Weird Golf Story of the Week.
TOKYO – A former top defence official caught in a scandal that could derail Japan’s role in U.S.-led anti-terrorism operations said it was wrong to accept golf rounds and gifts from a defence contractor, but denied doing favours in return.
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is struggling to enact a bill to enable Japan’s navy to keep providing fuel for U.S. and other ships patrolling the Indian Ocean.
But he looks sure to miss a Nov. 1 deadline, when current legislation expires.
Former Vice Defence Minister Takemasa Moriya, testifying under oath in parliament, also said an ex-defence minister had been present once when he was wined and dined by the company executive, but he declined to identify the politician.
Opposition parties, which control parliament’s upper house and can delay legislation, have vowed to vote against the mission and hope to use the latest scandal to boost voter opposition to its extension and prompt an early general election.
So golf is threatening to bring down a government. It won’t be the first time. One of the complaints that led to the usurpation of Mary, Queen of Scots, was that she was playing golf when she should have been mourning the demise of her husband.