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Plagiarism and liars May 23, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Japan, Politics.
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The Honourable Member elected in the Minami-Kanto proportional representation block in last year's general elections, Taizo Sugimura (Liberal Democratic Party), who has received media attention for being the youngest member of the Diet and for his juvenile behaviour during appearances on TV, is again in the news.

This time, he has been accused of plagiarising text from a book written by Keisuke Yoshino, ex-Bousouzoko head and currenly a teacher of Japanese Classics at Yozemi, a famous Japanese cram school, with whom he had met back in November at a seminar discussing the NEET problem, where Yoshino had shared the episode. The plagiarised text appeared on Sugimura's blog, the post in question is already edited to remove the offending parts. 

It is reported he phoned Yozemi and apologized on the 23rd, explaining that he had experienced something similar [to the passage he plagiarised], but may have used similar expressions because he had read Yoshino's book. Yoshino has been interviewed by the media, and has expressed his anger at Sugimura, he said he expected a face-to-face apology.  

The entry has been edited and perhaps Sugimura thought that would be the end of the matter. Well, actually, no (see entry for 10th May). Edited blog entry here. A description of the passage in Yoshino's book is in this article (which also contains comments from Yoshino).

Hooray for Google Cache. Comes in pretty handy at times like this. No doubt lots of people have downloaded the cached copy (I have), lest political pressure is brought to bear on Google to update the cache to remove the evidence. 

Isn't it encouraging to see what morally and ethically upstanding representatives we have in our legislature. (If we hadn't seen enough examples already)

Plagiarising fiction is one thing ("plain" theft) (Harvard sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan's case being a recent example), but plagiarising and passing it off as an episode from one's past, now, that is LYING. Making things up.

Who actually believes Sugimura's explanation that he had virtually the same experience as Yoshino? Without evidence to back his claims, he should be denounced as a liar who is attempting to excuse his original lie with another lie.

So not only is this Honourable Member of our legislature an immature child, he is a thief and a liar. Puts him right at home, then.

It'll really be interesting to see if the LDP will nominate him next time around….. Says something (not very flattering) about the LDP's nominations process. But then, seeing the people being nominated by other parties (Nagata@DPJ for a recent example), it may unfortunately be par for the course.

It seems we get to choose from naive/stupid/gullible youngsters, old school geriatrics still comfortable with doing under-the-counter and you-rub-my-back-I'll-rub-yours type deals, or so called bureaucratic/academic/internationally experienced elites who are prepared to sell the country out to the highest bidder.

And we wonder why there is political apathy in this nation. (Of course apathy is good for those who play the game…) 

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