The case of what was arguably Japan’s weirdest political scandal finally comes to a close.
Only 6 July in Kobe District Court, presiding judge Takeshi Samo ruled that Ryutaro Nonomura was guilty of defrauding his prefecture of 9.13 million yen (US$90,500) and falsifying official documents. Nonomura was handed a four-year suspended sentence on a three-year prison sentence.
This means that he must refrain from running for and winning prefectural assembly again, then bankrupting himself on a failed mayoral campaign again, and finally defrauding his government again for another four years tops or he’ll have to go to prison for three whole years.
▼ Nonomura’s various looks during his scandal, admittedly, number three is kind of cool
よっちゃん@北海道仕様のコスモに乗り換え (@yC_Tu555) July 06, 2016
While giving his verdict, Judge Samo dismissed Nonomura’s apparent bout of severe amnesia during the trial causing him to answer “I don’t remember” to many of the questions asked of him. He also stopped very short of accusing the former assemblyman of perjury which many in the media suspected after Nonomura’s hazy memory galvanized to crystal-clear perfection while recalling his harsh interrogation by police.
Nevertheless, Judge Samo showed leniency on Nonomura, because I think we all can agree he has paid his debt to society. Certainly not the first nor last corrupt politician, Nonomura went through his tribulations in such a spectacular fashion that for the past two years it’d be hard for any Japanese person to forget how an elected official can easily abuse their authority.
▼ Even during his sentencing, Nonomura was conspicuously silent with new glasses and holding a mysterious white paper bag.
産経ニュースＷＥＳＴ (@SankeiNews_WEST) July 06, 2016
And then there’s the comedic value of everything from Nonomura’s legendary press conference which made “crying conference” a part of the Japanese lexicon to the cupping of the ear and later worm-like bending to avoid cupping his ear that captured the imaginations of the nation.
おもろい動画です！ (@fasukeraxuku) June 16, 2016
However, now that his legal matters have come to a close, someone in show business really ought to help Ryutaro Nonomura get on the straight and narrow on TV screens across Japan. I know I’d tune in just to watch this guy eat an extra-value meal at McDonald’s, which is more than I could say for 99.9999999 percent of the world’s population.
With the right guidance, I’m confident he could easily go from a national shame to a national treasure. He’d be like Japan’s Angelina Jolie.