Abe Admin backlashes against UN Rapporteur criticism against Conspiracy Bill, overseas Gaijin Handlers kick into gear

mytest

Books, eBooks, and more from Dr. Debito Arudou (click on icon):
Guidebookcover.jpgjapaneseonlyebookcovertextHandbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)sourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumbFodorsJapan2014cover
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free
“LIKE” US on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/debitoorg
https://www.facebook.com/embeddedrcsmJapan
http://www.facebook.com/handbookimmigrants
https://www.facebook.com/JapaneseOnlyTheBook
https://www.facebook.com/BookInAppropriate
If you like what you read and discuss on Debito.org, please consider helping us stop hackers and defray maintenance costs with a little donation via my webhoster:
Donate towards my web hosting bill!
All donations go towards website costs only. Thanks for your support!

Hi Blog.  The Government of Japan (GOJ) is at it again — curtailing fundamental civil and human rights for its people and getting nasty if you object to it.  Once upon a time (see below), the GOJ merely denied that Japan is in violation of any of its human rights treaties by giving sophistic counterarguments.  Now, under the ultrarightist Abe Administration, those denials are on steroids, with leading politicians injecting indignant anger into their denialism, even activating the Gaijin Handlers abroad to whitewash optics on Japan’s policies in places like the New York Times.

First, the Japan Times offers a primer on the emerging Conspiracy Bill that received sharp criticism on May 18 by UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy and University of Malta Law Professor Joseph Cannataci, on the heels of criticism from UN Special Rapporteur and UC Irvine Law Professor David Kaye leveled at Japan’s already diminishing press freedoms in a report last year.

From Cannataci’s letter:

“Serious concern is expressed that the proposed bill, in its current form and in combination with other legislation, may affect the exercise of the right to privacy as well as other fundamental public freedoms given its potential broad application.  In particular I am concerned by the risks of arbitrary application of this legislation given the vague definition of what would constitute the ‘planning’ and ‘preparatory actions’ and given the inclusion of an overbroad range of crimes in the Appendix which are apparently unrelated to terrorism and organized crime.” (Full letter from Cannataci’s letter to the Japanese government, dated May 18, 2017.)

From Kaye’s introduction:

“I learned of deep and genuine concern that trends are moving sharply and alarmingly in the wrong direction. This is especially acute in the context of media independence. Japan has well-earned pride in a Constitution that expressly protects the freedom of the press. Yet the independence of the press is facing serious threats: a weak system of legal protection, persistent Government exploitation of a media lacking in professional solidarity, and the recent adoption of the Specially Designated Secrets Act are all combining to impose what I perceive to be significant challenges especially to the mainstream media, where the vast majority of Japanese citizens get their news. Numerous journalists, many agreeing to meet with me only on condition of anonymity to protect their livelihoods, highlighted the pressure to avoid sensitive areas of public interest. Many claimed to have been sidelined or silenced following indirect pressure from leading politicians. A country with such strong democratic foundations should resist and protect against such interference.”  (Full text of Kaye’s report at the UN OHCHR website:  “Preliminary observations by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression“, dated 19 April 2016.

After the Japan Times article, let’s look at how the New York Times reports on the Conspiracy Bill, and how the GOJ quickly responds with its Gaijin Handlers.

They doth protest too much, methinks.  Even an academic source cited in the Japan Times below says he’s “not aware of any other developed nation that had protested against special rapporteurs so vociferously and consistently as Japan.”  And, as far as Debito.org goes, you just know that these “terrorism” and “organized crime” tropes, once further embedded in law, will be used to further racially profile and crack down in particular on (foreign) “terrorists” and (foreign) “organized crime”.  But this new law will normalize it for everyone.  Dr. Debito Arudou

(More on Debito.org regarding prior UN Rapporteur reactions to Japan’s human rights issues, with Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene and Special Rapporteur Jorge Bustamante (here and here).)

/////////////////////////////////////////

Abe government clashes with U.N. rapporteurs critical of Japan (excerpt)
BY TOMOHIRO OSAKI, THE JAPAN TIMES, MAY 31, 2017, courtesy of JDG
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/05/31/national/abe-government-clashes-u-n-rapporteurs-critical-japan/

Weeks after a U.N. special rapporteur released a surprise open letter slamming a state-backed conspiracy bill that critics warn could erode privacy and free speech rights, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has shown no sign of letting up on its targeting of the statement.

