Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Photo from Mainichi Shimbun
When politicians who speak up against corruption get stabbed to death in front of their homes, you know you are in trouble. I NEVER trust the press on this sort of thing. We'll see what they end up saying REALLY happened. Japanese politicians are regularly pushed around by the media and gangsters. How can we expect politics to get better if the job of being a politician in Japan is so un-rewarding and so high-risk? There are some politicians who are smart and honest, but most end up becoming merely a mouthpiece for some ministry or local interest. How do you get people to play in a game where the bad guys win?

Governor Tanaka has shown that you can win, for now. I think his case is really important in getting more people to have the courage to stand up. I think the Ishii case is a blow in the other direction. We really need to support good politicians and punish the media when it does not report the truth.

I don't know if the Ishii case is as simple as they say or whether there is more behind it, but I do know for a fact that the media often covers up murders committed by the powerful. I once heard that 50% of deaths reported as suicide are actually murders. The media is often used by politicians and bureaucrats to strip opponents of their public image. I think that the corruption of the mass media in Japan is directly responsible for a great deal of the corruption in Japanese society, but I don't really know how we're going to change this. Blogs?

I'm sorry if this entry sounds like media bashing or if it sounds like I'm questioning the reporting of this particular murder. I have no idea whether the reporting of this incident is correct. It just reminded me to beware of the media on issues like this.

Anyway, Ishii-san, may you rest in peace.

Articles from Mainichi Shimbun:


It is very sad and bad for the future of Japan. There is a strong suspicion that this was an organized crime.
There should be a tremendus uproar from Japanese public, liberal politicians, and journalists. A special commitee for the investigation should be setup. A special prosecutor should be assigned. The society must treat this incident as an extremely grave matter.
I am afraid that main stream Japanese want to put this grave incident under the rug. Many main stream Japanese have their own skeletons. They break laws and take financial advantages illegally. For them, this murdered politician is a nail, which sticks out from the norm of the Japanese society and this incident is inevitable.
I hope that I am wrong, but I know that this is the dark side of Japan, which many in Japan do not want to talk about openly.

This happens not just in Japan and far more than people want to realize. Kudos to you for having the courage to say so out loud. Unfortunately, the bad guys have been winning for eons and will continue to do so for eons.

It looks from the news now that the guy, was a nut who used to show up asking for money at several politicians offices, offering bottles of sake at inflated prices. The Yomiyuri mentioned today that Ishii-san's office had sometimes paid him off to get rid of him but this time he was asking for 2 million yen to pay his overdue rent. When Ishii-san's office refused, the nut hung around neighbourhood, seen by many people, until he got a chance to attack.

My question is, why don't these cases get dealt with through the police before they get out of hand?

See Savage stabbing of Diet member a grudge murder, police believe