Asahi Editorial: PM Abe and his Cabinet picks must clarify stance on Zaitokukai, racism


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Hi Blog.  Continuing with the hate speech theme (and the perpetrators of it in Japan, e.g., Zaitokukai), here is an editorial from the Asahi decrying that support of this group (or at least the unwillingness to disavow or take measures against their spreading public hatred of minorities) appears to reside in the highest levels of government.  As the person being cited, Yamatani Eriko, is the nation’s top cop in the current PM Abe Cabinet, this information bodes ill for any legal measures or remedies against hate speech in Japan, something the UN recently advised Japan to adopt.

BTW, this is the same Yamatani Eriko who spoke out against a memorial against Japan’s wartime sexual slavery in Palisades Park, New Jersey (not the Glendale, California monument), including the following “explanation” in two languages on her blog of May 6, 2012 (courtesy of MS), with the requisite denialism:

Conclusion:  “Moreover, it cannot be tolerated that Japanese children are bullied and felt sorrowful due to a lie that Japan conducted the abduction of 200,000 girls which is not true at all, and that the lie has been spread throughout the world.”


These are the people who currently lead Japan.  Is there any more doubt about the claim of Japan’s right-wing swing?  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito


EDITORIAL: Abe and his picks must clarify stance on Zaitokukai, racism
The Asahi Shinbun, October 01, 2014, Courtesy of MS

Eriko Yamatani, chairwoman of the National Public Safety Commission, should get it into her head that saying she “did not know” just doesn’t cut it.

It came to light in September that a photograph taken in 2009 shows her with a senior member of a group called Zainichi Tokken wo Yurusanai Shimin no Kai, known more commonly as Zaitokukai, which objects to what it calls “privileges” given to ethnic Koreans in Japan.

Yamatani insisted she did not know the man was a Zaitokukai member. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko said this was a nonissue.

But when Yamatani spoke at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Sept. 25 on the subject of Japanese abducted by North Korean agents, the questions from the floor were almost entirely about her relationship with Zaitokukai.

Asked if she was opposed to the group’s policy, Yamatani replied, “Generally speaking, it is not appropriate for me to comment on various organizations.”

Further pressed to define what Zaitokukai refers to as “privileges” and whether she herself thinks that such privileges exist, Yamatani said, “These are not questions for me to answer.”

The National Public Safety Commission is the highest administrative organ of Japan’s law enforcement community. The fact that its chief is suspected of consorting with Zaitokukai, which is known for its strident “hate speech” and anti-Korea street demonstrations, is shameful in itself. Yet, instead of firmly expressing her disapproval of racism in any form, Yamatani typically characterized Japan platitudinously as “a country where harmony is valued and every person’s rights have always been respected.” She went on to say it is the common belief that “(hate speech) is bad indeed, and it disturbs me deeply.”

A trite comment such as this did absolutely nothing to clear the clouds of suspicion hanging over her.

In fact, it may well have aroused further suspicion that she tacitly approves Zaitokukai’s actions.

Overseas media have covered not only Yamatani’s case but also reported that Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi and ruling Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Tomomi Inada had their photos taken in 2011 with the head of an organization which seems to support the thinking of the Nazis.

The prevalent view abroad now is that this is indicative of the right-wing nature of the Shinzo Abe administration, not just a matter of personal idiosyncrasies of certain Cabinet members.

Democratic Party of Japan leader Banri Kaieda brought up Yamatani’s case during the Sept. 30 questioning session in the Diet and demanded of Prime Minister Abe, “Lest we invite unwanted suspicions by the international community, please demonstrate your firm resolve to never condone racism or distorted nationalism.”

But all Abe said was: “It is extremely regrettable that some people’s words and actions indicate their attempt to exclude certain countries and races. This must not happen.”

Suspicions will only deepen unless something is done about the situation. Yamatani, Takaichi and Inada–and Abe, who appointed them to their respective posts–must all aver in their own words that they do not condone neo-Nazism and the sort of ethnic discrimination being instigated by Zaitokukai.

