Japanese police raided the apartment of a provincial politician who became on Internet sensation after he was filmed crying like a toddler when confronted about his alleged misuse of public funds. Media hordes gathered outside Ryutaro Nonomura’s apartment complex near the western city of Kobe as authorities searched for evidence linked to the corruption claims. Elected to the local assembly in 2011, Nonomura is suspected of misusing eight million yen ($80,000) that he said was spent on hundreds of visits to resorts and other venues for work-related events, but he could not produce receipts, local media said. (read more on uk. news)
I don’t know about this guy. Ryutaro Nonomura was initially accused of misusing approximately $30K USD on 195 trips, most of which were related to Kinosaki onsen resort. After this issue surfaced, Nonomura held a press conference in an attempt to explain how the money was spent. Visits to these resorts themselves are not illegal because politicians often go to certain places and events for their political activities..but I don’t understand why he needed to go to this specific Onsen (hot spring) report more than 100 times. When asked whom he was seeing, Nonomura refused to name the person he was seeing and it raised more suspicion.
But now things are more serious as Nonomura’s alleged misused funds are reported to be approximately $80,000. That is a lot of money. During the conference that was aired on TV live, Nonomura suddenly started to cry and scream like a small child while banging on the desk to assert his innocence. But when asked, ” Why did you take “green carriage” instead of regular seats, he said “Because I wanted to be well rested upon arrival so I can do my work.” Reported again asked, “What was the main purpose of these visits? Do you have receipts?” Nonomura continued to make incoherent excuses saying that “I don’t remember.”
I don’t remember…he basically stole taxpayer’s money but he doesn’t remember. I am sure that he was under enormous pressure during the conference so he snapped. But his behavior is completely unacceptable and it is good that he resigned from his post. Unfortunately corruption has been a serious issue with Japanese politics, as it is with politics anywhere. So I am not sure whether Nonomura is being singled out for this case but he may face criminal charges at this point due to the amount of misspent funding. Apparently he said he would pay back the money he had spent on these trips but if he was really doing political activities during his trip, he should continue to assert that he didn’t do anything wrong and should try to retrieve receipts..
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