"PM claims five-knuckle shuffle, not wedlock, helps secure grip on power"
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's legendary lewdness was on show once again at a recent formal meeting for the vice-ministers of all the national government ministries and agencies, according to Shukan Gendai (6/24).
Just about anybody with a connection to Japanese politics is well aware of the prime minister's propensity for profanity, the men's weekly says.
He got his chance to display his dirtiness during the meeting with vice-ministers after Health Vice Minister Masao Akamatsu spoke to the group about how he had spent the previous day handing out free condoms as part of an AIDS awareness campaign.
Koizumi butted in on Akamatsu's speech, pointing out the irony of the closeness between the Japanese pronunciation of condom -- kondomu -- and the phrase "kondo umu," which means to "give birth soon."
Koizumi continued with what he seems to have thought was a bit of fetus filter fun.
"You know they used to call them 'hygiene sacks?'" Shukan Gendai quotes the prime minister telling the much younger vice minister. "We used to blow them up and play with them like they were balloons."
Koizumi, the men's weekly says, then proceeded to spend about 30 minutes telling jokes about condoms while the mostly male vice-ministers sat and listened. Economy Vice Minister Akira Matsu, the only woman present at the meeting, remained silent throughout.
Once he'd finished bouncing his rubber jokes off the vice-ministers, Koizumi turned his attention to dirty diplomacy related to former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who the premier had met in the days just prior to the meeting.
"(Primakov) got married to a woman more than 20 years younger than him. He says that's what makes him so powerful," the magazine quotes bachelor Koizumi saying. "Now, in my case, my power comes from the fact that I HAVEN'T been married for more than 20 years."Political pundits say that Koizumi's crudeness is known throughout Japanese political circles. One Diet member the weekly doesn't name recalls meeting Koizumi not long after he assumed the premiership in April 2001.
"Not long after Koizumi became prime minister, he came over to me and said, 'Gee, you're lucky. You're free. Ever since I've become prime minister, all I've been able to do is this.' He was doing a gesture for masturbation. I was a little shocked. It was, after all, the prime minister doing that," the Diet member tells Shukan Gendai.
Political commentator Harumi Arima agrees.
"Koizumi has been saying that his manhood barely functions anymore and that he urgently wants to use it," Arima tells Shukan Gendai. "Koizumi is due to retire in September and there're rumors flying everywhere that he will get married soon after leaving the post, with all sorts of probing around to try and work out who his new bride will be." (By Ryann Connell)