Just when you thought “fake news” was only about those dastardly Russians hiding under every bed, Japan comes out and admits that 40% of its economic data is bogus. That’s right, a report from Japan’s Internal Affairs Ministry this week reveals that 22 of the 56 key economic statistics reported by the government are faulty and “that irregularities in 21 of the 22 sets amount to violations of the statistics law.”
The story is set to become yet another political scandal plaguing the beleaguered reign of Prime Minister Abe. Not only did the government’s use of the faulty statistics lead to an underpayment of unemployment benefits, but, worse yet (according to opposition members in the Japanese Diet), the news is threatening to deliver a serious blow to Japan’s global reputation.
“There is no telling how far the impact has spread,” one senior BOJ official has ominously warned.
But fret not, dear Japanese. This scandal doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd at all. In fact, quite the contrary. It’s a well-known fact that every nation in the world fudges the numbers and cooks the books to make things seem rosier than they really are….