If anything, it has been hellbent on discrediting what it claims was an “inappropriate” rebuke by the United Nations expert.

Tokyo’s ongoing clash with Joseph Cannataci, a U.N.-commissioned expert on the right to privacy, is reminiscent of a similar war of words it has fought with U.N. special rapporteurs in recent years. Many of the probes by those officials into the human rights situation in Japan have led to conclusions often at odds with the government line…

As he spoke to the Upper House plenary session on Monday, Abe openly blasted Cannataci’s assessment as “extremely unbalanced” and said his behavior was “hardly that of an objective expert.”

On Tuesday, his Cabinet approved three official statements condemning the official’s letter, which it claimed was drawn up “based on misunderstanding” and without the government ever being afforded an opportunity to thoroughly explain to him about the proposed legal revision.

In these statements, the Cabinet reiterated the government position that Cannataci’s critique did not reflect U.N. views. Prior to these statements, Tokyo had swiftly lodged a direct protest over the issue with the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva.

“When there is a misunderstanding of facts, it is of course our position that we get our message across,” said a senior Foreign Ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

On Wednesday, the government’s position was on full display when Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda launched into a separate attack against another U.N. special rapporteur’s criticism of the government.

Hagiuda said it was “extremely regrettable that the government position was not fully reflected” in a report issued Tuesday by David Kaye, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression. In his report, Kaye had pointed out “significant worrying signals” for Japan’s freedom of expression.

[Kaye’s criticism: While welcoming government efforts to clarify the four specific categories under which information may be designated as secret — defense, diplomacy, prevention of specified harmful activities and prevention of terrorist activities — Kaye warned that “specific subcategories remain overly broad” and thus involve the risk of being arbitrarily applied.

Regarding government pressure on media, Kaye raised concerns over the broadcasting law and particularly its Article 4, which provides the basis for the government to suspend broadcasting licenses if TV stations are not “politically fair.”

Kaye said that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications “should not be in the position of determining what is fair.” (Source)]

“Government evaluation of such broadly stated norms would lead to deterrence of the media’s freedom to serve as a watchdog, if it is not already creating such disincentives to reporting,” he added.

In yet another incident, the Foreign Ministry lodged a strident protest with special rapporteur Maud de Boer-Buquicchio in 2015 over what it labeled a factually dubious claim that “13 percent of Japan’s schoolgirls have engaged in compensated dating (enjo kosai).”

According to the OHCHR website, special rapporteurs are independent human rights experts who “are appointed by the Human Rights Council and serve in their personal capacities,” with mandates to report and advise on human rights. They are not U.N. staff members and receive no financial remuneration, it says.

In this regard, the government assertion that Cannataci’s letter does not represent the U.N. stance is “valid,” said Ichiro Kawabe, a professor of U.N. studies at Aichi University. But at the same time, he said, these experts’ commentaries are not hostile in nature and are designed to foster constructive discussions on human rights issues.

“Being a developed country, Japan is in a position to improve the global standards of human rights. So what it should be doing is not to overreact to what it considers to be a factual error every chance it gets, but listen humbly to what the experts have to say,” Kawabe said, adding that he was not aware of any other developed nation that had protested against special rapporteurs so vociferously and consistently as Japan…

In slamming Kaye’s preliminary report on freedom of expression, a circle of conservative scholars in Japan last month released an open letter questioning his methods. In it, the group alleged his report was “based on interviews with a limited number of journalists when he visited Japan for just one week” and that “the academic analysis is sorely lacking.”

This claim, however, failed to note that Kaye did meet government representatives to hear their side of the issue, as well. ENDS

Full JT article at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/05/31/national/abe-government-clashes-u-n-rapporteurs-critical-japan/

Now for the New York Times article:

/////////////////////////////////////////
Conspiracy Bill Advances in Japan Despite Surveillance Fears
By MOTOKO RICH, THE NEW YORK TIMES, MAY 23, 2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/world/asia/japan-anti-terror-conspiracy-abe.html

TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan won a crucial vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday on an anti-conspiracy bill that he said was needed to fight terrorism but that critics feared could give the authorities broad surveillance powers over citizens.

