Japan A Scandal That Will Not Die

Despite loose ethics, the Recruit fiasco may topple Takeshita

He licked his lips. He sipped water. His ashen face looked aged. The strain was evident as Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita faced his challengers in the Diet. The embattled Japanese leader made a series of extraordinary admissions to a special session of the Diet budget committee. Last October Takeshita flatly denied any connection to the burgeoning scandal that has linked dozens of Japanese politicians and bureaucrats to a money-and-favor game played by the Recruit Co., a $3.25 billion information-and-real-estate conglomerate. But last week Takeshita conceded that over the years he and others close to him received nearly $1 million from Recruit....

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