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    All in a day’s work

    So. You know when your copy of Bruce Bawer’s new book has just come from Amazon and you’re all like, Cool! I shall recline languourously on the sofa and drink tea and eat madeleines and read about what happened While Europe Slept , and Life is like, Wait a minute, there–you have people at the OFFICE who are DEPENDING on you to work LATE, and you’re like, Wah! and Life is like, Look, bitch–no GAINFUL without EMPLOYMENT…?

    Yeah, me too.

    I’m sure it’ll be great when I get to it, possibly this weekend when Atsushi’s home again and we can do the tea thing together.

    Of course, excess employment is not everyone’s problem right now. A prominent DPJ member has resigned over the whole e-mail flap:

    Following its admission that what it claimed to be an explosive e-mail was inauthentic, the Democratic Party of Japan announced Tuesday one of its executives had resigned from his post as the party publicly apologized for the accusation made by a party lawmaker about a son of the Liberal Democratic Party’s secretary general.

    DPJ Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Yoshihiko Noda resigned Tuesday. He told the party’s executive committee he made the decision to step down from his post in order to take responsibility for giving lawmaker Hisayasu Nagata the green light to make an allegation that turned out to be false and which resulted in a nearly two-week-long dispute that stalled other Diet business.

    Nagata, meanwhile, was suspended from the party for six months. He was also dismissed as vice chairman of the party’s Diet Affairs Committee and director of the House of Representatives Financial Affairs Committee.

    An interesting cultural point is made by DPJ leader Seiji Maehara’s reaction:

    “Though I’ve decided to continue in my position and make a fresh start for the party, somebody must take responsibility so I had to let the Diet affairs chief, whom I trust most, go,” Maehara said.

    At least he stopped short of “This hurts me more than it hurts you, Yoshi-kun.”

    Another resignation that may bode well for us JAL fliers was announced today:

    JAL officially announced on 1 March that JAL Group CED Toshiyuki Shinmachi (63) will accept responsibility for the corporation’s internal conflicts, step down from his post and assume the position of Chairman of the Board, which carries no right to representation; he will be succeeded as president by Haruka Nishimatsu (58). At a press conference, Shinmachi explained the reason for his stepping down: “We must attend to the situation sooner rather than later to recover [the public’s] trust.”

    Nishimatsu said, “The JAL Group is in danger of not surviving. I want to get the board and our employees on the same page in order to recover [the public’s] trust.”

    The Mainichi has an English report here.

    Shinmachi apparently considered pulling a Maehara:

    The president of the holding company of the Japan Airlines (JAL) group, Toshiyuki Shinmachi, is poised to step down to settle internal strife that began after four executives demanded he and two other top executives resign to take responsibility for the company’s poor performance, company officials said.

    Vice President Katsuo Haneda and Senior Managing Director Hidekazu Nishizuka, who had been urged by the four executives to step down, will also leave their positions, while the company will apparently demand that at least one of the four rebel executives resign.

    Shinmachi had initially intended to propose that both of the two top executives and the rebels should be punished to take responsibility for the internal strife while he remained as president for now.

    We’ll see what happens, of course. Luckily this is all anticipatory. Unlike, say, JR West, JAL has lost trust not because of a horrifying fatal accident but because of debate and a series of bad-PR warnings from the JAA and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.

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