With protesters gathered outside the country’s lower house of Parliament in Tokyo, Mr. Abe’s party and its allies approved a bill that would make it a crime to conspire with others to commit terrorism and a raft of other crimes.

Speaking before the vote, Hiroshi Hiraguchi, a member of the governing Liberal Democratic Party, expressed condolences for the victims of a suicide bombing that killed 22 people at a concert in Britain on Monday. He said that the bill was needed to help Japan fulfill “the grave responsibility” of hosting the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Mr. Abe’s party called for the vote even as a United Nations expert on human rights accused the government of rushing the measure without sufficient debate on appropriate safeguards for privacy and free speech.

Joseph Cannataci, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to privacy, wrote to Mr. Abe warning that the bill, if adopted, could “lead to undue restrictions to the rights to privacy and to freedom of expression.”

A day before the lower house voted, Mr. Abe’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, lashed out against Mr. Cannataci’s letter, calling it “clearly inappropriate” and dismissing the special rapporteur’s concerns. The Japanese government also lodged an official protest with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mr. Abe has repeatedly argued that Japan needs to pass the bill in order to ratify a United Nations convention on international organized crime originally signed in 2000, as well as to protect Japan from terrorism in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics.

This was not the first time Mr. Abe pushed for legislation over public opposition. Two years ago, the government defied mass public protests and passed a package of security-related bills authorizing limited overseas combat missions for the country’s military for the first time since World War II. The Japanese anti-conspiracy bill also comes as the Chinese government is considering an intelligence law that would allow its authorities to monitor both foreign and domestic suspects.

Recent polls show the Japanese public is split over the anti-conspiracy bill, but more than three-quarters said the government had not sufficiently explained why it needed to pass the legislation. The bill is expected to go before the upper house of Parliament for final passage before the current legislative session ends in mid-June. Mr. Abe’s party and its allies have a two-thirds majority in both houses.

In an email, Mr. Cannataci said the government should take more time to discuss and amend the bill to include more safeguards for privacy and freedom of speech.

“This is the time for the government of Japan to sit back for a minute, reflect, realize that it can do things in a better way and then proceed to behave like a world-class democracy by taking the time necessary” to modify the bill, he wrote.

In a country where terrorism is extremely rare, critics say that the bill is far too vague in defining terrorism and that the list of crimes subject to possible surveillance was arbitrary.

An appendix to the bill includes unlicensed bike racing, copyright infringement and stealing plants from forest preserves, exposing those involved in the planning of such activities to prosecution.

Such crimes, critics say, seem to have little to do with terrorism. They say the bill would merely give the government wide latitude to put people under surveillance.

“There are no apparent reasons certain crimes are covered and others are not,” said Koichi Nakano, a political scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo.

Mr. Nakano said that because people might be worried about the government trawling emails, text messages and social media posts for evidence of criminal conspiracy, anyone who protests government policies might be reluctant to speak out.

“There will be more self-censorship in a country where there is already not a very vibrant civil society,” he said.

Although Japanese law requires the police to obtain warrants to install wiretaps on phones, the courts almost always grant such requests.

As a result, opponents of the bill say that it could strip citizens of their rights to privacy in the name of preventing terrorism. Japan has had few major terrorist attacks since 1995, when members of a cult killed 13 and sickened more than 5,800 in a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.

“How far are we willing to sacrifice our privacy is the question,” said Kenta Yamada, a journalism professor at Senshu University in Tokyo. “We may possibly get into the world of ‘1984,’” he said, referring to the dystopian novel by George Orwell in which citizens are constantly under surveillance.

Concerns about the bill were stirred during testimony by Japan’s justice minister, Katsutoshi Kaneda, when he gave examples of the kinds of activities that might cause the authorities to suspect that an individual or group was planning a crime. In one instance, Mr. Kaneda suggested that someone visiting a park with a map and binoculars could be suspected of plotting a terrorist attack.

“It’s so vague that it allows the police to justify whatever they do,” said Kanako Takayama, a professor of criminal law at Kyoto University. “If you buy a pair of scissors, that may be viewed as preparing for a crime.”

