There are videos that are weird and Japanese, and then there are videos that
are even weird for the Japanese.
As far as political scandals go, the mystery following Ryutaro Nonomura was pretty dull. Mr. Nonomura is an assemblyman in Hyogo Prefecture (so, like a state politician in the US) who visited a hot springs by long-distance rail travel 106 times last year, racking up $30,000 in expenses. He also didn't keep any receipts. Sure, that's a little funny and it raises a few eyebrows, but no politician worth their salt would get taken down by visiting a spa too many times. All they'd have to do is keep calm, make up a reason they go so often (a bad back, that's a good one), and don't get photographed there with a prostitute. Oh yeah, and remember not to randomly start sobbing and screaming "You don't understand! I want to change this society!" because that will look a little odd and probably go viral. Check below for a transcript.
Here's some of what Nonomura is saying in the video, according to the Washington Post:
“[Crying] . . . I finally became an assembly member . . . [crying] . . . with the sole purpose of changing society,” he bawled during the three-hour Kobe press conference, according to the Japan Times. “[Crying] . . . This Japan . . . [crying] . . . I want to change this society… [crying] . . . I have staked my life . . . [crying] . . . Don’t you understand?”
The Hyogo Prefecture statesman added, emphatically, “I’m putting my life on the line!”
See, before I didn't care, and now I am curious. What the hell is Nonomura doing at those hot springs? He even gets $5,000 a month for expenses, which would have covered the springs if he had a good explanation (or receipts). Most importantly, if he's spending so much time soaking in hot springs, why isn't he more relaxed?
He did come close to offering one explanation, according to Rocket News, which was that visiting the springs was (maybe) research related to the problem of Japan getting older: “I went to all the places [claimed], aging population isn’t only a problem in our prefecture!”
Maybe that guy should try the beach.
(by Johnny McNulty)