–The Asahi Shimbun, Oct. 1, 2014


33 comments on “Asahi Editorial: PM Abe and his Cabinet picks must clarify stance on Zaitokukai, racism

  • “Lest we invite unwanted suspicions by the international community….” Well,I’d say that the Abe regime is looking at international suspicions, unwanted and otherwise, fast disappearing in the rear-view mirror. Just stumbled across this piece, titled: “Police Surveillance of Muslims and Human Rights in Japan.”

    It’s ‘us’ and ‘them’ on a grand scale!

  • “a country where harmony is valued and every person’s rights have always been respected.”

    … as long as your definition of “person” is “ethnic Japanese citizen of Japan”, yes.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    Well, it’s good to the the DPJ at least attempting to act like they are in opposition- it’s taken them long enough. Let’s hope they realize this is one way they can light a fire under Abe, and keep him under a negative spotlight.

    Also, nice to see that Asahi hasn’t been cowed by the right wing media and Abe’s attempts to silence them for daring to challenge his narratives on Fukushima and korean sex-slaves. I hope they keep ramming to the man. I would rather a newspaper that makes some mistakes, than a paper that never investigates anything.

    And as for Yamatani, I guess she has to think this;
    ‘a lie that Japan conducted the abduction of 200,000 girls which is not true at all, and that the lie has been spread throughout the world.’, when the alternative is to believe that her grandfather/father/husband (choose as applicable) was likely a rapist and a brutal murderer.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ DR #1

    It’s a paradox that simply being a Muslim in Japan, in itself, represents such a security threat that countless police hours were wasted collecting information on 70,000 individuals, whilst yet at the same time, the J-gov is desperate to attract Muslim tourists;

    I guess the J-police really haven’t got anything better to do, or can’t be bothered to solve the crimes I read about in the news everyday.

  • 2 Welp – Yes, that is exactly what she means.
    “Kokumin” in the constitution means ethnic Japanese.
    Naturalized Japanese get different treatment (othered) in more situations than most people admit, especially in sports.
    So “every person’s rights” means every Japanese person’s rights, in Japanese. Why would foreigners have rights in Japan???

    This has been gaining attention lately, but it is not totally new.
    Compare the English Wikipedia page on Pearl Harbor with the Japanese Wikipedia page. You would think there would be no room for interpretation. But you would be wrong.
    The English page says basically what American students learn in school. Japan attacked w/o declaring war, and WW2 was on.
    The Japanese page lays out, in detail, how the U.S. forced Japan to attack (in self defense) by using the steps outlined in the McCollum Memo.
    Come to think of it, that IS what they teach in Japanese schools…

    Right wing propaganda is not just for the Zaitokukai after all!

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ Andrew #7

    That’s one of the best ideas I’ve seen for a long time!
    Oh, but there’s so many other Japanese politicians who deserve to have a petition.

  • @ Jim di Griz

    Can you imagine the SWAT team being called out if, heaven forbid, the local Keystones caught a Muslim riding around Tokyo on an improperly registered bicycle? It would really blow some fuses in the well mombusho trained, uniformed goons’ heads if that Muslim happened to be Japanese! Just so many paradoxical concepts…