But supporters of the bill said the opposition and the news media had inflated the justice minister’s comments rather than focusing on the content of the bill. “They just enjoy picking up the funny things of the minister who cannot explain things very well,” said Keijiro Kimura, a lawyer in Osaka who supported the bill.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Mr. Hiraguchi, the lawmaker, said that the bill was explicitly limited to “organized crime groups.”

“It is further clear that common people will not be the target of punishment stipulated by this legislation,” Mr. Hiraguchi said.

But the United Nations special rapporteur, Mr. Cannataci, said in an email that the bill was “defective.”

“With great power comes great responsibility,” Mr. Cannataci wrote. “Yet this bill is not accompanied by a stiffening of measures intended to safeguard privacy. Other rights like freedom of speech and freedom of association are likewise not reinforced.”

Opposition lawmakers said that the governing party had stifled debate and that the legislation needed more public input.

The Japanese people deserve to “decide for themselves where they want their freedoms restricted in order to protect their security,” said Shiori Yamao, a member of the opposition Democratic Party. ENDS

//////////////////////////////////////////

And here’s the response from the Gaijin Handlers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

//////////////////////////////////////////

The New York Times Opinion Pages | LETTER
Japan and an Anti-Conspiracy Bill
JUNE 1, 2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/opinion/japan-and-an-anti-conspiracy-bill.html

To the Editor:

Re “Anti-Conspiracy Bill Advances in Japan” (news article, May 24):

Concluding the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, or Untoc, is a pressing issue for Japan, as we prepare to play host to major events, particularly the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Although Japan signed the convention, domestic laws do not fulfill the obligations of the treaty, impeding Japan from concluding it.

After recent terrorist attacks in Britain, Sweden and Belgium, last week in Sicily the G-7 leaders called for more cooperation to implement international agreements, including Untoc.

Updating domestic laws and concluding the treaty will allow Japan to fill an international legal loophole and contribute to preventing organized crime, including terrorism. Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, has welcomed Japan’s efforts in this regard.

Regarding claims of surveillance fears, the proposed provision criminalizing an act of planning and preparation to commit terrorism and other serious crimes will apply only to “organized criminal groups,” and the listed crimes to which the provision may apply are rigorously limited to those likely to be committed by such groups.

Few other countries limit the scope of the law as strictly as Japan does.

NORIO MARUYAMA, TOKYO

The writer is press secretary for the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

ENDS

===================================
Do you like what you read on Debito.org?  Want to help keep the archive active and support Debito.org’s activities?  Please consider donating a little something.  More details here. Or even click on an ad below.

11 comments on “Abe Admin backlashes against UN Rapporteur criticism against Conspiracy Bill, overseas Gaijin Handlers kick into gear

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Maruyama sounds exactly like a government press release.

    Anyway, Snowden says that the NSA gave Japan the XKEYSCORE surveillance tool, so they’ll be able to see everything you ever do on the internet, use your phone camera and mike to spy on you 24/7, and track you constantly.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/06/01/national/japan-close-ushering-new-wave-mass-surveillance-snowden-warns/

    I liked this quote;
    “When you say ‘I don’t care about privacy, because I’ve nothing to hide,’ that’s no different than saying you don’t care about freedom of speech, because you’ve nothing to say,”
    And the thing is that most Japanese I ever met literally had nothing to say except ‘kawaii!’ and ‘oishi!’

    Japan is becoming like one of those nasty South American dictatorships from the 80’s- I’m thinking Peru, Japanese right-wingers supported that dictator- where you can be arrested under the conspiracy law for your opinion, and ‘disappeared’ with no questions ever asked due to the secrecy law. That’s a reality now.

    Reply
  • Baudrillard says:

    @ Jim, funny you mentioned Peru (under the horrible Fujimori) in particular. Possibly the most common example of a top down, “winner take all and the rest must do what he says” society.

    Anecdote: there was this infamous Peruvian salesman in Japan in the 90s who kind of persuaded his Japanese boss to give him a managerial title. Once he got the title, he proceeded to fire people left right and centre, and generally act like a little king, making impossible demands on everyone in and out of the office, even punching a Japanese colleague who annoyed him by being indecisive.

    It was a stereotypical textbook culture clash for all to see; the South American who thought he had risen to the top of the little nest of vipers, versus the indecisive, vague, “Ware Ware Nihonjin” salaryman who worked long hours doing very little.

