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I hate the phrase “restore the public’s trust.” It is too much over-cooked gobbledygook and I’d rather eat nails than hear it one more time. Lamenting the threat to, or decline in, the public’s trust in politics is one of those stock phrases that are rehashed whenever politicians write articles for the opinion page and want to discredit the newest administration by questioning and challenging the conditions under which the government is seen to operate.

I don’t notice professional journalists using the phrase, only politicians and former politicians. Former Vice Minister of International Trade and Industry (bureaucratic office, not a political one) Shinji Fukukawa did exactly this in his Sept. 16 article, “New prime minister must restore confidence in politics.”

Not only is it one of the many polite fictions of society, but it is a stupid one at that, and I’m burning with enthusiasm to help Fukukawa get that into his head. Fukukawa is now the president of a research institute and no longer in government. Purely in the spirit of human brotherly love, I want him to understand that:

(1) In Japan, no one trusts politicians and no one ever did.

(2) No one respects them.

(3) No one even likes them very much.

Politicians, especially Japanese politicians, are more akin to a nasty misfortune that some of us must endure, like hemorrhoids.

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.

grant piper

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