Regarding the July 6 front-page article "Reconstruction minister quits after week": Nearly every Cabinet of the former ruling Liberal Democratic Party bore hallmarks similar to those of (Democratic Party of Japan) reconstruction minister Ryu Matsumoto, who resigned following his insensitive bluster (against two governors in the disaster-hit Tohoku-Pacific region).

Has anyone ever counted how many Cabinet ministers have resigned shortly after their appointment? It must exceed the number of prime ministers who Japan has seen come in and out of the revolving door it calls politics. Of course, resignation is a sham, because the act alone does not result in any loss of income or status as it would for most ordinary Japanese, who would be on the brink of economic destruction if they had to resign.

When it comes to positions of ultimate responsibility, there is absolutely no genuine or commensurate penalty for resignation. So why not put some real teeth in resignation?

Once a politician resigns, he or she should be barred from all future political positions and be forced to look for alternative employment. At least that way, Japanese politicians could be persuaded to stop their pathetic charade of going through the motions of resigning when they don't mean it!

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

david wood