Divorce, in-fighting the fodder for politicians’ ‘tell-all’ memoirs

by Yasutaka Okamura

Kyodo News

Politicians are turning author on a wide range of subjects, including political exposes and the frank disclosure of a broken marriage.

It is generally considered standard practice for potential prime ministers to publish books outlining their plans for a new administration.

The late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka published a best-seller, “Nippon Retto Kaizo Ron” (“On Rebuilding the Japanese Archipelago”), before his successful bid to succeed Eisaku Sato. The book sketched his plans to relocate industrial facilities outside metropolitan areas, among other things. It is said to have sold more than 900,000 copies.

Shinzo Abe, who succeeded Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister in 2006 but abruptly resigned a year later, put out a book titled “Toward a Beautiful Nation” before assuming the reins of government. About 510,000 copies were reportedly sold.

Books currently out include those by Taro Aso, former secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party who also has served as foreign minister, and Kaoru Yosano, chief Cabinet secretary under Abe.

Some pundits say Aso is regarded as very likely to step into Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda’s shoes when the latter gives up power. Aso’s book is titled “Enormous Nippon.”

Yosano’s volume is “Dodo Taru Seiji” (“Fair politics”).

Seiko Noda’s book, “Bukiyo” (“Clumsy”), may generally be described as revelations of the political world. But she also touched on her divorce from Yosuke Tsuruho, a House of Councilors member.

Noda, a former minister of posts and telecommunications, recounted the political turmoil over Koizumi’s hard-nosed maneuvering to get a bill on postal system privatization passed by the Lower House in a special session in October 2005. She voted against the bill.

Regarding the breakup of her marriage, she said her husband left her alone and “didn’t come back.” Muneo Suzuki, once an influential LDP member and fierce critic of the Foreign Ministry, as well as a convicted bribe-taker, has coauthored a book titled “Hansei” (“Self-examination”) with ministry official Masaru Sato.

Current LDP Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki outshines others with a book displaying his cooking expertise.

Titled “Ibuki Tei Shikino Shokutaku” (“Four-Season Dining Table at Ibuki Inn”), the book is a compilation of essays on his cooking prowess and ideas on foods.