Japan’s worst ethics row since 1998 highlights government hubris

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TOKYO — The story is a familiar one: The child of a powerful political figure is seen tapping their parents’ clout to achieve professional success, not unlike the allegations regarding Hunter Biden’s foreign contracts that had clouded the campaign of now U.S. President Joe Biden.

But unlike the Biden scandal, in which no evidence of illegal activity has been made public, the growing wining-and-dining scandal in Japan centered on Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s eldest son has turned into a major national debate about government ethics, which now threatens to derail some of Suga’s top policy concerns.

The employer of Suga’s son, satellite broadcaster Tohokushinsha Film, treated 13 bureaucrats mainly from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to lavish dinners and other outings worth 600,00 yen ($5,700), a ministry probe has found. The younger Suga attended 21 of these…

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