Friday, November 21, 2008

Iain Banks's Fame Stretches to Japan

I'm thinking here of Complicity rather than his equally wonderful Raw Spirit:

The Washington Post reports that a serial killer in Japan may well be stalking bureaucrats responsible for losing millions of government pension records.

Riddled with stab wounds, the bodies of Takehiko Yamaguchi, 66, and his wife, Michiko, 61, were found Tuesday morning in their home in a Tokyo suburb. Takehiko Yamaguchi was head of the Health and Welfare Ministry's pension division when the national pension system underwent a major record-keeping overhaul in 1985.

On Tuesday evening, Yasuko Yoshihara, 72, wife of former pension bureaucrat Kenji Yoshihara, 76, was stabbed in the chest by a man who came to her home in Tokyo claiming that he worked for a parcel delivery service, police said.

En route to a hospital she said that her husband, who was not at home when the attack occurred, "may be a target and is in danger," according to Japanese news media. Kenji Yoshihara's tenure as head of the Social Insurance Agency in the mid-1980s coincided with the botched computerization of Japan's pension records.

Millions of those records have since gone missing, outraging the elderly and contributing to the resignations of two prime ministers.

This is the sort of behaviour that could give people ideas.

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