Elite Japanese politicians might have different politics, but they're joined by one thing: their love of "Go".

Prime Minister Naoto Kan is no exception. Kan is an avid Go player as well as a Mahjong and Shogi (Japanese chess) player. Before entering political office, Kan even developed and patented a machine to crunch numbers for Mahjong's complex scoring.

According to a report in Japan's Shuukan Post, Prime Minister stays up all night playing Go online β€” which is why he sleeps through Japanese Diet sessions during the day.

Apparently, Kan's wife was worried about her husband's whereabouts one night and found him in his study. She thought he was reading a book, but he was playing Go on the internet.


Rival politician Ichiro Ozawa is said to the best Go player in Japanese politics. Kan's rampant online gaming is believed to be the result of losing to Ozawa in Go. (Kan, however, defeated Ozawa at the polls.) Whether it be Go or elections, politicians cannot stand losing.

The Shuukan Post is hardly The Daily Yomiuri, but late games of online Go seem far more believable than, say, wanting the country's youth to drink cute booze.


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