Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tardy Ministers Show Baseness by Passing Buck to Bureaucrats

Satsuki Eda, president of the upper house, correctly chides the latecomers

The three ministers who showed up late for a budget debate -- Haraguchi, Sengoku and Maehara -- should apologize for their embarrassing actions.

Let's look for a moment at the current trend of politicians and mass media making everything the fault of the bureaucrats.

It's an ugly trend. At its core is a politically motivated attempt to revise the national public service law. This should be stopped.

First it's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama obstinately insisting that he knew nothing of donations made by his mother. Then it's party chief Ichiro Ozawa using political funds to hunt for real estate, abandoning any attempts at accountability, putting the burden on his secretary and stressing his own innocence. And now it's the three tardy ministers: Haraguchi, Sengoku and Maehara. The spirit of the Democratic Party of Japan leadership is seriously impoverished. The people of Japan need to open their eyes to the reality behind this DPJ fantasy that's being propagated.

We should heed the discerning advice given to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano by House of Councillors President Satsuki Eda. He was quoted in the March 5 morning edition of Mainichi Shimbun as saying, "I was amazed to hear that the ministers were late. But it's unbecoming to blame it on a clerical miss while claiming to show political leadership."

I agree with Eda.

Politicians and mass media are too quick to blame the bureaucrats. This trend of making the bureaucrats the scapegoat while angling for a revision of the national public service law is a dangerous one. The bureaucrats do well to show their character and hold their tongues, but the subsequent bureaucrat-bashing is just wrong. DPJ lawmakers and media pundits ought to rethink their approach.