Jun 14th, 2015
Leaders' Drives: Meet Yoshiro Mori, Japan’s very own Francis Drake…
Words: Gavin Newsham
Make no mistake, golf is a serious business. At 1.50pm on February 9, 2001, the 6,900-ton American nuclear submarine USS Greeneville surfaced off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii and accidentally rammed the Japanese fishing trawler, Ehime Maru. Nine people lost their lives.
With a major international incident looming, officials were dispatched to inform the Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshiro Mori, of the terrible disaster. He was found playing golf at a country club near Yohohama. Despite the urgency of the situation, it would be four hours before he’d return to Tokyo to deal with the matter.
Later, as criticism of his apparent apathy mounted, a spokesman for Mori explained that the premier had only continued with his game as there was a bet to be settled, although he urged the wager was for a bar of chocolate and not money. “The intention was to make the game more interesting,” the aide explained. “It’s not as if we’re thinking about winning a large number of games and making a business out of it,” he added.