Hi Blog. I reported two weeks ago about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs meeting regarding the GOJ report to the UN Committee on Racial Discrimination last August 31, and how it was disrupted by jeering right-wingers.
Well, here’s a letter from one of the uyoku groups in attendance, from a blog called “Japan Family Value Society” (in English–in Japanese it’s “Kazoku no Kizuna o Mamoru Kai”, or “Group to Protect Family Ties”), with LDP member and Hino City Assemblymember Watanabe Tadashi as VP. Taken from their blog at
Of course, they put on their halos and say they were hard done by, even had their constitutional rights violated. Hey, that’s my line! Anyway, this is why we need the media and recording devices handy to avoid the good ol’ he-said, she-said situations…
Translated by Arudou Debito, blog entry as follows. Japanese original in the previous Debito.org blog entry.
MESSAGE TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
As this blog mentioned a few days ago, we sent on September 4, 2007, a message with our opinions and demands regarding the MOFA’s August 31 “Meeting for an exchange of opinions with citizens and NGOs regarding the GOJ’s report for the UN CERD.” The text of the message was as follows:
To the Ministry of Justice, General Affairs Department, Office for Diplomatic Policy:
To Kimura Kachou, Section for Human Affairs and Human Rights
From the Japan Family Value Society
Several members of our society participated in your meeting on your periodical report to the UN CERD Committee.
We raise strong objections (taihen ikan na koto) to the fact that our group’s opportunity to express opinions was snatched away (ubawareta) by the statements of certain members of the audience, who ignored the demands from the chairman to cease and desist, and thus blocked the continuation of the meeting.
We also believe that this meeting is for the common Japanese (kokumin) to express his opinion, and must not be changed in future in violation of our country’s democratic processes.
In regards to this, we have found out through the Internet that the “NGO Network for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” has in fact sent the MOFA a “Unified NGO Statement” of their standpoints vis-a-vis these meetings.
Within this statement, this NGO network has stated [reference link unknown]:
“As NGOs and minority groups working on behalf of minorities suffering discrimination, undertaking the job of eliminating racial discrimination, and putting the CERD into effect in Japan, holding a meeting where we are put side-by-side with general individuals (ippan no kojin)… we do not believe that there is any goal behind holding these types of meetings.”
“We think there should be a meeting including the MOFA and other related governmental agencies, between the actual minority groups and the NGOs actually undertaking the elimination of racial discrimination in Japan.”
“We think long-term meetings between the MOFA and the “NGO Network for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination” should be held with both sides on equal terms.”
Making demands like these is in denial of our country’s democracy, and shakes things to their very foundations. If we are going have a formal discussion about law against racial discrimination, or against discrimination in general, you cannot sluice off the claims of the average Japanese (ippan kokumin). This is an outrage (yurusarenai).
These are our questions, demands and advice. We look forward to your answers:
1) Regarding the above demands for the “NGO Network for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination”, what is the standpoint of the MOFA? How do you intend to respond?
2) Given that the last meeting was interrupted thusly, we hope that you will hold another one. Kindly tell us when that might be scheduled.
3) Kindly keep these meetings about the CERD, and about all treaties in general, open to the public for all Japanese.
4) Kindly summarize (ronten seiri) and put up on the MOFA homepage all the arguments made at the meeting about the CERD, and as a result, what sort of arguments these will be winnowed down to (shibarareru).
5) Make clear rules so that nobody obstructs these meetings again.
6) At the meeting, some woman who blocked the proceedings said she was there as “an observer”. What does “participating as an observer” mean?
We look forward to your answers.
Heisei 19 nen 9 gatsu 4 nichi (in kanji)
(Manuscript of the letter rendered in vertical script.)