Saturday, September 15, 2012
Japan Financial Services Minister Found Dead
Japan financial services minister found dead
By Michiyo Nakamoto and Mure Dickie, Financial Times
September 11, 2012 -- Updated 1122 GMT (1922 HKT)
Japanese Financial Services Minister Tadahiro Matsushita speaks at the prime minister's official residence on June 4.
Apparent suicide could complicate matters for ruling coalition
Matsushita was from coalition's junior partner, the People's New party
He dies hours before he was due to testify to parliamentary committee
He faced allegations he received donations from companies awarded contracts
Tokyo (Financial Times) -- Japan's financial services minister was found dead at his home on Monday in what police suspect was a suicide.
Tadahiro Matsushita, 73, who was Japan's third Financial Services Agency minister in three years, had been in his position for just three months, following a cabinet reshuffle in June by Yoshihiko Noda, prime minister.
Matsushita's apparent suicide could further complicate matters for a ruling coalition battered by internal divisions and parliamentary gridlock.
On Monday, Noda visited the hospital where Matsushita's body was taken and told reporters he was "very surprised at the sad news."
Matsushita was from the coalition's junior partner, the People's New party, which has filled the FSA post since the ruling Democratic party came to power in 2009.
State broadcaster NHK said Matsushita was the first cabinet minister to die in office since the suicide in May 2007 of then agriculture minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka.
The late agriculture minister died hours before he was due to testify to a parliamentary committee investigating allegations he received donations from companies awarded contracts by a government affiliate.
Matsushita had not been linked to any scandal but his death comes at a difficult time for Noda's administration. The ruling Democratic Party of Japan has suffered multiple defections in recent months and the prime minister is being challenged by three Diet colleagues in a leadership election.
Exodus of lawmakers thins government's majority
While Noda is seen as almost certain to win the vote later this month, his administration is unpopular and faces heavy pressure from opposition groups that have been using their control of the Diet's upper house to block legislation in an effort to force an early election.
Takao Toshikawa, editor of political newsletter Insideline, said Matsushita's death did not appear to be related to politics and was not likely to have any impact on Mr Noda's government.
The tiny PNP has always been a very junior party to the DPJ in office and was further weakened by a split in April.
Matsushita's death came as a shock to acquaintances who said he had been unwell but could think of no reason for him to commit suicide.
"He was a very passionate person who would pursue matters single-mindedly," said Yuji Katagiri, a former member of the PNP who worked with Matsushita.
Matsushita's tenure at the FSA coincided with the culmination of a widespread insider trading investigation, which led to fines against several financial institutions and the mass resignation of top executives at Nomura, including its chief executive officer.
The minister was also responsible for overseeing Japan Post, the partially privatized postal services group, which includes the nation's largest bank and largest insurance company.
AK Note: Ben Fulford writes from Japan about this death:
Tadahiro Matsushita, Japan's Finance Minister, was murdered Monday in an attempt by the cabal to extort more money out of Japan. In addition, upcoming Chinese leader Xi Jinping has vanished from public view after shunning a meeting with Hillary Clinton and refusing to finance her cabal last week. Furthermore, Neil Keenan and his family have all been recently hit by a nasty virus that we hear was spread by Italian agents working for former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Also last week NATO went on full military alert and was planning to attack Syria and provoke war with China and Russia before it was stopped by a UK RAF whistleblower who alerted colleagues at the Pentagon, according to both MI5 and CIA sources. All of these incidents are part of the final death throes of the Satanic cabal that was attempting to install a fascist world government after starting World War 3.