    The final irony was then the Japanese boss had to tell the Peruvian that “manager” wasnt really giving him any power over the Japanese. Yet nothing was done, neither of them were fired. The Peruvian was told to calm down and know his place and just get on with selling products (which is why they kept him around).

    — I’m not sure what the source of this anecdote is, or what it’s meant to show in relation to this blog entry. Let’s get back on track.

    Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      Ahh, he said it’s ‘constructive criticism’ that he’s offering. He screwed himself right there, since we all know that many Japanese never develop critical thinking skills in school and see criticism as a personal attack.

      Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      Kaye also said;
      “Our hope is always to engage in a dialogue with the government, not to engage in an adversarial relationship,”

      Again, a massive fail since Japanese society doesn’t do ‘dialogue’ between ‘equals’, that’s an unknown concept in Japan. In Japan all relationships are vertical; commands and decisions are handed down and carried out without question. Dialogue?

      Japan sees the UN in terms of a hierarchy, with UN Security Council members at the top, and desperately seeks access to what it perceives to be the authority it’s entitled to. It sees Kaye as the voice of the ‘white powers’ talking down to it, and reminding Japan of it subordinate status in the vertical hierarchy that the Japanese perceive to exist.
      Hence all the prideful indignation.

      Reply
  • Baudrillard says:

    Abe Sicknote and his Govt are simply hypersensitive to anything that is not wholly posiive of their views. I fully expect Japan to compare themselves to Christ on the cross ar a future UN meeting, or “shut up shut stop laughing”, wait a sec the former happened before.,,,,and the diplomat involved actually warned against Japan rejecting western orientation for a uniquely “Eastern position” (Japanese constitution?)
    https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=xYr08b_nCN8C&pg=PT189&lpg=PT189&dq=Japan+christ+on+the+cross+league+of+nations&source=bl&ots=skyjNRUbhN&sig=_iWh6ORR0lajiP2uoOrSmjvgMVk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwia8oz2saHUAhUBQLwKHcWgC-MQ6AEILTAC#v=onepage&q=Japan%20christ%20on%20the%20cross%20league%20of%20nations&f=false

    Reply
    • Jim Di Griz says:

      You know, I think that it’s about this;
      Abe and his cronies are heriditary kleptocrats. They refuse to allow Japan to accept international norms and standards, because that would limit their criminal manipulation of Japanese society and economy for their own benefit, but to justify their actions to the Japanese people they reframe it as an issue of western imposition of standards incompatible with Japanese culture.
      Therefore, rather than being seen as oppressors and thieves by the Japanese, they are seen as protectors.
      I think.

      Reply
  • Baudrillard says:

    Govt of Japan hopes they “change it’s attitude and cease relying on “academic and inapplicable” approaches…to its “regional understanding”. Wait, that was what they said to the LEAGUE of Nations about Manchukuo!
    Stll “Japan-splaining” to the gaijin about the “correct” interpretation of Japan’s actions. Yep, the Abe/Aso Zeitgeist is a 1930’s throwback.

    Reply
  • Anonymous says:

    Re: Japan government’s past and present reactions to criticism of Japan government’s past and present actions.

    [Note #1 from Anonymous: As Baudrillard shared with us above, Hugh R. Wilson shared with the world (U.S. State Department official, minister to Switzerland, delegate to the General Disarmament Conference) the fact that Japan DID indeed absurdly claim “Japan is being crucified by the nations, as Christ was crucified on the Cross” using its chosen representative Matsuoka Yousuke, in response to the objective factual criticism from the League of Nations that Japan’s proven False-Flag terrorist-attack-on-itself on September 18, 1931 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mukden_Incident “CANNOT be regarded as measures of legitimate self-defense.”]

