Some time ago, a joke was circulating within the bureaucratic circle in Tokyo that went, “One cannot expect to become a full-fledged career bureaucrat unless one can convince others that a crow is white.” What this means is that the proof of being an outstanding bureaucrat is to be able to have a rhetorical power of making other people believe that what cannot possibly happen does indeed happen.

In Japan, bureaucrats are said to place top priority on promoting and enhancing the interests of the ministries and agencies they work for. That is why they have seen it as their principal mission to expand the budget and power of their own organizations in order to pursue policies favorable to industrial sectors under their supervision.

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