DEBITO.ORG
Arudou Debito/Dave Aldwinckle's Home Page

New ebooks by ARUDOU Debito

  • Book IN APPROPRIATE: A novel of culture, kidnapping, and revenge in modern Japan
  • GOJ now worried about aliens. No, not foreigners.

    Posted by arudou debito on December 22nd, 2007

    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
    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hHGF47XsVoM_97L8olNf_j3b1MBA
    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.
    ENDS

    ==============================
    Japanese Minister O.K.’s Fighting Godzilla
    By MARTIN FACKLER The New York Times: December 21, 2007
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/21/world/asia/22japan-briefs.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin

    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.
    ==============================
    ENDS

    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
    ENDS

    6 Responses to “GOJ now worried about aliens. No, not foreigners.”

    1. Jeff Korpa Says:

      Debito,

      I agree — if, rather than mulling over exceedingly unlikely situations, the GOJ spent just half as much time and energy considering more mundane things like, oh, I dunno….enacting anti-discrimination legislation, there’d be hope for them.

      At any rate, it looks like the GOJ’s ‘Constitutional use of force’ thought experiment is taking on a more realistic dimension (shocked!):

      SDF could participate in ISAF mission / ‘Constitutional to work in areas free of combat’
      http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/world/20071222TDY01305.htm

      Looks to me like DPJ elements are trying to get the LDP bigwigs (i.e. Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba) to see things ‘the Ozawa way’ (i.e. Japanese military development should happen under the guise of international cooperation, such as missions with the International Security Assistance Force / force sanctioned via U.N. approved resolutions).

      And I have a strong hunch that the impetus for the DPJ to move was the result of this little test:

      MSDF Aegis test succeeds / Rodong-type ballistic missile intercepted within 7 minutes
      http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20071219TDY01304.htm

      I suspect that the DPJ went into action when they heard the ‘wrong’ message from Vice Defense Minister Akinori Eto (LDP) about how “the success of this experiment is symbolic of close security relationship between Japan and the United States”.

      -JK

    2. Sailor Moon Says:

      Why No Aliens Have Landed In Japan

      Relax, folks, no aliens are going to land in Japan.

      Why?

      Well, what is the first thing aliens demand when they land?

      “EARTHLING, TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER!”

      Japan doesn’t have one.

    3. Riccardino Fuffolo Says:

      There is an interesting point here… Japan is at the least the fourth nation in two years saying, through official or quasi-official statements of its own establishment, that UFO are a concrete possibility (if not outright reality). We have been Canada, Mexico and UK little bit earlier. Believers, non-believers, conspiracy buff etc. GO AHEAD!

    4. Durf Says:

      Am I the only person in Japan who actually watched Ishiba’s press conference and saw that he was laughing the whole way through it? He wasn’t a bit serious; it was all an enjoyable few minutes spent with the press corps. I can’t speak for Machimura’s beliefs on the issue, but it’s worth remembering that this whole bit of insanity was triggered by a DPJ lawmaker asking for the official government position on the existence of UFOs. So when you wish for that snap election don’t look forward to a more realistic party being voted in.

      –THANKS VERY MUCH FOR THE EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT. IS THERE A POSSIBILITY THE DPJ MIGHT HAVE ASKED THE QUESTION TO SEE IF THE LDP WOULD TAKE THE BAIT?

      IF SO, THEY CERTAINLY SUCCEEDED. IT’S NOT JUST ISHIBA TALKING ABOUT IT. MACHIMURA. FUKUDA… ACCORDING TO “BROADCASTER” LAST NIGHT, THE UFO STORY WAS THE SECOND-MOST REPORTED STORY THIS WEEK IN TERMS OF MEDIA MINUTES DEVOTED TO IT. I SMELL BAITING. NO? DEBITO

    5. Dirk Says:

      I guess it would be less expensive to provide a lifelong place in a psychatric clinic for Ishiba, than prepare the JDF for an alien attack, wouldn’t it ?

      Dirk

    6. debito Says:

      UNPUBLISHED LETTER TO THE EDITOR AT THE YOMIURI, BY CHARLES KOWALSKI:

      To Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba:

      I urge you to reconsider your comment that UFOs “can’t be categorized as coming from a foreign country” (December 21, page 2). Please take a moment to think about the dangerous precedents this policy would set.

      If UFOs could enter Japanese airspace without resistance, they could easily spirit away Japanese citizens. Japan has enough abduction issues already! But even worse, what if the extraterrestrial visitors liked our beautiful country so much that they decided to stay – and without the limitations that apply to humans from other countries?

      First of all, with no visa restrictions, they could take jobs away from Japanese citizens. In the fields of astrophysics and aeronautics, an interstellar pilot would have a grossly unfair advantage over a Japanese graduate who shuffled through university with a perpetual hangover. Do you want more of our young people to become NEETs?

      And if men from Mars, or women from Venus, were to marry Japanese citizens, what would prevent their names from being recorded in the juminhyo? Tama-chan was cute as a one-time joke, but do you really want to see Qrlzak Wzaxo from Jupiter listed on equal terms with Hanako Sato from Morioka? And their children, with one parent from a planet with higher gravity, would always beat their Japanese classmates in athletic competitions! How unsporting!

      Our course of action should be clear: Treat extraterrestrials the same as any other aliens. When they arrive at the UFO terminal at Narita, take prints of their claws, tentacles, antennae or whatever they use for fingers. Make them carry Space Alien Registration Cards that the police could inspect at any time. Interplanetarization is all very well, but we Japanese must take measures to prevent these aliens from going where no gaijin has gone before.
      ENDS

    Leave a Reply