted as a good bet eventually for the top office.

More details will doubtless emerge this coming week, but it seems as if Japan’s political financing laws, and their manipulation by opposition lawmakers, have claimed another ministerial scalp. 

John Chan
March 7, 2011 at 19:11

The whole thing smells fishy, 200k yen is hardly enough to pay the geishas in a party. If a democratically elected politician needs to resign from office over 200K yen questionable political donation, there will be nobody left in the West and its allies to govern, most likely Maehara is a victim of a battle between powerful interest groups.

Maehara has to quit so fast, is it because no media in Japan stand up and raise questions about the whole episode? If it is the case, it definitely proves the media in Japan is not impartial, has no integrity, and lacks independence, then the media in Japan is merely the mouthpieces for the rich and the powerful.

Anyhow the whole democracy becomes stink because of the political funding practices, politicians have to raise their own campaign funds undermines the core value of democracy, it allows the rich and the powerful to exploit the masses in the name of democracy.

March 7, 2011 at 09:49

Looking at this from the perspective of Asia’s continued peace and prosperity, Maehara’s resignation is a positive development. He was a main reason why the fishing boat incident with China blew up into such epic proportions; and his hardline stance against Russia, while understandable, was not a position his office should have taken. Diplomats are supposed to make problems go away, not blow them up. They are supposed to be pragmatic, not emotional. In both respects he has utterly failed.

March 6, 2011 at 13:48

Nice to see this commented on here so quickly!

I’m a little surprised that he would quit over just a clerical error, but at least he didn’t drag things on for so long like a certain Darth Ozawa. It will be interesting to see how much more to the story there is.

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