Public records: Here today, gone tomorrow…

Dr. Mieko Nakabayashi speaking at G1 Global Conference 2019

Japan’s fascination with cherry blossoms extended well beyond the two-week viewing season this year, after Toru Miyamoto, a Lower House member of the opposition Japanese Communist Party, released a picture of the Cabinet Office’s massive paper shredder. The machine, capable of shredding a 1,000-page document in 40 seconds, curiously destroyed the 800-page guest list for the cherry blossom viewing party hosted in April by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — on the same day Miyamoto had asked for the document’s release.

Abe’s political opponents cried foul, claiming the guest list unfairly rewarded ruling party supporters at taxpayers’ expense. They believed the list had grown too large, leading to budget-busting cost overruns. Similar accusations of favoritism involving the sale of state-owned land to Osaka-based school operator Moritomo Gakuen previously engulfed Abe’s administration.

Mieko Nakabayashi, a Waseda University political science professor and a former Lower House member, wonders…. click to continue reading at The Japan Times

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