27 September 2005

Gushy New Pol Wins Jackpot, Catches Flak

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party won so many Diet seats in the recent election that they had to exhaust their proportional representation lists in the Kanto area. A gushy, 26-year-old political novice was one of the lucky beneficiaries. And now he's catching a lot of flak from his new colleagues for gawking publicly at all his new perks. Mainichi Shimbun has more.
According to Shukan Bunshun (9/29), the former brokerage worker's entrance into politics was inspired by, in his own words, "a yearning like girls have to become idol singers."

Bunshun says that Sugimura was surfing the Net at work one day a few months back and noticed that the LDP was advertising for candidates to run in upcoming elections.

"Oh wow. Oh boy. They're looking for candidates. Oh wow, wow, wow. Jeepers," Sugimura recalls his reaction for Shukan Bunshun.

Sugimura promptly whipped out an essay in about half an hour, faxed off an application form and received an endorsement certificate from the ruling party, which he proudly boasted would become a family heirloom for centuries.

When Sugimura was listed in 35th position on the LDP's proportional representation ticket for the Minami Kanto block, nobody dreamed he'd actually get into office. Sugimura told reporters his campaign consisted of a single speech and he had no campaign office or posters. But the LDP won the election in a landslide, carrying 26 of those listed above him to single-seat victories, which raised Sugimura further and further up the LDP ticket and gave him the seat that sparked such excitement for both him and reporters.

But, all good things must come to an end. Though Sugimura can be comforted in the knowledge that, until the next election at least, he's going to be showered with a whole truckload of creature comforts, LDP honchos are furious at his over-enthusiastic reaction to becoming a member of the government. LDP Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe has issued a strict order to Sugimura to "shut up."

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