Japan fired its navy chief Friday and slapped 87 other defense officials with pay cuts and other penalties over a series of scandals and a deadly collision between a destroyer and a fishing boat. Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba said he was also taking a two-month pay cut as part of disciplinary measures aimed at restoring public trust in his ministry, which has faced allegations of incompetence and negligence. Topping the list of ministry troubles has been a leak of sensitive missile data last year that led to a naval officer’s indictment, and a collision last month between a destroyer and a tuna trawler that left two fishermen presumed dead.
“Well all I can say is, ‘Good on yer, Minister,’” says maritime expert Tim Colton:
Given the disarray and totally screwed-up condition of our own Navy, and scaling up on a ship-for-ship basis, would it not be refreshing if our own Defense Secretary were to fire or otherwise discipline a couple of hundred assorted incompetent admirals … ? Nobody is ever held responsible for anything any more.
Hear hear. My list of proposed pink slips:
* Coast Guard acquisitions chief Gary Blore
* Coast Guard public affairs perp Jim McPherson
* Air Force Chief of Staff Michael Moseley and everyone on his speed dial
* Every admiral associated with the DDG-1000 “battleship” program
* The team of rejects who designed the internal spaces on the Littoral Combat Ship
* The top half of Marine Corps Combat Development Command
* The jackass who first uttered the phrase, “I got it! Let’s bomb Somalia!”