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Hello Blog. It’s election time again, and of course we get all sorts of weirdos coming out of the woodwork. In past campaigns we’ve had antiestablishment types (love this campaign video), and also xenophobic types (this one was a shocker back in 2011 — here’s his campaign video). But here’s one candidate this time around who targets Koreans in particular:
Suzuki Nobuyuki, a candiate for Tokyo in the Upper House for the far-right Restoration Party Shinpuu (New Winds, not to be (easily) confused with Ishihara’s Restoration party), calls for the end of relations with Korea, an end to immigration (imin),
and even the barring of Koreans from entering Japan (how he’ll deal with the Zainichi already here is unclear from his slogans). Oh, and he also wants Japan to rearm itself with nuclear weapons (kakubusou) — now that’s even fodder for Japan’s increasingly isolationist future.
(UPDATE JULY 18: It has been pointed out in the Comments Section below that the poster above of Suzuki was misunderstood, in that Suzuki is trying to use his bad-boy image of meddling with monuments overseas — so much so he’s been barred from entering South Korea — as an election campaign tactic. Sorry for the error, and thanks for the corrections. He makes his barring from South Korea the banner item on his newspaper blurb too.)
Here’s his newspaper blurb, courtesy of MS (click on image to expand in your browser):
It has the typical right-wing tropes about a strong country with sufficient autonomy to defend itself from Chinese invasion, defending Japan’s honor by weeding out “masochistic” (jigyaku) history from education and reestablishing the family unit along traditional lines (no doubt meaning bringing back the Ie Seido), returning Japan to its status as the “world’s safest country” by bringing back the “world’s safest energy source,” nuclear power, and kicking out immigrants so they don’t take jobs away from Japanese (even though NJ were brought in as official policy during Japan’s labor shortage to do the dirty jobs Japanese don’t want in the 3K sector; oh, never mind — facts don’t matter to these people).
Nasty ideology seeing the light of day these days in Japan. Are there still people not becoming alarmed yet? The stuff coming out of the mainstream political parties involving constitutional revisions is even scarier.
Other election watchers seeing stuff that’s bothering them are welcome to contribute (don’t forget links. Here’s Shinpuu’s). Arudou Debito
15 comments on “Anti-Korean Upper House candidate Suzuki Nobuyuki wants Japan closed to immigrants and rearmed with nukes (CORRECTED)”
Somebody has been ripping down Suzuki’s campaign posters (as noted in his campaign poster above in the topmost black bar).
J-cast.com, 2013/7/17, courtesy of MS
Thanks very much for that article by Tessa Morris-Suzuki. Really well written and well supported article profiling Abe’s current spin campaign. I found the section in which he defines “nationalism” rather interesting as “nation” seems to be to be more of a political/governmental concept when what he describes is better suited to the word “hereditariness”: a more natural, untaught love of your culture & country (not “nation”). But as the article states, that’s just him redefining the word “nationalism” to seem less threatening.
Sadlyl, I see around me the effectiveness of The Gruen Transfer as people are beguiled by the thought of being able to spend more on overpriced, over-hyped goods instead of paying attention to the real issues at hand.
Is this the same prat who stated that Japan doesn’t need laws against hate speech because there are so few cases? ( like we don’t need laws against murder either )
It might sound a bit far fetched of an idea, but if Japan is willing to ban Koreans AND ALL NJ from Japan, would it be possible that somewhere along the line Japan may want to cut economic ties with the world too?
Business wise, it is already difficult for NJ to do business in Japan due to Japanese nationalism and the fear of any foreign business and competition. And it seems in the case of Korea, Japan simply wants to cut of all ties (I believe economically too) with Korea to avoid having to deal with competition.
However I have a gut feeling that if this politician gets what he wants, then there is a chance that politicians with a beef with some other country will want Japan to cut ties with also.
