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Hi Blog. Here’s something for the undergraduates taking classes on critical thinking and government censorship to write a midterm essay on:
Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has put up a website that enables anyone to submit to the government “information about any accounts in overseas [media] relating to our country that is based on misunderstandings of the truth/facts (jijitsu), or is incompatible with our country’s standpoint.”
Here are some essay writing prompts. Discuss:
- Why is the Japanese government, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, getting involved in policing foreign media? Are they the new international media police?
- Why is there an assumption that “our country” has a defined “standpoint” that uniformly faces the rest of the world? And whose “truth” is this?
- Where did the line-item budget come from to pay these MOFA bureaucrats to act as the media police? Don’t they have enough on their plate already managing, y’know, our country’s diplomacy?
Yeah, we’ve talked about Onoda Kimi before. She’s the American-born former dual-national American-Japanese MP who advocates for antiforeigner public policy that would go against her foreign father’s interests. As I wrote for SNA back in 2020:
You can see how deep the pathology runs in Kimi Onoda, LDP Upper House Diet Member from Okayama. She similarly insinuated on March 30 that government subsidies should be denied Non-Japanese residents. But this is stunningly ironic because she was born in America to an American father. She even held American nationality until 2016 (when she was ratted out and gave it up), meaning she too was a foreigner in Japan.
That’s how deep Japan’s dehumanizing antibodies run — where even a self-hating haafu would effectively deny equal treatment to her own father! What immense psychological scars from childhood bullying have prompted her to deny any ties to her minority origins, and to pander for the approval of majority whim that Non-Japanese Residents belong on a separate and unequal tier in society?
If we ever meet, one question I’d like to ask is, “Who hurt you?”
Anyway, good job, Onoda Kimi. Mission accomplished.
Actually, what MOFA is doing is very much within the Japanese Government (GOJ)’s character anyway. The GOJ is very sensitive to how they are perceived abroad, historically stepping in many times to “correct misperceptions” in foreign media. See here, here, here, here, here, and here, for example. (And it’s a stark contrast to, for example, the Americans, who ignore outright disinformation even when it affects their own citizens abroad.)
Granted, compared to the US’s negligence (even making outright threats against their US citizens for not ignoring racial discrimination in Japan), I’d rather that a government step in to correct public misperceptions when their citizens abroad stand to get hurt. But I’m also suspicious of the GOJ’s motives, as evidenced by the links above, as their “standpoint” towards historical and “factual” interpretation is riddled with ahistorical revisionism.
Moreover, asking for the public’s participation like this is redolent of the “Snitch Sites” the Immigration Bureau deployed in 2004, so that anyone could anonymously sicc the GOJ on any foreigner they thought could be an “illegal” — much to the delight of all the Zainichi Korean haters out there.
In sum, this “MOFA foreign media policing site” is yet another politically-motivated government-sponsored website that is encouraging online abuse and feeding the trolls. Debito Arudou, Ph.D.
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