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ DR #10

    Paradox, yes, for sure.
    Japan wants to host all the international events it can get its hands on, yet at the same time has a paranoid over-reaction to the ‘dangerous’ image of NJ that they have created themselves!
    Of course, they need to exaggerate the image of the ‘foreigner’ so that they can maintain delusions of self-identity by comparison.
    Again, you have to wonder, if they see the outside world as being so dangerous and anti-japanese, why the stalker-like obsession with international recognition?
    If, as a society, they honestly believed totally all of thier ‘unique Japan/bad gaijin’ myths, surely they wouldn’t value the symbols of international big boys club membership, and instead would happily just carry on, minding thier own business.
    I think it goes back to Dr. Debito’s recent Just Be Cause about discrimination- if they really didn’t feel intimidated by thier imagined NJ superiority, they wouldn’t constantly act like they’ve got something to prove, and wouldn’t have chips on their shoulders.
    But they do.
    As an aside, I honestly believe that people like Abe, Aso, and Ishihara really are driven by a sense of hurt masculinity over Japan losing the war. Look at who wields the power in Japan- its old conservative men (the only women allowed to join are the ones that have no idea the 1960’s took place and are happy to tell women to stay in the kitchen).
    These conservative old dinosaurs are still thinking with a mindset from 200 years ago- Japan can only regain it’s (masculine) pride by being in a position to exert physical violence on others. It’s not surprising that with that mindset the Japanese were sadists in the war, and given that Tomogami had a stellar career in the SDF, I would expect the Japanese to do the same given the chance.

  • Baudrillard says:

    @ Jim, stalker-like obsession with international recognition answers your own question- they are stalkers with a Caucasian fetish, stalking the corridors of international bodies, wanting to “prove” themselves.
    Which brings me to your second point, how Abe, Aso, and Ishihara really are driven by a sense of hurt masculinity over Japan losing the war.

    Ishihara in particular, his entire agenda since a teen in the 1950s has been to get the J girls attention back from their love of Americana. To qualify this claim, with evidence, when “Taiyo no Kisetsu” (his big hit novel) came out, him and his brother were like pop stars and idols, the first J-men of many. Several articles have made much of how this was all about reclaiming masculinity, or at least making homegrown stars attractive again. Interestingly, unlike Abe and Aso, Ishihara is also outwardly anti American, and this stems from the his pubescent years.

    He was like a skinny nerd growing up next to Yokosuka airbase and not getting any action, thus motivating him to get famous instead.

    Everything Ishihara does is from this viewpoint- he is a star and he wants attention. The whole Senkakus issue was a sleeping dog until he felt it was worth antagonizing China so that he could get his place in history. Why else would he resign as mayor of Tokyo? He has been there, and done that.

    Instead, his whole agenda is his own ego, his own stardom, his own self perceived self importance and role as the prime mover of the J zeitgeist.

    Sakurai and the Zaitokukai are motivated by similar Freudian urges.

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    While I can’t have any sympathy with recent Korean activists for trying to place the bronze statues elsewhere they want in the US, I am as much disturbed by the message sent by female bullies in the ABEARSON Inc.

    Eriko Yamatani has exactly the same line with her buddy Tomomi Inada for sending a distorted message to stigmatize the victims of Japanese military’s gross sexual misconduct. Inada was criticized by a civil organization for making up a false story that Japanese courts affirmed such testimonies like 200,000 Korean victims being abducted to brothel, forced to commit suicide, and thrown into the pack of dogs for meal. It was published in the Shukan Kinyubi.

    It’s dumb and dumber to see Abe’s pathetic defense of these bullies who are appointed to promote his pseudo-woman advocacy campaign.

    BTW, he finger-pointed at Asahi for hurting national image through false reporting on comfort women. Sure why does he want us to remember that he is the one who tarnished the national image with his own total blunder on the same issue in his previous term in the office?

  • John (Yokohama) says:

    On a related note…

    Of course no mention of recent news, such as the unsavoury friends of certain cabinet members.

    “Japan’s image “badly hurt” by false reporting on comfort women: Abe
    TOKYO, Oct. 3, Kyodo

    Japan’s image abroad was “badly hurt” by false reporting on the issue of “comfort women” by a major Japanese daily, and Tokyo will work to spread “correct perceptions” of history, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday.

    “It’s true that many people were hurt, saddened and angered by false reporting on comfort women. Japan’s image was badly hurt,” Abe told a session of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, referring to a series of articles by The Asahi Shimbun in the 1980s and 1990s which the newspaper recently retracted.