If Suzuki Nobuyuki is as extreme as I speculate then he might go as far as to end trade with NJ as well as banning and prohibiting NJ products and services from setting foot on Japan. If worst comes to worst, these nutcase nationalists won’t stop until Japan is socially and economically isolated from the world like North Korea or the “good ole days” of the Edo era before Commodore Perry’s arrival.
It seems like Japanese like Suzuki cannot stand the NJ they feel as “inferior” being able to out-compete them. So the Japanese solution is to simply cut off economic and trade ties with them instead of dealing with it and working with it. Amazingly immature here, kind of like the kid who runs from a grade school team game of soccer while crying “no-fair, i am not playing with you any more” upon losing, then isolating himself from the team he lost to rather than trying again. And Suzuki Nobuyuki here seems like that kid.
At this rate with Japan being unable and unwilling to change and adapt change to deal with the reality of the world economy, they will eventually isolate themselves and their economic infrastructure from the world.
@ Bayfield #4
I’m sure you’re right. I’m sure that plenty of Japanese would love to separate the country from the continental shelf, and drift off over the horizon, never to be troubled again by the world. Problem is, THEY NEED US to buy all those Toyotas and Sharp TVs. How humiliating it must be, to be dependent on the very people you despise.
I don’t think we need to worry too much about nut jobs like Suzuki- how would he remove the US bases? Hatoyama tried and failed.I doubt America would put up with that, that is the geopolitical reality. And as America needs S.Korea as much as it needs Japan, I think in this highly hypothetical scenario, he would just be ignored out of office.
I am more worried about Abe and co manipulating American military involvement in a stand off with China, justified or not.Think about it, this is the face saving nationalism of postwar Japanese politicians, along the lines of “OK, we lost WW2 but we can get the victors (USA) to do what we want in other ways.” As China was conveniently communist, Japan benefited from the cold war and US aid. Now that China is at least post communist and engaging with the US in trade etc, the traditional power elites of Japan stand to lose.
I worry a manufactured “Mukden incident” in the Senkakus might be all it takes, or some doubt about who shot first, to trigger the binding alliance system-as in the causes of WW1.
I read 韓国入国禁止 as “prohibiting [Japanese nationals] from entering Korea.”
If the slogan were about stopping Korean nationals from entering Japan, shouldn’t it be 韓国人入国禁止?
— Point taken. That said, I think it could translate both ways, given the context of Suzuki not wanting any more immigration or diplomatic relations with South Korea. But it’s a lot easier for the GOJ to stop Koreans from entering Japan than it is for the GOJ to stop Japanese entering Korea, anyway (when the latter is not really within the GOJ’s control). I’ll stand by my translation.
@Baudrillard, I am sure you are right about what is going on in the heads of the Japanese “hawks” these days, but I don’t see anyone in Japan cunning enough to pull the USA into a war it doesn’t want. The leaders of Japan such as Abe, Aso, Young Koizumi, etc,. may be awe-inspiring in most Japanese people, but I personally find them to be extremely inexperienced, unable to communicate, and unskilled compared to their Western, Chinese, or Russian counterparts. They are fooling nobody.
The main motivation for Japanese people who get into politics is to profit from the construction state, i.e. stealing tax payer’s money and their savings for personal gain. Where are they supposed to learn being actual politicians who are able to deal with international issues – surely not Tokyo University or the half year they spent studying abroad (and probably not getting 95% of what is taught due to lack of English skills).
Japanese politicians are crooks and borderline morons, lucky to be born into the right families – I don’t think there is any doubt about that in the US administration. The amount of meetings and quality of connections between the US or European Administration with China has long surpassed that of Japan. China is a force to reckon with, Japan is just the creepy old uncle who you gave up on a long time ago but are too polite to tell to shut up.
And this whacky right-wing dude has a history of defamation that got him charged by the government of South Korea. Here’s the link.
Debito, check the language again. XY #7 is close to the mark. The 韓国入国禁止 refers to Suzuki being barred from entering Korea due to his vandalism of the monuments as mentioned by Loverilakkuma #9.
