The True Self of Ministry of Finance Official Revealed: Drunkenly Punching and Kicking Passengers | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The True Self of Ministry of Finance Official Revealed: Drunkenly Punching and Kicking Passengers

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Ono was expected to be a future head of the company. He was well-liked by his colleagues. …… (Image: Jiji Press)

A police officer responded to a 110 call that a male suspect was in the car.

Police officers responding to a 110 call took custody of a man who was being held down by station staff. He appeared to be very drunk, and his Loretz was in doubt. The man was an elite bureaucrat in the Ministry of Finance who was regarded as a “future candidate for the position of administrative vice minister (head of each ministry).       

        On May 20, just after midnight, Heihachiro Ono, 56, a director-general of the Ministry of Finance, was arrested on suspicion of assault. Heihachiro Ono became agitated when he was warned by another passenger on the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line that he had bumped into him. He was reportedly punched, kicked, and otherwise assaulted a passenger on the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line.

          Ono was on his way home and was in a drunken state. He told the police, “I don’t remember,” and denied the charges. He did not appear to run away immediately after his arrest, and he was very open to being questioned.

        Normally, an executive at the level of general councilor would return home in an official car. However, on the day of the incident, he had a private meeting, so his official car was sent home first. He took the train home just before the last train.

Reputation among colleagues and juniors

       Ono entered the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo after graduating from Kumamoto High School, Kumamoto Prefecture’s top preparatory school, and joined the then Ministry of Finance in April 1989. He began his career in the General Affairs Division of the Budget Bureau, in charge of budgeting, and later served as Director of the National Property Planning Division of the Financial Bureau and Director of the General Affairs Division of the Taxation Bureau.

       He was very well received by his co-workers and junior staff because he had a calm personality and never raised his voice. “I have never heard of any major mistakes at work. He certainly liked to drink and was frequently seen at the bar, but I never saw him in a bad drunken mood. And I’ve never seen him assault a passenger.” (Ministry of Finance official).

       Why did the suspect Ono get into trouble? The aforementioned Ministry of Finance official speculates that “it may have something to do with the personnel changes made last year.

    Mr. Ono was appointed to the post of Director-General in July of last year. This is a director-level post, and many past administrative vice-ministers have held this position. It is considered a ‘gateway to success,’ and it is clear that high expectations are placed on Mr. Ono.

         However, the work is quite hard, including policy coordination with the Bank of Japan and dealing with the Diet. Moreover, the “aggressive fiscal faction” and the “fiscal reconstruction faction” are now bitterly opposed within the LDP, and there is even a lot of shouting at the meetings. Mr. Ono was working hard as a coordinator. It is not difficult to imagine the considerable stress he must have been under.

      In response to the incident, Minister of Finance Shunichi Suzuki said, “I am deeply sorry. I would like to apologize. Ono was removed from his position as Deputy Director-General and assigned to the Minister’s Secretariat. He has now been released and is said to be at home cooperating with the investigation.”

  • Photo Jiji Press

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