    [Note #2 from Anonymous: that same Matsuoka “criticism of Japan’s actions equals Japan being crucified like Christ” Yousuke, Japan’s aggressive imperialistic special envoy to Geneva, had the MAJOR conflict-of-interest of also being the then-Vice-President and next-President of the South Manchurian Railway “Japan’s East India Company in China” Japan’s most profitable company, which provided over 25% of the Japanese government’s tax revenues in the 1920s, with the key to profitability of course coming from the cheap labor costs of using the slave-labor-force obtained by Japan’s military having conquered Manchuria through its aggressively brutal murderous invasion, so Japan’s cheap-soybean-slave business of exporting HALF of the world’s supply of soybeans allowed Japan’s special envoy Matsuoka Yousuke’s South Manchuria Railway to amass assets of over a billion yen in 1930. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Manchuria_Railway ]

    [Note #3 from Anonymous: Pasted below is the relevant excerpt from the book which Baudrillard cited. At the bottom, Hugh R. Wilson states that “If the nations of the world feel strongly enough to condemn, they should feel strongly enough to use force, if necessary, to rectify a situation which they find so deplorable.” Which is a true statement, but unfortunately Wilson seems to imply that the nations of the world should thus have taken the path of NOT having verbally criticized Japan for the false-flag war-initiating self-inflicted-terrorism Mukden Incident. In my opinion Wilson is wrong to imply that ‘the nations of the world should NOT have criticized’ that action done by Japan. Wilson should have taken his true statement to the correct logical conclusion: “The nations of the world SHOULD HAVE USED FORCE in 1931 to rectify the deplorable situation of Japan (the aggressor country, falsely pretending to be the victim, when Japan committed that war-initiating occupation-justifying-attempt of False-Flag terrorism: Japan’s Mukden Incident) and the nations of the world SHOULD USE FORCE to rectify the deplorable subsequent actions of Japan continuing into the present-day.”]

    The commission’s final report was laid before the League Secretariat on 24 September, a few days after Japan formally recognized the state of Manchukuo. The document, along with a hundred-page set of “Japanese Observations,” was discussed by the Council on 21-28 November. The Lytton Report was not an outright condemnation of Japan. The commission made every effort to be objective and to offer constructive recommendations. Some parts of it put Japan in a good light; others were strongly critical. It upheld Japanese colonial interests in the region of East Asia and recognized the special nature of Japanese rights in Manchuria. It advised that the administration of Manchuria should involve a large measure of autonomy but be consistent with “the sovereignty of China,” with foreign consultants appointed by the League of Nations. It was critical of the rule of Zhang Xueliang in Manchuria and the deplorable state of political instability in China. Regarding the event of 18 September 1931, the commission stated that “the military operations of the Japanese troops during this night cannot be regarded as measures of legitimate self-defense.” The commission judged that the birth of Manchukuo was not a spontaneous act of the people of Manchuria and that independence “was only made possible by the presence of Japanese troops.” Regarding the regime in Xinjing, the report stated that “the main political and administrative power rests in the hands of Japanese officials and advisers” and that “they have been constrained more and more to follow the direction of Japanese official authority.”

    To represent Japan in the Council and Assembly deliberations over the Lytton Report, Japan sent Matsuoka Yousuke (1880-1946) to Geneva as special envoy. Reputed for his straight talking and more articulate in English than any of the senior Japanese diplomats in Europe, Matsuoka was well equipped to be an aggressive proponent of the Japanese position. He had worked and studied in the United States and had been a junior diplomat at the Paris Peace Conference where the League was founded. He left the Foreign Ministry in 1921 to become a director of the South Manchurian Railway. In this act, Matsuoka signaled his preference for Manchuria over the ministry bureaucracy as a venue for creative statesmanship. He was also at heart an imperialist who believed that a Japanese upper hand in Manchuria was both deserved by, and vital to, his country. By the time he became vice president of the railway in 1929, his mind had processed many scenarios of a regional state under Japanese control. In 1932 he was held in esteem for his role in negotiating a truce in Shanghai. His selection as special envoy to Geneva also had the assent of both the civilians in the cabinet and the army. Matsuoka took his time accepting the summons, first suggesting that the assignment of an elder statesman like Makino Nobuaki would be more effective, especially for dealing with the domestic scene. After extensive consultations with Uchida and after Prince Saionji made assurances that he would try to restrain the military, Matsuoka agreed to go. Like nearly all those Japanese who interacted with the League over Manchuria, Matsuoka deeply desired a solution in which Japan could achieve its Imperial goals and still remain in the League. In another replay of history, China sent Dr. Wellington Koo to Geneva to press its case.

