Japan's Parliament Won't Summon Finance Minister, Lawmaker SaysHatoyama is
By Keiichi Yamamura and Sachiko Sakamaki -- Nov. 30 -- Japan's upper house of parliament decided not to summon Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga next week for questioning in an investigation of bribery for defense contracts, an opposition lawmaker said today.
Kenji Yamaoka, parliamentary affairs chief of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, said in parliament today that the upper house reversed its earlier decision and will not summon Nukaga on Dec. 3.
The upper house, controlled by opposition lawmakers, decided on Nov. 27 to questions Nukaga and former Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya.
Moriya, 63, and his wife Sachiko, 56, were arrested on Nov. 28 on suspicion of receiving bribes from Motonobu Miyazaki, an executive of defense contractor Yamada Corp. Moriya has said he and Nukaga met with Miyazaki at a dinner on Dec. 4 last year.
"It was meaningful to summon Mr. Moriya and Mr. Nukaga at the same time for sworn testimony," said DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama at an earlier press conference today. "But with Mr. Moriya's arrest, it's become impossible..."
Given the current hopeless guyishness of the DPJ leaders, they probably would have gone right over the edge into the abyss, asking question after pointless question of Nukaga just to show the world how determined they are to not back down. However, House of Councillors Speaker Eda Satsuki -- on hiatus from his membership in the Democratic Party but clearly thinking about the party's health -- saved his old allies stumbling into a very public embarrassment. It was Eda's request to the DPJ leadership to try once more, in the interest of commity, to accommodate the opinions of the LDP (the motion to have Nukaga testify passed without a single LDP or Komeitō member in attendance) that opened the trapdoor allowing the DPJ to escape from its own ultimatum.
Damn lucky thing for the Democrats that Eda was there to slam on the brakes of this runaway train.
Damn lucky for all of us.