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Hi Blog. Continuing with the hate speech theme (and the perpetrators of it in Japan, e.g., Zaitokukai), here is an editorial from the Asahi decrying that support of this group (or at least the unwillingness to disavow or take measures against their spreading public hatred of minorities) appears to reside in the highest levels of government. As the person being cited, Yamatani Eriko, is the nation’s top cop in the current PM Abe Cabinet, this information bodes ill for any legal measures or remedies against hate speech in Japan, something the UN recently advised Japan to adopt.
BTW, this is the same Yamatani Eriko who spoke out against a memorial against Japan’s wartime sexual slavery in Palisades Park, New Jersey (not the Glendale, California monument), including the following “explanation” in two languages on her blog of May 6, 2012 (courtesy of MS), with the requisite denialism:
Conclusion: “Moreover, it cannot be tolerated that Japanese children are bullied and felt sorrowful due to a lie that Japan conducted the abduction of 200,000 girls which is not true at all, and that the lie has been spread throughout the world.”
These are the people who currently lead Japan. Is there any more doubt about the claim of Japan’s right-wing swing? Dr. ARUDOU, Debito
EDITORIAL: Abe and his picks must clarify stance on Zaitokukai, racism
The Asahi Shinbun, October 01, 2014, Courtesy of MS
Eriko Yamatani, chairwoman of the National Public Safety Commission, should get it into her head that saying she “did not know” just doesn’t cut it.
It came to light in September that a photograph taken in 2009 shows her with a senior member of a group called Zainichi Tokken wo Yurusanai Shimin no Kai, known more commonly as Zaitokukai, which objects to what it calls “privileges” given to ethnic Koreans in Japan.
Yamatani insisted she did not know the man was a Zaitokukai member. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko said this was a nonissue.
But when Yamatani spoke at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Sept. 25 on the subject of Japanese abducted by North Korean agents, the questions from the floor were almost entirely about her relationship with Zaitokukai.
Asked if she was opposed to the group’s policy, Yamatani replied, “Generally speaking, it is not appropriate for me to comment on various organizations.”
Further pressed to define what Zaitokukai refers to as “privileges” and whether she herself thinks that such privileges exist, Yamatani said, “These are not questions for me to answer.”
The National Public Safety Commission is the highest administrative organ of Japan’s law enforcement community. The fact that its chief is suspected of consorting with Zaitokukai, which is known for its strident “hate speech” and anti-Korea street demonstrations, is shameful in itself. Yet, instead of firmly expressing her disapproval of racism in any form, Yamatani typically characterized Japan platitudinously as “a country where harmony is valued and every person’s rights have always been respected.” She went on to say it is the common belief that “(hate speech) is bad indeed, and it disturbs me deeply.”
A trite comment such as this did absolutely nothing to clear the clouds of suspicion hanging over her.
In fact, it may well have aroused further suspicion that she tacitly approves Zaitokukai’s actions.
Overseas media have covered not only Yamatani’s case but also reported that Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi and ruling Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Tomomi Inada had their photos taken in 2011 with the head of an organization which seems to support the thinking of the Nazis.
The prevalent view abroad now is that this is indicative of the right-wing nature of the Shinzo Abe administration, not just a matter of personal idiosyncrasies of certain Cabinet members.
Democratic Party of Japan leader Banri Kaieda brought up Yamatani’s case during the Sept. 30 questioning session in the Diet and demanded of Prime Minister Abe, “Lest we invite unwanted suspicions by the international community, please demonstrate your firm resolve to never condone racism or distorted nationalism.”
But all Abe said was: “It is extremely regrettable that some people’s words and actions indicate their attempt to exclude certain countries and races. This must not happen.”
Suspicions will only deepen unless something is done about the situation. Yamatani, Takaichi and Inada–and Abe, who appointed them to their respective posts–must all aver in their own words that they do not condone neo-Nazism and the sort of ethnic discrimination being instigated by Zaitokukai.
–The Asahi Shimbun, Oct. 1, 2014