Former Swimsuit Model Goes To War With Japan's Fiscal Crisis


Meet Renho.

The 42-year-old politician and ex-swimsuit model is going after tech-industry pork, which she sees as the cause of Japan’s fiscal crisis, according to The Japan Times.

Her big stand came last November when she questioned a $300 million project to ensure Japan had the world’s fastest super computer. That’s near blasphemy in a country that prides itself on being the home of the Walkman.

In an interview, she defended her comment by saying she does want Japan to have fast supercomputers, but only for its economic benefit and not as a matter of pride:

I think it was wrong to claim that Japan could be No. 1 when it was known that it couldn’t. Furthermore, I was expecting bureaucrats to say something like, “(With the supercomputers), we would be able to create tailor-made cancer drugs,” or “We would be able to predict earthquakes more quickly than any other nation,” or “We would be able to prevent tsunami from affecting people in Indonesia because we would be giving tsunami warnings beforehand. That way, we would be able to contribute globally.”

But instead, all they said was: “(The project is) for a dream.”

Well, I wish this country had a ¥30-billion budget just “for a dream.”

I wouldn’t have asked that question if we were living in the rapid economic growth era (of the 1960s), during which our revenue rose every year by ¥1 trillion.

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