I saw this last night on the news, and was simply astonished. Ryutaro Nonomura is a local lawmaker in the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly (Hyogo encompasses Kobe and the surrounding vicinity). In the past year, he has visited various hot springs in western Japan more than 195 times, all on the public dime, at a cost of more than 3 million yen ($30,000) to local taxpayers. This was his explanation of his misuse of public funds (partial translation via the Japan Times below the video):
“(Crying) . . . I finally became an assembly member . . . (crying) . . . with the sole purpose of changing society,” he shrieked during the three-hour press conference in Kobe, the prefectural capital of Hyogo.
“(Crying) . . . This Japan . . . (crying) . . . I want to change this society (crying) . . . I have staked my life . . . (crying) . . . Don’t you understand?”
Of course, despite spending more than three hours crying, wailing, and pounding the table with his fist, he failed to adequately explain why the trips were necessary, or why the government should have to pay for them. No one appears to have bought Ryutaro Nonomura’s tears, and he is now effectively the laughingstock of the nation. In less than 24 hours, this video alone has received nearly 2 million hits on YouTube, as a nation gapes in wonder at his infantile display.
The only comparable display I have ever seen was Ron Burgundy wailing after the loss of his dog.
Of course, Anchorman was just a movie.