Sunday, 6 July 2003

What's wrong with Japan today...

Its things like this. An article in yesterday's Yomiuri about lorries and how there seem to be a lot more fatal accidents this year than before. A spokesman from the Department of Transport said (a government ministry, one that makes laws);

"It'll be difficult to establish a law to control the trucking industry, because the transport industry will resist it."

So if the government won't do anything to regulate industry, what hope have we got...?

This is one example. Another is the case of a manager at an agricultural collective who embezzled 17million yen from the savings of local farmers to gamble on coffee futures. A bit of embezzling, that's ok, but what makes it much much worse is the fact that when his superiors found out, they lent him another 20 million, of farmers savings, without telling anyone, in an attempt to try and recoup the money on the exceedingly dodgy Tokyo stock exchange. Only when they'd lost that and an even more superior superior found out did anyone even think about calling the police.

And that is just on a local level. Even more impressive a scam is the newly formed Resona bank, which was previously known as Asahi bank, and a couple of others. This is now in seriously deep trouble, so what do the government do? Let it go to the dogs for having such inept managers? Oh no. They decide to pump in 1.96trillion yen's worth of tax payers cash to bail them out. That is 1,960,000,000,000, or 98,000,000 quid...for a private bank. In any other country this bank would be allowed to become bankrupt, probably as soon as everyone found out they were in trouble and took out their savings.

But not in Japan. Here, not even a murmur.

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