    “The government will make sure that correct perceptions of history will be formed based on objective facts,” Abe said as he stressed the importance of providing the right information to the world.”

    — All within character. Abe wouldn’t be Abe if he didn’t pounce upon this opportunity to rejig history as his camp wants it.

  • Andrew, I love the idea of the petition. I’m going to make some constructive criticism, but I apologize if it’s unwanted.

    – The petition should probably be addressed to the Department of Homeland Security and argue more why US interests would be harmed by allowing Ms. Yamatani in the country. (Maybe write about how she has been verified as associating in an official capacity with members of a US State Department-designated hate group which has been convicted of criminal activity against minority children {the Kyoto Chosen Gakko case}. And then refused to denounce the group. This speaks for itself, and is more verifiable than just labelling her a Neonazi. I think more specifics are needed in general.)
    – Similarly, “right wing” runs the risk of making US readers think this is another inane culture war issue when it’s so much more basic and important. I’d say it’s better to leave that phrase out.
    – “speach” should be “speech.” Don’t let people discredit the important work you’re doing with spelling errors; if they can they will.

    — I agree. I approved your comment because I support the idea of a petition, but yours I’m afraid has little credibility because it really doesn’t make its case that well. You also need some quotes/links to some media sources. Improve or get a committee of friends involved to better rewrite it, and relaunch.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    So, Yamatani has lied about having a relationship with zaitokukai and the Sumiyoshi-kai yakuza, but still has the job of overseeing the National Police Agency (nice gig if you can get it), whilst one of Abe’s other female cabinet picks ‘gets advice from the spirits of war-heroes (read ‘war-crminals’)’ at Yasakuni.

    I don’t get it. Why aren’t Western liberal democracies outraged over this?

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ Baudrillard #12

    I didn’t know this;
    ‘He was like a skinny nerd growing up next to Yokosuka airbase and not getting any action, thus motivating him to get famous instead.’

    It explains EVERYTHING about Blinky.

  • I saw the comments about the Zaitokukai book, but it’s worth noting that racist literature has been one of the hottest-selling things in mainstream Japanese bookstores and news stands for quite a while now. You really can’t enter most bookstores without seeing it. The site Litera did a decent piece about this phenomenon in Japanese back in July; I have translated it into English here:

    Please feel free to reproduce it here if space limitations are no concern. If anyone has requests for similar articles and I’ll try to do more in my spare time. I have yet to write a mission statement for this Tokyopolitan blog, but my ultimate goal is to increase the outside pressure on Japanese civil society to crack down on open racism. Compared to when they’re dealing with other NJs, it’s harder for non-Japanese LDP/establishment apologists to convincingly argue that Japanese opponents of racism don’t understand the issues in their own society. We need to help get those Japanese allies get heard in the English speaking world.

    “Japan’s Koreaphobia is Japan’s Koreanization”

    The following article on the rise of racist mainstream publishing in Japan comes from the center left blog Litera. This blog is funded by print publishers and features perspectives from recently published books.

    “Japan’s Koreaphobia is Japan’s Koreanization: Conservative Sankei Editor Criticizes the Koreaphobia Wave by Enjo Toru” (July 10, 2014)

    Koreaphobia is in. Bookstores are filled with Koreaphobic books arguing how terrible a country Korea is, and many of them have become best sellers. Magazines and evening tabloids publish attacks on Korea in almost every issue. What’s written is truly awful. The books are filled with statments like ”lying comes as easy to a Korean as breathing” and ”Korea’s one of the biggest exporters of whores. They’ve got tens of thousands of them in the U.S. and Japan.” In the magazines and evening tabloids, a panicked tone characterizes reports on intensifying anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea: “Korea’s Anti-Japanese Rampage Going Strong”; “First Takeshima, Next Tsushima.”

