Hi Blog. It must be Christmas or New Year Holiday craziness (I too intend to limit myself to one blog entry per day, off the beaten track from the usual fare on Debito.org)–but get a load of this:
Japan’s defence minister braces for aliens
AFP Dec 19, 2007
Courtesy Monty DiPietro
TOKYO (AFP) — As Japan takes a more active role in military affairs, the defence minister has more on his mind than just threats here on Earth.
Shigeru Ishiba became the second member of the cabinet to profess a belief in UFOs and said he was looking at how Japan’s military could respond to aliens under the pacifist constitution.
“There are no grounds for us to deny that there are unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and some life-form that controls them,” Ishiba told reporters, saying it was his personal view and not that of the defence ministry.
Ishiba, nicknamed a “security geek” for his wonkish knowledge of defence affairs, noted that Japan deployed its military against Godzilla in the classic monster movie.
“Few discussions have been made on what the legal grounds were for that,” the minister said with a slight grin, drawing laughter from reporters.
Due to the US-imposed 1947 constitution, Japan’s de facto military is known as the Self-Defence Forces and has never fired a shot in combat since World War II.
But Japan has gradually sought a greater global military role, sending troops to support US-led operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Ishiba said he was examining different scenarios for an alien invasion.
“If they descended, saying ‘People of the Earth, let’s make friends,’ it would not be considered an urgent, unjust attack on our country,” Ishiba said.
“And there is another issue of how can we convey our intentions if we don’t understand what they are saying,” he said.
“We should consider various possibilities,” he said. “There is no need at all to do this as the defence ministry, but I want to consider what to do by myself.”
Ishiba’s remarks came after the government this week said it had no knowledge of UFOs, prompting a surprise rebuttal from the top government spokesman.
“Personally, I absolutely believe they exist,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said on Tuesday.
Japanese Minister O.K.’s Fighting Godzilla
By MARTIN FACKLER The New York Times: December 21, 2007
TOKYO — Japan’s defense minister stirred a minor media squall after joking with reporters about possible invasions by space aliens and movie monsters during a regular news conference.
Responding to a question, Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba told reporters on Thursday that he was studying whether the nation’s pacifist Constitution would limit a military response to an attack by space aliens.
“There are no grounds to deny that there are unidentified flying objects and some life-forms that control them,” Mr. Ishiba said, smiling at first, but then launching into a straight-faced explanation. “If Godzilla attacked, that would probably be a natural disaster relief operation,” making military action legally permissible, he said.
But the legal grounds for mobilizing militarily against a U.F.O. would be less clear unless the aliens attacked first, he said.
The comments drew widespread disbelief here, coming after verbal gaffes that helped sink the previous prime minister’s administration, and days after the chief cabinet secretary, who is the government’s top spokesman, professed a belief in U.F.O.’s.
COMMENT: No mention if Godzilla or E.T. would be fingerprinted upon entry. Or whether E.T.’s “ouch” finger would fit properly into the biometric machinery.
An off-the-cuff remark here or there, okay. But this discussion has gone on too long and taken too much media and time from real govt. business. And these representatives of the world’s second biggest economy still want to be taken seriously? Are there not more important things to discuss, such as the ongoing Nenkin debacle? I told you in my most recent Japan Times essay that Japan’s legislative peerage was out of touch with reality. They lining up to prove it?
Somebody call a snap election and get these fools out. Arudou Debito in Sapporo