Hi Blog. For some people, anything is an excuse for a party. Especially if it’s a Political Party. For the Far-Right xenophobes in Japan, it’s their party and they’ll decry if they want to — as they continue their anti-NJ rantings, even when they’ve effectively shouted down the NJ Suffrage Bill the DPJ proposed after they came to power last August. Everyone has to have a hobby, it seems. Pity theirs is based upon hatred of NJ, particularly our geopolitical neighbors. Two submissions of primary source materials and posters enclosed below, one from Debito.org Reader AS, one from me that I picked up when I was in Tokyo last March, which led to a rally reported on in the Japan Times and Kyodo the other day. Drink in the invective and see how naked and bold Japan’s xenophobia is getting.
Subject: More anti-NJ suffrage propaganda
Date: April 14, 2010
Hi Debito, There was a person handing out anti-NJ suffrage materials at Tokorozawa station yesterday morning, and, as I promised myself I would, I got a photo and the stuff he was handing out.
I think I caught him off guard when I approached him from the flank and stuck my hand out for the pamphlets – he just handed them over without realizing until it was too late.
Ok, the pamphlets themselves. The first one is not particularly nasty, it’s just another “Release the North Korean kidnap victims” flyer. It appears to be produced by another group.
Funny how this stuff talks about the international community, while the group distributing it want nothing to do with the international community.
The second one is quite vindictive and lacking in logic. The first side is largely devoted to portraying China as a murderous country with no justice or morals (“a culture of evil”) and then jumping to the conclusion that foreign suffrage, dual nationality, recognized residency for NJs and spouses with different surnames will mean the same fate for the Japanese as is has for ethnic minorities in China!! (The same kind of logic as “Don’t buy a Toyota because Tojo was a murderer!”)
“China is evil, so we can’t have…”
Page 2 resorts to character assassination of DPJ members, linking them with China, South Korea and communism, then goes on to the same arguments that NJs will abuse child support allowance and that Japanese won’t be able to receive it.
Next is the big stinking lie that anyone (including illegal residents and criminals) can get PR just by living here for 5 years and that they will have the same voting rights as Japanese.
It then goes on to suggest that human rights laws will turn Japan into a communist nation with no freedom (Gosh – I was under the impression that page one was slagging off China for not protecting human rights)
Finally, we get the guff that allowing different surnames for spouses will be the end of the family unit. (Let’s just make everyone change their name to Suzuki, then). DS
ADDENDUM FROM DEBITO: I too saw these protesters and felt their invective outside the Diet Building on March 23, 2010, just after I gave my presentation to UN Special Rep Bustamante. (I wonder if he caught wind of these people; they certainly were making enough of a stink.)
I too managed to get some flyers (off a kind reporter), and here are some of them. Hang on to your logical hats, everyone:
In addition to the flyers AS referred to above (these are the same people distributing, after all):
We have former ASDF general Tamogami wallowing in all the luscious pink trappings of Japanese patriotism, calling for people to come pay money to hear him speak in Kamakura. What you would be in store for: According to the Japan Times January 24, 2010 (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20100124x4.html), “20 percent of shares in the Japanese mass media are held by foreigners. This means that the Japanese mass media are controlled by foreign investments. Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was brought down by these foreign powers.” Good thing he’s no longer imbedded in our military.
Here’s our laundry list of national heroes (with Tamogami and racist Dietmember Hiranuma enjoying big pictures) for us lesser mortals:
The greater national hero I’d like to see honored more often would be journalist Kotoku Shusui, but some of these faces above are the type of people who would have him and his ideology killed. (They managed it, and look where it got Japan — destroyed in WWII.)
Underpinning all of the counterarguments proffered above is more hatred. NJ hate us. So we shouldn’t allow any of them to vote. QED.
And here comes the kitchen sinking — where we lump in all sorts of other issues (including Nikkyouso, even Japan’s sex education) with the NJ suffrage stuff. And of course Ozawa’s qualification as a real Japanese are called into question due to his beliefs. Didn’t realize “Japaneseness” also meant ideological conformity and uniform arguments. Oh wait, yes it did, back in the bad old days when it led the nation to destruction in a world war. Never mind. Reenforced patriotism will surely fix everything!