    The periodicals are relentlessly abusive, calling South Korean President Park Geun-hye incompetent and accusing her of “old biddy diplomacy.” The articles portray Korea as monolithically anti-Japanese and unwilling to engage in dialogue. They fill readers with the fear that one day it will not be Takeshima that the Koreans are coming for, but Japan itself.

    In the midst of this all, one unlikely person is criticizing Japan’s Koreaphobia. He is Kuroda Katsuhiro, a Seoul-based editor for the Sankei Shinbun newspaper. Having reported on the Korean problem [sic] for three decades, Kuroda is one of the most prominent conservative Korea watchers. Here’s what he had to say this February in the Weekly Chosun, a publication of the Chosun Ilbo, Korea’s biggest conservative daily:

    “It’s now popular in Japan to use anything you dislike to bash Korea. Bestseller after bestseller is being written about the negative parts of the country alone. You have lots of stuff like, ‘Korea is a country of whoring and a rapist’s paradise,’ ‘their country’s overflowing with food that’s unsafe to eat,’ ‘most of the men don’t wash their hands when they use the bathroom,’ ‘the kids’ suicides are skyrocketing because of the hellish extracurriculars,’ and ‘Samsung’s in trouble.’ I could go on…

    “The Koreans have long said that Japan’s failure is Korea’s delight, but now if anything it’s Japan that’s reveling in Korean failure. I’ve joked about this ‘Koreanization’ of Japan, but it’s been difficult for me to watch the discourse in Japan deteriorate.”

    This anguish over Korephobia seems strange coming from someone so consistently critical of anti-Japanese nationalism in Korea, but from Kuroda’s perspective it’s Japan that has changed.
    “I went back to Japan five times around New Year’s to do some lectures, seminars, and TV appearances. The anti-Korean hatred was shocking. In Korea I get called a typical far-right Japanese commentator and a rant machine. But now when I’m in Japan telling people about real Korean society and Koreans, about the anti-Japanese sentiment there, I get criticized as too soft, insufficiently critical, a once-was Korea booster, or a Korean spy against Japan.”

    In other words, Japan has become as peculiar as Korea once was.

    Japanese reports of an intensifying anti-Japanese atmosphere in Korea apparently have a questionable basis. Kuroda appeared on an episode of TV Asahi’s [monthly special] Live ‘Til Morning entitled ”Fiery Debate (Japanese-Korean Relations): What to Do about Japan Bashing and Korephobia?!,” which was broadcast May 30th of this year:

    “As someone who’s lived in Korea for over thirty years, I can say that the average person is beoming less and less anti-Japanese. You won’t get harassed for speaking Japanese. Everyone loves Japanese things, there’s a line outside bookstores when the newest Haruki Murakami title comes out, and most Koreans feel a sense of connection with Japan in their everyday lives…Japan’s Koreaphobic sentiment is much more visible, but since only the anti-Japanese news and information get through, that’s what people base their image on.”

    Some think that Japan’s rising hatred of Korea exists because of anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea, but the average Korean citizen seems indifferent. A Seoul-based journalist for another nationally distributed paper is reported as saying that, “Unlike in Japan, Korea’s bestseller rankings are free of books dedicated to hating on their neighbor. The fact is that a minority of Korean politicians and media outlets engage in anti-Japanese posturing, which the Japanese media blows out of proportion to make people hate or oppose Korea.”

    According to a publishing-industry source, Japanese media outlets and publishers are so gung-ho about the Koreaphobia movement because, to put it flatly, “Korephobia sells.” A former Seoul-based correspondent for Jiji Communciations, Murotani Katsumi, published A Theory of Korean Idiocy. The book sold over 200,000 copies within the first two months. A Korean-Authored Theory of Korean Embarrassments, purportedly written by an anoymous Korean dentist, sold more than 100,000 copies. Magazines sales are said to jump 20% when Koreaphobic articles are featured.

