UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS now on iTunes, subscribe free
Hi Blog. As an addendum to this morning’s blog on the Kim Hyon Hui Japan Visit, more food for thought from a friend. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
THE BIG CON
TOKYO –Japan’s government took its “Yokoso Japan!” campaign to a new level Tuesday, throwing out the welcome mat for a foreigner who murdered 115 people, providing her with an entrance visa no questions asked, whisking her through customs, and offering her a ride to a former Prime Minister’s summer home.
Kim Hyon Hui, a wannabe actress-turned-terrorist who blew up a 747 filled with 115 people back in 1987 when she was a North Korean agent and who got the death penalty, only to see it revoked for reasons that are still unclear, arrived at Haneda airport Wednesday by special charter plane from her home in South Korea. Ms. Kim saw Japan’s fine hospitality at its best, and was even given her own motorcade to former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s summer home in Karuizawa. No delays at train stations or red lights for our Ms. Kim!
Ms. Kim had agreed to her Japanese vacation to discuss what she says she knows about Megumi Yokota, who was kidnapped to North Korea in 1977, and Yaeko Taguchi, another abductee who trained Ms. Kim in Japanese. Showing that Japan’s love for Korean actors continues, the stylish Kim is quite a celebrity among the families of the abductees and their political and bureaucratic supporters. Gushing like a schoolboy, Mr. Yokota admitted to reporters Wednesday that Ms. Kim was quite a looker, while Mrs. Yokota noted men always like a pretty face. Good looks, svelte figure, fashionable suit, an air of mystery and sophistication. . .who cares if she’s a cold-blooded killer (the bereaved relatives of those she killed?-Ed.)
For her part, Ms. Kim was nothing but diplomatic during her visit. Demonstrating the kind of social grace her hosts no doubt appreciated, one of her demands before coming to Japan was a room with a kitchen so should could make some Japanese meals for her Japanese friends—the same kind of meals Yaeko Taguchi taught her to make (presumably at gunpoint–Ed.). But a thorough search of all homes, restaurants, and hotels between Narita and Karuizawa failed to turn up a kitchen capable of whipping up a proper meal for Ms. Kim. So Hatoyama stepped in and graciously offered to have her over to his place for dinner.
While relaxing in luxury and surrounded by a phalanx of police security to guard against terrorist threats (such as panels advocating cuts in the police budget–Ed ), the woman who murdered 115 people to please her “Great Leader”’ was feted by not only the families of the abudctees but also Japanese government officials anxious to learn from Ms. Kim about the fate of a few Japanese like Megumi Yokota who were abducted to North Korea. Obviously, former spy Kim’s motives for her first-class trip to Japan cannot be questioned, as her memory of alleged sightings of Megumi Yokota nearly a quarter century ago are, of course, ironclad, crystal clear, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Yes, Ms. Kim did suffer a memory loss when she originally told Japanese officials she’d never met Megumi Yokota. But that was then and this is now. The Japanese government is quite happy to learn she has regained her memory, calling it a miracle and dismissing cynics who wonder whether Kim’s memory loss was restored with the aid of both hypnosis and secret bank accounts in Switzerland, Macau, or the Cayman Islands.
So busy were Japanese officials with their one-woman “Yokoso Japan!” on behalf of Ms. Kim and her testimony about children abducted from Japan by foreigners in violation of domestic and international law that readers will surely sympathize with our nation’s overworked and understaffed bureaucracy when they insist they have no time to meet with Americans, Canadians, British, Germans, French, Indians, or anyone else who would like–just a few minutes, if you please — to discuss the issue of children abducted to Japan by Japanese in violation of domestic and international law.
It makes perfect sense, of course. Not even the Prime Minister’s summer home could accommodate the number of people who would have to be invited to that backyard BBQ, so why risk damaging Japan’s reputation internationally by running short on yakuniku, ice, and Pokki sticks? We certainly don’t want that.
Tomorrow, Ms. Kim will conclude her excellent adventure with a helicopter tour of Mt. Fuji. Once she offers her final bows to her Japanese hosts in the departure lounge of Haneda airport, the rest of the world will be left wondering if the would-be thespian-turned-spy-turned-mass-murderer-turned-grand-tourist has just concluded a performance worthy of an Oscar. For Ms. Kim may be grounded in Stalinist-Marxist dogma and the philosophy of juche. But look over your shoulder. That’s the ghost of P.T. Barnum, winking at Ms. Kim in admiration and approval for her thorough understanding of his business philosophy.