An advertisement for a big free public rally against NJ suffrage in the Budoukan (the place the Far-Rightists also protested when the Beatles played back in 1966, as they were too decadent for Japanese morals; they paved the way for Cheap Trick, however, phew). Wish I could have gone. The Japan Times and Kyodo attended, however. Here’s what they say (excerpt):
The Japan Times Sunday, April 18, 2010
Foreigner suffrage opponents rally
Conservative politicians express outrage at DPJ plan
By ALEX MARTIN Staff writer
Conservative intellectuals and key executives from five political parties were among the thousands who gathered in Tokyo on Saturday to rally against granting foreign residents voting rights for local elections.
On hand were financial services minister Shizuka Kamei, who heads Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party), Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Tadamori Oshima, former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma, who recently launched his own political party, Tachiagare Nippon (Sunrise Party of Japan), and Your Party leader Yoshimi Watanabe.
According to the organizer, a total of 10,257 people attended the convention at the Nippon Budokan arena in Chiyoda Ward, including representatives of prefectural assemblies and citizens from across the nation…
In an opening speech preceded by the singing of the “Kimigayo” national anthem, Atsuyuki Sassa, former head of the Cabinet Security Affairs Office and chief organizer of the event, expressed his concern about granting foreigners suffrage.
“I was infuriated when I heard of plans to submit to the Diet a government-sponsored bill giving foreign residents voting rights,” he said.
“Our Constitution grants those with Japanese nationality voting rights in return for their obligation to pay taxes,” he said. “Granting suffrage to those without Japanese nationality is clearly a mistake in national policy.”
[NB: As any taxpaying NJ knows, this is untrue. I guess that means they don’t need NJ tax monies.]
Taking the podium to a round of applause, Kamei emphasized his party’s role in preventing the government from submitting the bill to the Diet, and said that “it was obvious that granting suffrage will destroy Japan.”
Kamei, who has in the past argued that giving foreigners voting rights could incite nationalism during polling, went so far as to declare that his party would leave the ruling coalition if the government submitted the bill to the Diet…
Rest of the article at http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20100418a1.html
Kyodo News adds:
Lawmakers oppose giving foreign residents right to vote
Japan Today/Kyodo Sunday 18th April, 2010
TOKYO — A group of conservative lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties on Saturday voiced their opposition to proposed legislation to enfranchise permanent foreign residents for local elections. Shizuka Kamei, who leads the People’s New Party, addressed a gathering of people against the proposed legislation in Tokyo, saying, ‘‘The right to vote for foreigners will ruin Japan.’‘
‘‘It will not be enacted during the current parliamentary session because the People’s New Party has invoked a veto (within the government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama),’’ said Kamei, who is a cabinet member within the tripartite coalition government.
While Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan is aiming to pass the legislation, at least one member is apparently opposed.
Jin Matsubara, a House of Representative member of the DPJ, told the meeting, ‘‘There is an argument that Europe is positive about enfranchising foreigners, but that does not hold water in Japan. I am unequivocally opposed. It’s my belief that it is necessary to faithfully speak up (about the issue) within the party.’‘
Meanwhile, Mizuho Fukushima, a cabinet member and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Japan that partners the DPJ and PNP in the government, reiterated her endorsement of the proposed legislation.
‘‘It’s not about all foreigners and it’s also limited to local elections,’’ she told reporters in Odate, Akita Prefecture. ‘‘Participation in the local community is necessary, as some countries have approved it.’‘
Objections to the bill were also expressed by opposition lawmakers at the Tokyo meeting. Tadamori Oshima, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, ‘‘We must protect Japan’s sovereignty. I am absolutely opposed.’‘
Yoshimi Watanabe, leader of Your Party, suggested that enfranchising foreign residents is a vote-buying tactic. ‘‘The Democratic Party says livelihood is the No. 1 issue, but in fact aren’t elections their No. 1 business?’’ he said.
Takeo Hiranuma, who leads the just launched Sunrise Party of Japan, said he ‘‘will stake his life in fighting’’ against the legislation.
CONCLUSION: These are some awfully flash and well produced pamphlets, and renting sound trucks and the whole Budoukan for all these sound bites cost a helluva lot of money. Who’s funding this? Arudou Debito in Sapporo