    Japan was hopeful that the matter could be concluded in the Council and not sent to the Assembly. In the larger body, smaller nations harbored sympathy for China and were disinclined to excuse the movement of the army of a powerful neighbor into a weak country. But Matsuoka behaved in a pugnacious manner and objected curtly to the presence of members of the Lytton Commission at the Council sessions. Historian Ian Nish observes,

    “Matsuoka and Uchida, and indeed Japan as a whole, appear to have lost the long-term perception of their national interest. By antagonizing the Council, they let it with little alternative but to refer the case to higher authority and give up the opportunity of conciliation under its auspices.”

    The Assembly met to discuss the Manchurian question on 6 December. After stirring speeches from both sides, the body referred the matter to a mediation committee, the Committee of Nineteen, to draw up recommendations. Before the Assembly convened again, Japan’s case was weakened by rumors that its troops were poised to push from Manchukuo into Rehe (Jehol), the province north of the Great Wall. Efforts by Secretary-General Drummond and Sugimura Youtarou, who as head of the Political Section was the highest-ranking Japanese in the Secretariat, to effect a compromise solution foundered on the Japanese government’s refusal to budge on the principle that Manchukuo was distinct from China. On 24 February, the Assembly convened to consider the recommendation by the Committee of Nineteen. The committee’s report included all but the last two chapters of the Lytton Report, but it stated recommendations that were essentially parallel to those sections omitted from the findings of the inquiry. The Assembly voted 42 to 1 to accept the report of the Committee of Nineteen. The one negative vote was Japan’s. Thailand abstained. Matsuoka rose to intone his memorable words,

    “The Japanese Government now finds itself compelled to conclude that Japan and the other Members of the League entertain different views on the manner of achieving peace in the Far East, and the Japanese Government is obliged to feel that it has now reached the limit of its endeavors to cooperate with the League of Nations in regard to the Sino-Japanese differences.”

    Then in an act recorded on film as the symbolic moment of Japan’s break from world order, Matsuoka summoned the members of the Japanese delegation from their seats and let the hall. In both its solitary negative vote and the Japanese departure from the Assembly, the delegation followed instructions from Tokyo.

    A U.S. State Department official was deeply disturbed by the turn of events in Geneva. Hugh R. Wilson was minister to Switzerland and a delegate to the General Disarmament Conference then in progress. Japan’s departure from the 24 February Assembly session, he wrote in his memoir, “remains indelibly printed on my mind.” Wilson’s reflection reveals that Matsuoka was not unpersuasive and that Japan’s case evoked sympathy in one unexpected quarter:

    “Matsuoka’s speech on that day in the Assembly was delivered with a passionate conviction far removed from his usual businesslike manner. He pointed out the danger of pillorying a great nation. He warned that the Assembly was driving Japan from its friendship with the West toward an inevitable development of a self-sustaining, uniquely Eastern position. He terminated by saying that as Christ was crucified on the Cross, so was Japan being crucified by the nations
    of the League.
    . . . [W]hen I listened to Matsuoka, for the first time the gravest doubts arose as to the wisdom of the course which the Assembly and my country were pursuing. I began to have a conception of the rancor and resentment that public condemnation could bring upon a proud and powerful people. . . .
    If the nations of the world feel strongly enough to condemn, they should feel strongly enough to use force, if necessary, to rectify a situation which they find so deplorable. To condemn only merely intensifies the heat. Condemnation creates a community of the damned who are forced outside the pale, who have nothing to lose by the violation of all laws of order and international good faith. It is exasperating without being efficacious. If it were only exasperating that would be bad enough, but it is worse, it is profoundly dangerous. The community of the damned can bring together unnatural allies, allies who in their hearts despise one another but who can unite in their hatred of the smug and respectable nations. . . .
    I left the Assembly that spring afternoon of 1933 troubled in spirit as I have seldom been. Not only did such doubts regarding arraignment arise in me, but for the first time I began to question the nonrecognition policy. More and more as I thought it over I became conscious that we had entered a dead-end street. I could see no way out of this situation with dignity for either side.”

    Reply
  • Anonymous says:

    PS – The “Non-Recognition of Japan” policy which Hugh R. Wilson began to question and have doubts about (since such verbal/written “condemnation of Japan” without physical-force-punishment to back it up put Japan into the “dangerous” position of no longer having the appearance of “dignity”), was actually in my opinion a great first-step official criticism of Japan’s government’s actions, a non-recognition-policy which was rightfully invoked by the United States in 1932 due to Japan’s government’s violation of international treaty.

