Japanese and bribery

Among my catch-up posts, I wanted to say something about the recent Sunday Times of London article on how Japanese officials went around bribing Third World country committee voters to get them to vote Japan’s way on the whaling issue.

I posted sometime last year how the Japanese have also been doing this in Washington, particularly whenever the issues of the “comfort women” and the prisoner-of-war atrocities come up in Congress. [Harper’s link here.] The Japanese have quite a lobbying operation going on on the Hill, and of course I am defining lobbying as a form of bribery when scads of money begin moving around. (To paraphrase Justice John Paul Stevens: Money isn’t speech. Money is property. Speech is speech.)

The raunchiest revelation is that these guys went in and bought prostitute’s services for some of the committee members as well. What is it with the Japanese men and paid-for-sex as an item in a negotiation? They used to do the same thing with our navy men in the early years of the opening to the West. It’s right up there with getting wasted on sake.