    In the words of an insider, “They’re one of the few things that will sell in this sluggish publishing market. What the books say is one of publishers’ last concerns, which is easy enough to see when same authors are publishing what’s essentially same book multiple times. You have your rehashes of the 2000s-era Hating the Korean Wave, and a lot of off-the-wall consipiracy theories.”

    It would be highly ironic if a few extreme Koreaphobes and shrewd publishers brought about Kuroda’s Koreanization of Japan.

    Incidentally, Kuroda has proposed that Japan should attempt to utilize Korea for its own benefit. To do so, he suggests engaging in levelheaded, pragmatic diplomacy while resisting Koreaphobic or anti-Korean sentiment.

    “Anti-Korean netizens often remark on how Korea annoys them and they wish that Japan could pick and move somewhere else. I get the same sort of comments when I’m on television. I respond to those by saying that, well, we can’t move away from Korea. Why not take the chance to consider what Korea can do for us, all the pros and cons included, then act upon that?”

    If this sort of level-headed opinion gets one called a Korean spy, discourse in Japan may be in trouble.


    Translator’s Notes

    + In this essay, I’ve translated the word 韓嫌 as Koreaphobic, patterning it after words like homophobic and Islamophic. The awkward Korea-hating would be more etmologically faithful to the Japanese, but from a social standpoint Koreaphobic is more accurate. Korea-hating lacks “thingness.” It sounds like the description of a diffuse set of juvenile but ultimately harmless attitudes, whereas Koreaphobe hints at the often organized genocidal rage that characterizes large swaths of the internet right in Japan.

    + The original Japanese text is visible here.

    + The author’s name is a humorous pseudonym to the effect of Flameoir Ensouz. This is likely a self-protective measure against doxxing.

    + I don’t personally endorse everything in this article.

  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    DR #10

    <イスラム国>警視庁、北大生ら事情聴取 私戦予備の疑い
    毎日新聞 10月6日(月)20時29分配信


    【ネット駆使、好待遇 イスラム国の洗練された広報戦略】







    Japanese Student Planned To Join ISIS?
    AP Posted: 10/06/2014 12:13 pm EDT

    TOKYO — Japanese police questioned a university student and several others Monday over suspected plans to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group, news reports said.

    The reported investigation by Tokyo police would be the first indication of possible support within Japan for the militant group.

    Tokyo Metropolitan Police declined to comment on the reports.

    Public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News service said investigators questioned a 26-year-old male Hokkaido University student and several men who shared a house with him on suspicion they were preparing to go to Syria to fight.

    Investigators believe that the student, who is on a leave of absence from school, responded to a poster at a used-book store in downtown Tokyo offering positions for “work in Syria,” Kyodo said. It quoted investigators as saying the student admitted he had planned to join the group in Syria. Police have not found records of any travel there, it said.

    NHK and Kyodo said police searched the house and the bookstore but did not formally arrest the men.

    In Japan, the penalty for someone convicted of preparing for private combat is up to five years in jail.

    In August, a Japanese citizen believed to be Haruna Yukawa, a 42-year-old private military company operator, was kidnapped in Syria, and is believed to still be in captivity. His reason for going to Syria remains unclear. The Foreign Ministry is believed to be working to win his release, but has declined to give any details.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ XY #19

    Thank you for that, very interesting!

    @ Andrew in Saitama #20

    I saw that news too. It seems strange to recruit would be jihadists with a ‘work in Syria’ poster. But I guess that maybe ‘work, not in Japan’ in itself must have a large appeal for many young Japanese. If Abenomics was really working, these people would be awash with job offers in Japan.

  • “In Japan, the penalty for someone convicted of preparing for private combat is up to five years in jail.

    In August, a Japanese citizen believed to be Haruna Yukawa, a 42-year-old private military company operator, was kidnapped in Syria”

    So it’s illegal to prepare for private combat (even overseas, I presume, or else why mention it) AND, Japan has private military companies? Really? Please explain, internets.

