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The Japanese justice minister today [22 November] bowed to pressure to resign after being accused of making light of the parliamentary process when he remarked how “easy” his job was.

Minoru Yanagida, an upper house member for the Democratic party of Japan, had initially resisted calls to step down amid criticism of a speech he had given to supporters in his Hiroshima constituency. In it, he said that “being justice minister is easy as I only have to remember two phrases, either of which I can use in parliament whenever I'm stuck for an answer”.

He said his two stock answers were: “‘I will not comment on specific cases’ and ‘We are dealing with the matter in line with the law and evidence’.” [Guardian]
The situation is, of course, entirely different in this country. Stock answers are wheeled out by departmental spokesmen instead.

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