Back in 1979, Japan’s then-Okurasho (Finance Ministry) came under severe public criticism and was dubbed “Kohi Tengoku” (literally, “public funds heaven.”)

The expression referred to the lavish wining and dining its senior officials were treated to at upscale restaurants and bars–all at taxpayers’ expense–by officials of various public corporations and government ministries and agencies, every time the Finance Ministry finalized its new budgetary and personnel affairs plans.

Hundreds of thousands of yen would be spent in one night. Finance Ministry officials were dubbed “the lords of Akasaka” after Tokyo’s posh nightlife district.

Two decades later, in 1998, Finance Ministry officials were found to have been entertained repeatedly by bank executives at “shabu-shabu” hot pot restaurants that featured female servers who wore no underwear–hence the term “no-pan shabu-shabu scandal.”

This became the cue for the Finance Ministry to be split into the Financial Services Agency and the ministry proper, the Japanese name of which was changed from Okurasho to Zaimusho.

It appears as if this ministry is destined to cause a scandal every 20 years.

The latest is at least alcohol and sex-free. But since the doctoring of…