  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    XY, many thanks.

    @ JDG,
    I was curious about the legality of the some 40 Japanese nationals serving with the French Foreign Legion as mentioned a few years ago by some TV commentator.

    As for the alleged ISIS members here, it would not be hard to imagine them as disgruntled youths wanting to take a swing at the West. But I’ll wait before I draw any conclusions.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    The Nobel Prize for Engineering 2014 has been announced.
    And I couldn’t help but notice that Japan-born scientist Nakamura is being lumped in by the J-media with the other two, to result in the claim that ‘3 Japanese win Nobel Prize’.

    He was certainly born in Japan but has American citizenship.

    Now then (and this is the point) If people of Korean ancestry born in Japan are not counted as Japanese because they have Korean citizenship, Nakamura should not be counted as “Japanese” if he has American citizenship, should he?

    I hope the constitution wins the Peace Prize on Thursday, should confound Abe- his militaristic phallic pride V’s international recognition.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ Andrew in Saitama #23

    Any Japanese nationals joining the FFL would be required to relinquish their Japanese citizenship in order to serve.

    But, as we have seen before, the J-gov is very quick to give former Japanese born Japanese nationals back their citizenship in such cases (anyone remember the olympic marathon runner?), and when former Nobel Prize winners have been Japanese born but taken US citizenship, the J-gov has a little flutter with the idea of dual-nationality.

    Interesting that they are not willing to offer dual nationality to the Zainichi, or any other NJ, in order to solve their population crisis! Of course, the old argument is that NJ might retain ‘loyalty’ to their birth country in the event of armed conflict. Naturally, they work on the racist assumption that should a conflict between Japan and the US occur, naturalized US citizens of Japanese birth would be loyal to Japan. Of course.

    — FFL?

  • Andrew in Saitama says:

    @ JDG #25
    I don’t believe that French citizenship is needed to join the French Foreign Legion, and that French citizenship is offered after five years of service. It is therefore legal (on the French side, at least) for a Japanese national to serve with the FFL.
    I know of Motosada Mori, who served with the FFL for three years before going AWOL (apparently he could be arrested if he ever re-enters France) and now works as a writer and consultant in Japan.

    Sorry if this looks too much like threat drift, Debito. I’m just curious about how these laws apply (or don’t apply)

  • Baudrillard says:

    Abenomics is xenophobic. Think about it and what has been accomplished. 1. A weak yen- this is a disincentive to ordinary NJs living here but it is good if you are an NJ tourist. I.e. you come, you spend money on overpriced food and goods, you leave.
    2. The rising taxes and cost of living-the only NJs who can make a decent living are those on an expat package, and they will not put down roots. Yep, its all in line with Abe’s laughable immigration “policy”- “we want foreigners to come, spend money and leave”-echoing the words of the police chief I think it was, “we want rich (western) foreigners (westerners) to come here”.
    3. The kokumin kenco hoken scam and its nearly compulsory nature, maybe even tied to visa renewal again in the future (this didnt pass last time but it was close). But you can get your contributions back for up to three years. Surprise surprise, if you the NJ leave within 3 years, here is another incentive to do so. Again, “we want foreigners to come, spend money and leave after three years”.
    4. The fake nurse program, the expansion of the deadly trainee program. Japan needs indentured servitude, with as few rights given as possible to workers, sorry I mean “trainees”, from looked down upon neighbors such as China. Again, its so harsh a revolving door is almost guaranteed.

    “Take back Japan” was easy as it is basically Abe just pushing a few buttons (or making a few calls to entrenched conservatives in positions of power) to reset Japan back to its regressive default mode. I fear that it is what a large minority or even majority of Japanese are in favor of, as civil rights do not seem to apply to NJs in many parties all across the political spectrum.

  • Oh dear…the cabinet is falling apart, just like the rest of the country!

    “…Japan’s trade and industry minister has submitted her resignation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over claims she abused political funds….”

