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  • J Times quotes UN’s Doudou Diene re Ibuki comments

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on February 28th, 2007

    Hi Blog. Writing this between speeches. Got Eric Johnston of the Japan Times on the phone yesterday to UN Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene for some exclusive responses about Education Minister Ibuki’s quotes (and PM Abe’s defense of them). Ibuki compared paying (too much?) attention to human rights to Metabolic Syndrome, like ingesting too much butter. Huh?

    I’ve been slow on the uptake recently (I have averaged about two speeches a day this week), but I’ll add Ibuki’s comments later for the record to this blog with a link from here.

    Anyway, glad we got Diene on the record giving this administration the criticism it deserves. I made sure to get Kyodo and Japan Times articles on Ibuki and Abe into his hands. (As well as the Gaijin Hanzai Mag, of course, which he promised will go into his next report.) Great timing by these fools in the Abe Administration all around.

    Got a speech in an hour to the Roppongi Bar Association, so signing off here. Sorry to be so slow recently. Debito in Roppongi Hills.

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

    U.N. special rapporteur challenges Ibuki’s ‘homogenous’ claim
    By ERIC JOHNSTON Staff writer

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070228a5.html

    The U.N. special rapporteur on racism countered Education Minister Bunmei Ibuki’s claim over the weekend that Japan is a homogenous country.

    “There is no such thing as pure blooded or a pure race. Where do the Ainu fit in to Japanese society? Or the Chinese and Koreans?” Doudou Diene, the United Nations special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia, said Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Japan Times.

    “I am absolutely shocked at his remark. Here is the education minister, the person who in charge of educating Japan’s children about their history, saying something that is so outdated.”

    Diene is in Tokyo to follow up on last year’s U.N. report on racial discrimination in Japan.

    On Sunday, Ibuki told the Liberal Democratic Party’s Nagasaki chapter that Japan has been historically governed by the Yamato — Japanese — race and that Japan is an extremely homogenous country.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday defended Ibuki’s comments, which have also drawn criticism from human rights groups.

    Abe said he thought there was no problem with Ibuki’s remarks as he believed the education minister was referring to the fact that Japanese have gotten along with each other well so far.

    The special rapporteur said Japanese, South Korean, and Chinese history scholars should work together through the United Nations to resolve historical issues.

    By doing this, he said, not only historical tensions but also the deeper racism in East Asia that has led to those tensions can be addressed in an atmosphere free from domestic politics.

    Diene said Ibuki’s remarks and Abe’s comments about them will likely be included in the new report he will submit to the U.N. later this year.

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

    Amnesty lashes out
    Kyodo News

    Amnesty International Japan on Tuesday harshly attacked education minister Bunmei Ibuki for saying too much respect for human rights would give Japan “human rights metabolic syndrome.”

    In a letter sent to Ibuki, Amnesty demanded he retract his remarks, saying they “ignore the human rights of citizens.”

    “It is true that exercising rights carries with it obligations,” the human rights group said. “But it is states and governments which undertake obligations to guarantee citizens their rights.”

    Through the remark, Ibuki has neglected his obligations and is trying to restrict human rights, Amnesty said.

    The Japan Times: Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007
    ENDS

    2 Responses to “J Times quotes UN’s Doudou Diene re Ibuki comments”

    1. Matt Dioguardi Says:

      I’m very glad to see that UN Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene commented.

      However, it doesn’t seem he commented on the “human rights metabolic syndrome” comment. He probably wasn’t aware of it yet, right?

      The English press coverage thus far has been poor, I think. Some articles I saw covered the “homogenous nation” others the “metabolic syndrome” comment. Maybe one or two covered both in the same article. Japan Times completely *failed* to mention the metabolic comment early on.

      The fact that he argued we should de-emphasize human rights and individuality in school and emphasize the oneness of the Yamato Minzoku is stunning news, yet no one seems to be making a big noise about it.

       –HEY MATT, THANKS FOR KEEPING TRACK OF ALL THIS FOR THE COMMUNITY LIST.  DOUDOU DIENE WAS APPRAISED OF THE METABOLIC SYNDROME COMMENT, AND IT WILL GO INTO HIS NEXT REPORT.  IT’S BEEN VERY BIG IN THE JAPANESE PRESS THIS TIME, AS YOU NOTED.  AND EVEN IF WE DON’T GET ENOUGH COVERAGE IN THE ENGLISH PRESS, WE’LL MAKE A NOTE OF IT, RECORD IT ON OUR BLOGS, AND KEEP POINTING TO IT.  THAT’S OUR JOB NOW.  HAVE FAITH…  IT WILL REMAIN GRIST…  DEBITO IN MEGURO-KU

    2. Garrett Says:

      さらに、同法改正を説明する中で人権をバターに例え、「毎日バターばかり食べていればメタボリック症候群になる。人権は大切なものだが食べ過ぎれば日本社会は『人権メタボリック症候群』になる」と述べた。

      Just to get that up there in case anyone wants to see it.

      How does Ibuki still have a job? Human rights is but one of many reasons to call for his head and question the competence of the Abe kantei.

      Suicidal teenagers will confuse their parents by writing to him? Lying on political fund reports? Eggs, butter, homogeny? How much does someone have to do to get fired?

      –QUITE. THANKS VERY MUCH FOR GIVING US THAT. FOR THE RECORD, COULD YOU PLEASE ALSO ENCLOSE THE WHOLE ARTICLE AND THE LINK TO THE ORIGINAL WEBSITE? EVEN IF THE LINK GOES DEAD, IT WILL STILL REMAIN A MATTER OF RECORD. THANKS VERY MUCH. AM ON THE ROAD UNTIL NEXT WEDNESDAY, DON’T KNOW WHEN I’LL HAVE TIME OR A DEDICATED ONLINE CONNECTION (AM HEADING UP TO NAGANO TODAY TO MEET C.W. NICOL), SO APOLOGIES FOR THE SLOW UPTAKE, EVERYONE. DEBITO IN YOUGA

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