Donald Trump, the incumbent lame duck U.S. president, recently pardoned more than 40 convicted criminals in a span of some 40 hours. The total number could rise by Jan. 20 since there remain so many people much closer to him who are more eligible for pardons, including the president himself.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Weissmann wrote on Twitter, “The pardons from this President are what you would expect to get if you gave the pardon power to a mob boss.” He hit the nail on the head. No wonder, Mr. Weissmann was a member of Robert Mueller's 2017 special counsel team that investigated Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Here in Tokyo, however, few people seem to have cared much about the massive number of pardons being granted by Trump. Most of the curiosity is on whether the U.S. president will dare to preemptively pardon himself and close family members before he leaves the White House, whether voluntarily or is forced.