    Not sure why she resigned…this is the “Japanese way of business”..neh!!!


  • Baudrillard says:

    @XY Koreanophobia is all about the denial and projection of Japanese anxieties onto an external target

    Thus I could substitute “Korea” for “Japan” to any NJ audience: “‘(Japan) is a country of whoring and a rapist’s paradise,’ ‘their country’s overflowing with food that’s unsafe to eat (FUKUSHIMA),’ ‘most of the men don’t wash their hands when they use the bathroom,’ ‘the kids’ suicides are skyrocketing because of the hellish extracurriculars (bullying),’ and ‘(Sony)’s in trouble.’ I could go on…

    Pot, meet kettle. Again.

  • Oppppss….no brushing the sex slave issue under the carpet this time. China is making more noises:

    “..Media in China slam Japan over its latest denial that it was using “comfort women” during World War II forcing them to work in military brothels ….According to reports, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has rejected his predecessor Yohei Kono’s statement made in 1993, admitting that the Japanese military had coerced women into being sex slaves….”

    “..”The administration of PM Shinzo Abe is scheming to escape responsibilities and cover up their wrongdoing, but no matter what means they resort to, they are not able to deceive anyone,” writes the paper. Japan has said it wants to be a peaceful nation and calls for meetings with the top leaders of neighbouring countries to develop friendly ties, but it keeps denying its sins of militarism, causing its neighbours and the international community to be worried,” says the article…”

    “..A report in the Guangming Daily accuses Japan of duplicity.
    “The Abe regime is trying to be friendly with Beijing, Seoul and Pyongyang and is temporarily hiding its arrogance in order to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough,” says the daily, “However, Mr Suga’s comments remind us once again that the conservative right-wing forces in Japan have never stopped distorting history by using even more despicable and sinister means.”…”


  • This is an interesting test case – shockingly more so considering this is the 21stC too:

    “..Japan’s Supreme Court has backed a woman who unsuccessfully sued her employer following a demotion due to her pregnancy…” *

    “..”Under the gender equality law for employment opportunities, it is illegal and invalid to discharge or treat disadvantageously a female worker due to her pregnancy, as well as due to her request for maternity leave or a lighter workload,” the Supreme Court said…”

    What is most odd, is this reply:

    “..”The government would like to co-operate with various related ministries to ensure this point is understood thoroughly, and to offer support to workers.”..”

    This clearly indicates the problem. If such a Law exist, then is is illegal and must be enforced. Yet here the GoJ is simply saying, well we the Govt look after the companies and the companies look after the workers; as has always been the historical way in Japan (hence no real rights for workers). So nothing has changed as we (GoJ) can’t force the companies to do this as it is not our problem. Status quo!


  • Baudrillard says:

    “Yoichi Miyazawa admitted staff had claimed expenses after visiting a sadomasochistic bar in Hiroshima, but emphasised he did not visit the bar.” Actually, I think in Japan this is a valid business expense. According to Baudrillard, sex disappears as a referent in the hyperreality of liberated sexuality. It is interesting for me that he quotes Barthes comment on Japan: “There, sexuality is in sex and nowhere else. In the United States, sexuality is everywhere except in sex.” Baudrillard considers Japanese sexuality as to be different from American or Western one as Barthes did. His insistence is interesting because his analysis on Japanese sexuality is very different from ours. It is more interesting to read Japanese sexuality in his “Seduction” in which he mentions Japanese striptease.

    This is why Barthes says that “in Japan – in the country that I call Japan – sexuality is in sex, not elsewhere; in the United States, it’s the opposite: sex is everywhere, except in sexuality” (Barthes, [1970] 1980:42).

    Further reading

    Combine this with postmodern Japan, Japan’s history (rape of Nanjing, male dominance but mother complex, etc) and the idea that sex is sex and nothing to be ashamed of, mix with work stress and male bonding and of course, this is commonplace in business in Japan.


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