DPJ stalwart rips into disaster area leaders over criticism of gov’t’s crisis management


Jun Azumi

TOKYO (majirox news) — Jun Azumi, the chairman of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan’s (DPJ) Diet Affairs Committee, used a July 30 TV Tokyo appearance to launch a scathing attack against criticism made by local government leaders on the DPJ’s handling of the crises, saying “they can say great things because mud doesn’t stick to them.”

Azumi is expected to incur a backlash from the disaster area, including his constituents in the Miyagi House of Representatives district seat he holds, after he blasted local government leaders from the regions most affected by the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

“Local government leaders don’t have to raise taxes,” he told the TV program. “They can sit back and get money from the national government. They can say what they want to say and if things don’t work out they just blame the national government. They can say great things because mud doesn’t stick to them. We’ve got to do something about this system.”

Azumi had earlier expressed empathy toward criticism by prefectural governors and mayors from the Tohoku region hardest hit by the March 11 disasters, saying that directing their criticism against the national government was natural because “there’s nowhere else for them to go.”

He went on to explain the difference in authority given to state governors in the United States and their prefectural equivalent in Japan before unleashing his tirade.

Azumi’s comments are expected to draw fierce criticism. Earlier this month, Ryu Matsumoto was forced to resign from the Minister of Reconstruction post less than a month after he had assumed the position following outrage over his abusive attitude toward the governors of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.

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