He’s using his controversial status to build up his image as a tough, uncompromising hero.
— You’re probably right. I’ll make corrections. Thanks.
4 Bayfield: If Japan elects idiots, and allows the idiots to lead them off the cliff, so be it. Japan’s economy is export based. It needs open markets. People like Nobuyuki Suzuki may make a lot of noise, but I don’t think they will get too far. If Japan elects people like this, they deserve what they get.
6 Baudrillard The Philippines evicted U.S. bases. So it can be done.
The U.S. military is shrinking (again). Americas ability to project power around the globe is also shrinking. Don’t count on The U.S. protecting Japan at all costs. It could just as easily give the Senkakus to China in exchange for no further hostilities.
@ Dude, an interesting idea, especially about the US giving China the Senkakus (imposing economic cooperation in the name of peace on the Japanese is more likely) but I do not share your optimism about the US ever leaving Japan. The US could leave the Philippines because they had bases in Japan, plus Clark Airbase was about to overrun by a volcanic eruption anyway.
And now the Americans are back in the Philippines:
“After extensive damage from the Mount Pinatubo eruption, the Philippine government attempted to reopen base lease talks, but terms could not be reached and the lease was not extended.
In June 2012, the Philippine government, under pressure from Chinese claims to their seas, agreed to the return of American forces to Clark.” (wikipedia)
I think it was Debito who said once there is a US base, they never leave (with only a couple of dodgy exceptions like in former Soviet Central Asia).
Japan, unlike the Philippines, is a former enemy of America. The US forces are a tacit army of occupation to maintain US interests.
Baudrillard: Have you been following the crumbling of the U.S. economy? Rich nations have choices. Crumbling, formerly rich nations do not. It is only a matter of a very few years before the current slow pullback of U.S. troops overseas becomes much more pronounced.
Two interesting articles:
Yes, the end of “the American Empire” is upon us. Well, kind of, anyway.
The U.S. is losing its ability to fund endless expansion. We don’t make anything. We are the market for everyone everywhere. The last thing the U.S. has excelled at is war, and occupation. And those activities need money.
— Let’s get back on track, please.
How about–just to see their reaction– contact https://j-ishin.jp/ Ishihara’s restoration party to see how a naturalized Japanese would be received and welcomed to support their party?
— We already know their reaction. Ishihara has made it clear that he doesn’t consider naturalized Japanese to be real Japanese.
To people living in Tokyo, I think having this crackpot in Tokyo is just like giving a whacky, clueless Senator called Ted Cruz(TX, USA). Common themes? He’s using soft voice to make himself look like a good person, but preaching anti-immigration and nativism, just like Suzuki. He joined in the anti-immigration rally, which can be illustrated in this footage. (See here http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/13813/ted-cruz-attends-immigration-rally-hosted-by-known-racists?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook)
And here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LRVGY04J-LQ
Why am I bringing this up? Well, it has a fun part worth sharing. In the footage, you can hear an organizer making an ugly racial non-sense:
“From those incredible blood lines of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and John Smith. And all these great Americans, Martin Luther King. These great Americans who built this country. You came from them. And the unique thing about being from that part of the world, when you learn about breeding, you learn that you cannot breed Secretariat to a donkey and expect to win the Kentucky Derby. You guys have incredible DNA and don’t forget it.”
Oh, Tea Partier. That’s because it’s in the US. A lot of people may say. But, actually, this type of absurd cultural relativism is indeed the source of nativist rhetoric a bunch of xenophobes are trying to make for communicating anti-Korean/anti-Chinese sentiment (i.e., kill both good/bad Koreans). Wonder if the rightists are even aware of the history of their Founding Fathers who were originally migrating from China and Korea for national civilization more than 1,500 years ago.
— I understand the reasons for including the parallels, but if this discussion looks to veer off into a discussion of American politics, I will flex my moderator muscles…