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Kurokawa’s resignation does not let Abe off the hook for fiasco

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Hiromu Kurokawa, the chief of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office, handed in his resignation on May 21 amid a public uproar over legislation to extend the legal retirement ages of top public prosecutors like him.

Kurokawa was forced to step down after the Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine reported that he played mah-jongg in early May with two newspaper reporters and another individual despite the state of emergency to contain the new coronavirus outbreak. The emergency declaration urges many businesses to voluntarily suspend operations and people to stay at home as much as possible.

When questioned by the Justice Ministry about the magazine article, Kurokawa admitted to wagering money at those mah-jongg sessions, held at the home of a Sankei Shimbun reporter.

Kurokawa fully deserves to face harsh criticism and lose his job since his actions have made a mockery of the ethical standards for public prosecutors, who prosecute criminal defendants and play vital roles in criminal justice.

An Asahi Shimbun male employee who covered Kurokawa while working as a reporter participated in some mah-jongg sessions with Kurokawa.

The Asahi Shimbun published a report on its investigation into the matter and apologized in its May 22 morning edition.........

© The Asahi Shimbun