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‘Competent bureaucrat’ Yanase calm but unconvincing

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A handbook for civil servants gives copious, detailed instructions on how to speak and act in the Diet and local assemblies.

When dismissing a legislator’s request, for instance, the correct way to respond is to say “kenkyu shimasu” (I will study the matter), but not “kento shimasu” (I will consider it). The handbook also warns against reacting to any provocation from opposition party members, and advises to always appear meek and solemn in the Diet.

The handbook expects civil servants to “remain unruffled and conduct themselves with tact,” even when caught in a sticky situation.

Tadao Yanase, a former executive secretary to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, testified in the Diet as........

© The Asahi Shimbun