    The “Non-Recognition of Japan” policy of 1932 was the Stimson Doctrine policy of the United States https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stimson_Doctrine , officially announcing Non-Recognition of Japan’s international territorial changes executed by force, namely Japan’s invasion and seizure of Manchuria using the False-Flag Mukden Incident pretense, since Japan’s actions of initiating that war of aggression violated a treaty which Japan had signed in 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kellogg-Briand_Pact which remains in effect even in present-day 2017.

    A very similar “Non-Recognition of Japan” policy should be (and possibly will be) once again rightfully invoked by the United States and by the United Nations in 2017 due to Japan’s government’s modern-day violation of the CERD Treaty, which Japan has been in violation of for over 22 years since 1995 by continuing to refuse to legislate a Civil Rights Law against businesses committing Racial Discrimination in Japan.

    Of course, compared to Japan’s 1931 violation of the Kellogg-Briand treaty due to initiating a war of aggression (without announcing it) (and joining the infamous list of officially recognized False-Flag attacks https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:False_flag_operations ), Japan’s CURRENT violation of the United Nations treaty due to Japan refusing to enact a Civil Rights Law admittedly has LESS chance of the United States and United Nations initiating physical-military-force about.

    Still, a “Non-Recognition of Japan: until Japan adheres to the 1995 United Nations’ CERD Treaty” is an appropriate first step, concurrent with Japan being voted out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Human_Rights_Council , together with Worldwide Private Divestment from Japan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disinvestment_from_South_Africa , and concluding with United States’ Sanctions against Japan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_Anti-Apartheid_Act , until Japan’s government stops violating the United Nations’ CERD Treaty and begins to finally outlaw Racial Discrimination in Japan.

    In 2017, Racial Discrimination is legal in Japan and this will not stand.

    The worldwide humanity team is justly criticizing Japan’s current actions.

    Reply
  • Anonymous says:

    PPS – Some say, “Japan’s Mukden Incident self-bombing on September 18th didn’t kill anybody. So OK, right?”

    But that self-bombing was pretext for September 19th: Japan killed 500 unarmed non-combatant Chinese,
    (Wikipedia admits Japan knew Zhang Xueliang had already urged his men not to put up a fight)
    (Wikipedia also admits Japan knew Zhang Xueliang had ordered his men to store away all weapons)
    so Japan’s false-flag war-initiating bombing killed 500 the next day, and millions (!) over the next years.

    Likewise, some say, “Japan’s refusing to outlaw Racial Discrimination doesn’t kill anybody. So OK, right?”

    And some say, “Japan’s refusing to allow journalists to have free speech doesn’t kill anybody. So OK, right?”

    And some say, “Japan’s refusing to comply with Article 9 hasn’t initiated Japan’s next war yet… So OK, right?”

    Japan is in violation of the Peace Treaty and Article 9 already by maintaining land, sea, and air forces.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Self-Defense_Forces

    Japan currently spends over $46 billion annually already maintaining Japan’s land, sea, and air forces.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

    Japan’s land force has over 150,000 “army, but not army” soldiers ready to “avenge” the next false-flag.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Ground_Self-Defense_Force

    Japan’s sea force has over 50,000 “navy, but not navy” sailors ready to “avenge” the next false-flag.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Maritime_Self-Defense_Force

    Japan’s air force has over 50,324 “air force, but not air force” airmen ready to “avenge” the next false-flag.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Air_Self-Defense_Force

    So Japan’s government is in violation of the Peace Treaty, the CERD Treaty, and Japan’s own Constitution.

    Japan’s government is maintaining a $46 billion military which is the 8th most-well-funded-military in the world.

    And now Japan’s government is defining reporting on Japan’s crimes as an imprisonable “Conspiring Against Japan.”

    It doesn’t take a genius to realize the world must immediately begin the legal penalization process,
    in response to Japan’s continued unrepentant blatant violations of international treaties which Japan signed,
    and thus: to stop Japan’s upcoming kamikaze suicidal-murderous war-initiation act the U.N. and the U.S. must take action now.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>