Japan’s Treacherous Bureaucrats

La cinglante défaite subie par le parti libéral-démocrate (PLD) du Premier ministre Shinzo Abe lors des récentes élections sénatoriales a été largement commentée par les médias japonais. Mais avec un peu de recul, on peut se rendre compte que le véritable vainqueur n’est ni le parti démocrate du Japon (PDJ), ni les électeurs. Non, ce sont les bureaucrates qui fêtent leur victoire.

L’objectif de ces mandarins retranchés est de bloquer le projet de réforme de la fonction publique souhaitée par le Premier ministre, afin de prévenir le parachutage des fonctionnaires dans des emplois lucratifs une fois en retraite, dans des entreprises publiques et privées qu’ils étaient auparavant chargés de réglementer. Les bureaucrates veulent aussi empêcher le dé8emantèlement et la privatisation d’un de leurs fiefs principaux, l’Agence de la sécurité sociale. Dans ce but, ils se sont alliés au PDJ, de manière apparente du moins, parce que celui-ci a proposé de fusionner les services de la sécurité sociale avec ceux du Trésor public, une manœuvre qui garantirait des postes gouvernementaux aux anciens employés de la sécurité sociale.

Le consensus veut que la déroute électorale du PLD soit essentiellement due à la mauvaise gestion par Abe du problème des fonds de pension, et en particulier au fait qu’il ait avoué en décembre dernier la « disparition » de 50 millions de dossiers de retraite. Cet aveu suivait une série quasi ininterrompue de scandales mineurs concernant la malversation de fonds politiques, qui ont conduit à la démission de deux ministres et au suicide d’un autre.

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