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Hi Blog. As everyone in Japan probably knows (as they cover their ears due to the noise), it’s election time again, and time for the sound trucks and stump speeches to come out in force until December 14. (BTW, a magnificent take on Japan’s elections by Colin Jones at the JT is here.) And with that, sadly, comes the requisite foreigner bashing so prevalent in recent years in Japan’s election and policy campaigns (see for example here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).
Here’s 2014’s version, from “The Party for Future Generations” (Jisedai no Tou; frontman: racist xenophobe Dietmember from Okayama 3-ku Hiranuma Takeo), courtesy Debito.org Reader XY:
Dec. 8, 2014
Hello Debito, Thanks again for taking a look at the P&G video before.
Today I ran across this election campaign video that isn’t as bad as the usual CM fare, but seems to suggest that 8 times as many foreigners as native Japanese are receiving welfare hand-outs. Here’s the lyrics (from the video’s own description):
Here’s a link to the video that skips to the offending verse 30 seconds in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7ilGGkne-I&feature=youtu.be&t=30s
This can’t be accurate, surely? Am I missing something in translation? I’d be very grateful if you’d let me know.
COMMENT: Well, that IS what they’re saying. Here are some screen captures:
COMMENT: “We will slice taboos,” says Jisedai’s slogan. Now check out the “Taboo Buta“(Taboo Pig) dancing around mockingly:
COMMENT: In their song and dance (text below), they’re offsetting foreigners with “Japanese citizens”, and asking why “our taxes” (bokura no zeikin) are being used more for foreigners by a factor of eight:
And then the coup de grace:
Ouch. I guess these people are inured to grotesque images involving swordplay, but I’m not. Ick… Moving on:
Hiranuma’s people claim this is a “taboo topic” to cut through (as if to tempt the voters with a “forbidden fruit” discussion), but people have been talking about this issue plenty — even making some mean-spirited policy proposals in recent months). For this ilk, labeling any discussion that they are on the losing end of as “taboo” is a frequent trope, so as to claim victimization through alleged suppression of their free speech. And it’s hardly ever true. It isn’t in this case.
Below, they’re also slicing pigs in half about limited 1) discussions in general, 3) working mothers, and 4) the Comfort Women Wartime Sexual Slaves (teleplay text courtesy of their above mentioned YouTube site):
Published on Dec 3, 2014
第２弾 「タブーブタ第２」 → http://youtu.be/i2RsUaOCb9M
Now then, Jisedai doesn’t look to fare well in this election, so probably some Debito.org Readers will relax and say this is just how fringe politics works in democracies. However, Debito.org is concerned about this normalization of NJ bashing — to the point of believing that blaming foreigners for just about anything gains you political capital. Look how this alleged “NJ welfare cheats” issue has become one of Jisedai’s four (well, three, actually, since the first issue mentioned is a grumble instead of a substantive claim) planks in their platform. Even though, as we have discussed here earlier, this is a non-issue.
There’s more rotten to say about this upcoming election, of course (again, read Colin Jones’ take and then take a shower), but how it affects NJ in Japan is Debito.org’s focus, so there you go. Here’s hoping Japan’s electorate will slice through the bullshit politics on offer, but I doubt it. Dr. ARUDOU, Debito