Remember back in the 1980s everybody in the West was trying to emulate Japanese business techniques? Kaizen, Kanban, Just in Time, turning up to work once in a while, you name it, Western business tried it.
Of course the Japanese economy fell on hard times and they never did end up owning the entire US West Coast.
But it seems to me that our leaders could still learn something from the way politics is conducted over there - particularly in the UK.
here we have the tale of a lowly agriculture minister, Toshikatsu Matsuoka, who got caught up in some run of the mill bid rigging and spending too much money doing up his office. I mean come on - what public official hasn't spent $50,000 installing a shower every now and then.
But things are done differently in Japan. When this story came out, honest Tosh did the decent thing and topped himself!
Why can't Tony Blair and his cabinet do the same?