tip off

Joh, Japanese developers and communist hacks

Interested to read your piece about the Penthouse article on Joh and the Iwasaki land deal in Yeppoon. I was working as a journo in Rockhampton at the time on the Morning Bulletin. The Iwasaki land deal was the subject of its very own Act of State Parliament, removing any need for the company to seek development approval from the pesky local council.

Joh and old man Iwasaki were very close. So close in fact that we at the local paper discovered Joh’s son-in-law Lester Folker had been appointed a director of the Iwasaki Sangyo company in Australia. On Christmas Day, no less!

When we went to publish, Joh’s press secretary Ken Crooke got on the phone and for the first time in five years of dealing with him, he was actually polite as he tried to convince us it was all old news. No dice, and the story broke. Next time I spoke with Joh on the phone I was greeted with: “I know all about you. You’re a communist..”

Ah, those were the days.

CRIKEY: Some of these old Joh tales are just terrific. If you’ve got one that has never seen the light of day before, send it through to boss@crikey.com.au.

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