Simon Foston’s Feb. 23 letter, “DPJ can do without some people,” seems intent on spreading the image that some Democratic Party of Japan lawmakers support former DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa just for money and that Ozawa is to blame for the DPJ’s recent election losses.

When it comes to buying support, I wonder how much money the Kan administration has wasted from the Cabinet Secretariat’s classified fund, or from taxes, on media control. In December, for example, it was reported that Prime Minister Naoto Kan dined with senior editors from three major Japanese dailies at a sumptuous tofu restaurant.

Ozawa’s indictment has nothing to do with bribery, and pieces of evidence that public prosecutors forged the charges against him have been disclosed in court.

Why not associate the DPJ’s recent election losses with Kan’s abrupt craze to increase the consumption tax since the Upper House election last year? The more narcissistic zeal he shows in this matter, the more his Cabinet’s approval rating plummets. By contrast, the politicians who won overwhelming victories in Nagoya last month are keenly against tax increases.

Many voters are quite aware that lavish pay for politicians and public servants, nationally and locally, underlies the so-called money and politics problem. The DPJ’s landslide victory in 2009 was no doubt brought about by such voters’ hopes. In this sense, the DPJ surely could do without some of its betrayers — namely, Kan and his henchmen.


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