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Book Breaks

Book Breaks

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 18:15 - 20:30

          Tokumoto cover

 

This book, published in paperback in May 2018 by Kobunsha Co. in Japanese, tells the story of Kakuei Tanaka (1918-1993), the most popular and controversial politician in postwar Japan. Author and investigative journalist Eiichiro Tokumoto painstakingly researched declassified U.S. diplomatic documents to present him in a harsh new light. Tanaka, born into an impoverished farm family in rural Niigata Prefecture in central Japan, never progressed beyond elementary school, but through backbreaking toil and a combination of extraordinary energy and charm, climbed to the pinnacle of power, becoming Prime Minister of Japan. Nicknamed "computerized bulldozer" for his acumen in achieving results, he was also singled out for the "personification of money politics," and forced to resign after exposure of his questionable fundraising deals. Then in February 1976, a U.S. Senate committee exposed the "Lockheed Scandal," whose cast of players included a multinational corporation, a right-wing fixer, the CIA, a money launderer and a host of others, and Tanaka was arrested on the charge of having accepted 500 million yen in bribes from Lockheed Aircraft Corp.

Tanaka, by turns, was loved, feared and hated. But who was he really? Is there any truth to persisting allegations that the Lockheed scandal was a trumped-up plot by the U.S. government to oust Tanaka? And, despite his reputation as the nation's most corrupt politician of his era, why is he remembered so nostalgically by many Japanese? Based on numerous declassified documents in the U.S. and Great Britain, as well as extensive interviews with Tanaka's friends and foes, Tokumoto's book breaks new ground in highlighting the drama of Tanaka's rise to power and spectacular fall from grace.

Eiichiro Tokumoto was born in Saga Prefecture in Kyushu in 1963. He worked as a correspondent at Reuters and has turned to investigative journalism. Among his books are two works of non-fiction in Japanese, i.e. "Eikoku-Kimitsu-File no Showa-Tenno" ("Emperor Hirohito in Secret British Files") (2007) and "1945 Nihon-Senryo" ("1945: Under the Shadow of the Occupation) (2011), and a novel "Rinkai" ("Going Critical") (2014).

The library committee is offering a cocktail party – "Meet the Author" – starting at 6:15 pm, followed by dinner at 6:45 pm (Menu: Chicken Tomato Stew with Sauerkraut / Seasonal Salad / Bread / Mille crepe / Coffee or Tea). Drinks can be ordered on a cash basis from the bar in the room. Book Break charges are 2,100yen / 3,500yen (members / non-members) per person. The member price is applicable to members' guests.

To FCCJ members: Sign up now at the reception desk (03-3211-3161) or on the FCCJ website. To help us plan proper seating and food preparation, please reserve in advance, preferably by noon of the day of the event. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full.

To non-members: Sign up now at the reception desk by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). Please reserve and pay in advance by Thursday, September 13th. Those without reservations will be turned away once available seats are filled. No refund is available unless event is cancelled for the reasons on our part.

(The talk will be in English. No photography, no filming and no audio-recording are allowed)

 

 

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