Former prime minister Koizumi has plunged into the dark side of solar power


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The closing ceremony left an Olympic-sized hole in my heart.

Despite the many dramatic athlete stories unfolding over seventeen days, my Olympic spirit ironically kept me from going out for a celebratory (or consolation) drink in defiance of the national state of emergency. (The record increase in COVID-19 cases for several consecutive days has also been effective in keeping me indoors.)

Media outside the Diet members office building housing the Komeito party members.

Incidentally, there was a remarkable event in Nagatacho (where the National Diet is located) that was not widely reported during the Olympics.

The Special Investigation Unit of the Tokyo District Prosecutor’s Office raided the offices of Diet members from the Komeito party. Such a raid by the prosecution is very unconventional, even during a period when the Diet has already been adjourned.

The case concerns a secretary of the Komeito Party, who is suspected of having violated the law on lending money by acting as an unregistered intermediary for loans from a financial institution affiliated with the government in connection with a loan fraud case in which the chairman of solar energy company Techno System and others were indicted.

Unlike the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Komeito Party has strict internal controls, so a secretary is unlikely to act alone without the approval of Diet members.

The prosecution probably had its objective elsewhere, but suspicious Techno System chairman Naoyuki Ikuta had apparently flaunted his association with politicians and exploited them for commercial gain.

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, center back.

The ultimate standard bearer for his company was former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

The Nikkei Shimbun last year published two “infomercials” (advertisements disguised as news articles) featuring a dialogue between Ikuta and the former prime minister, in which Koizumi, who is an anti-nuclear advocate, praised him. Ikuta without reservation.

“Your job has a bright future, Ikuta. I hope you will continue to do your best, ”Koizumi said in the announcement.

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Additionally, Koizumi’s eldest son, Kotaro Koizumi, appeared in a Techno System commercial. “Solar money” continued to flow for the Koizumi family.

It also put Shinjiro Koizumi, Minister of the Environment and Kotaro’s younger brother, in a precarious position. With an aversion to nuclear power plants, he seized every opportunity to promote solar energy production.

Massive solar farms on public and semi-public lands have created controversy.

The Koizumi family’s publicity effect was so powerful that financial institutions, including regional banks, flocked to lend large sums to projects that had no substance, falling head over heels for the “energy scam.” solar ”. The Koizumi family will no doubt find it difficult to exonerate themselves from the role they played.

Solar power has been put on a pedestal as the ultimate clean energy source and the best solution to the SDGs, but all the good news needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.


(Read the Sankei Shimbun report in Japanese at this link.)

Author: Masato Inui, Editor-in-Chief of Sankei Shimbun

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