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About the story “Masuzoe defiant on expenses furor” in the May 21 edition, if ever a city in a purportedly advanced democracy ever deserved the title “Corruption Capital,” Tokyo would likely be the front-runner.

Baseball is popular in Japan, especially now that Ishihara, Inose and Masuzoe just struck out on seedy governance.

By sheer brute bullying, Shintaro Ishihara shouted off complaints about the funding his family got from Tokyo’s coffers.

Naoki Inose tried dancing around his dubious ¥50 million loan but lacked Ishihara’s aggression, so he made a swift exit.

Now Yoichi Masuzoe is trying to fill Ishihara’s boots by standing firm in the face of his personal pocketing from the public purse — though it’s doubtful how many millions exactly will ever be known.

It is a comedy for the culprit to say that his misdeeds will be scrutinized when he himself appoints the lawyers investigating. If there were even the shadow of propriety, that would have been left to an ombudsman to decide for sure.

And like a mirror to the truth, Tokyo’s second Olympics is also already mired in the filth of lucre — billions of yen flying to secret overseas accounts to sway decisions of corrupt Olympic officials.

All this on top of plagiarism of the games logo — a symbol perhaps not of fair play, but rather of the Tokyo government’s underhandedness.

All one has to do is to go back to the first Olympics in Tokyo in 1964 to find the blueprint for the 50-odd years of perennial sleaze greasing the pockets of the powerful — the cartels and gangster subterfuge that built the foundations of the original are still in place as costs for the 2020 Olympics spiral out of control with countless billions in kickbacks and vested vice abounding as ever — or is it just business as usual in corruption capital?

David John
DAZAIFU, FUKUOKA PREFECTURE

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.

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