Japan’s Political Suicides

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WASHINGTON — Two recent suicides have shaken the political landscape of Japan in the weeks approaching the first legislative election during the tenure of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The elections for Japan’s upper legislative house are set for July 22, and the suicides, apparently related to an investigation into a bid-rigging scandal, reflect Japanese culture’s emphasis on avoiding shame and dishonor. Toshikatsu Matsuoka, Japan’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestryand Fisheries reportedly hung himself on May 28, and Shinichi Yamazaki,a former business executive, is said to have leapt to his death fromhis apartment a day later. Both men are believed to have […]

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