Expose Roils Japanese Politics

Expose Roils Japanese Politics

It has never been a secret that Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s father was ayakuza, or that his gangster father hailed from a social underclass that has often been discriminated against in past years. Newspaper and magazine articles have alluded to this without making much of an issue of it -- until now.

The mayor, who aspires to turn his regional-based political party into a national force, went ballistic recently over a magazine article that he said delved unfairly into his family’s past using terms that in other countries might ban as “hate speech” on the cover. It was the first article in the Shukan Asahi magazine in what was to be a four-part exposé of his background.

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