13 comments on “UPDATE: Additional thoughts on the DPRK Spy Kim Hyon Hui Japan Visit: The Big Con”
>Kim Hyon Hui, who got the death penalty, only to see it revoked for reasons that are still unclear
The reason is very clear. She was pardoned by Republic of Korea President Roh Tae-woo.
Does anyone get surprised if a member of a criminal organization is pardoned in exchange for information to crack down the organization?
— That’s a perfect parallel. /sarcasm Do you stay up late thinking this stuff up?
Are there any comments/reports on the feelings about her freedom status/ this vist of the relatives of the dead 115 persumably Korean victims of the plane bomb attack? Is she under complete supervision even back in SK as per terms of her ‘special conditions’ to be let off the death penalty? And why oh why do the media report every single minute (small) detail (surely private information personal to those realatives of the abductees involved) when they could be covering ANYTHING more important. Another example of the media deciding what the populace should be interested in.
Quite obvious she is acting and using the relatives` despair. As for the Japanese government conduct…You couldn`t get it more right, it`s just disgusting.
This would be a good topic for your column in the Japan Times.
It’s tons of great publicity for the Democratic Party of Japan. Hot new intel on an issue they have spent too little time on to satisfy enough people. A Mata Hari hottie rolled out to capture the attention of the nation and prove that the DPJ cares about the issue. She even says that she had seen seven of the people in this poster. http://www.chosa-kai.jp/hanbai.html#POS
You’re right about the ghost of Barnum winking at Ms. Kim, but he’s also giving a thumbs up to PM Kan.
This whole thing is sick. And to top it off, the poor Yokotas, who lost a daughter, are wheeled out again for the Japanese government to use, as they’ve always been used, to get support for the politicians. The ‘Megumi’ business, for that it is what it is, is also sick. I feel for that family, but think Japanese government officials are absolutely clueless, or couldn’t give a rat’s ass, about international opinion. Unbelievable! And the media lapdogs all fall in line.
Following on what Douglas said, it’s not just the media deciding what viewers ‘should’ be interested in, it’s also this tendency I’ve noticed in Japan for anyone who shows up on TV to become an instant celebrity. Remember Lindsay Ann Hawker’s killer Tatsuya Ichihashi? Even he had fans: http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/airhead-female-fans-cant-get-enough-of-cute-accused-killer-ichihashi. (Okay, slightly different situation in this case, but the idea is the same)
and in addition to what Rachel stated above – going way off topic BUT also akin to media making decisions for our personal benefit, last Monday on Beat Takeshi’s TV Tackle 2/3 hr special they had 50 members of the general public (taxi drivers, fishermen, small business workers/owners for the main)asked to give their opinions with various politicians and political ‘analysts’ chipping in with their comments. Decent program when the general public were allowed to talk about the real world. Anyway, at the end of the program the final question was ‘How many of the the 50 were glad to have taken part in this program’ probably expecting most participants to answer yes – only 15 did. Thankfully a few of their comments were aired – Having spent a lot of time explaining their problems there was a lot of frustration and a low expectancy that ANY of the political parties would take any action and actually change anything. Nice to see some real debate on TV (amongst the necessary ‘joke’ that has to be included whenever any discussion gets too serious)- HOpefully Ota soridaijin will take this topic up on Friday night!
I agree with Mark
This is very sick – and furthermore if I am reading the article correctly this woman murdered 115 souls in cold blood and she is treated better than those of us paying taxes.
It is getting very hard to take the Japanese government seriously anymore
My husband- a Korean- supposes that the Japanese government has cut a deal just like the Korean government some time ago, when the woman had her death penalty revoked. Maybe she is going to reveal some important to the Japanese government information, which is going to be kept secret from everyone (military intel?), about the North Korean military , spy traning, or even if there are spies among Japanese people of power, especially zainichi.And the info about Yokota and the other abductees is just a smoke for the media and the public. Hell, they will treat her as a queen if she can prove that Masayoshi Son is supplying the North with technology and personal info(hypothetically).
Honestly, I don’t believe the true aim of her visit is info on the abductees either. I know this sounds like conspiracy theory, but everything is just too strange, isn’t it?
Holy cow, some sane thoughts from the opposition…:
“Opposition leaders criticize gov’t for admitting ex-N Korean spy
Friday 23rd July, 01:44 AM JST
Opposition party leaders criticized the government on Thursday for allowing a former North Korean spy, responsible for blowing up a South Korean passenger jet in 1987, to visit Japan.
The treatment given to Kim Hyon Hui, 48, such as allowing her to stay at former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s country house in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, is ‘‘nothing but a performance’’ by the government, said Sadakazu Tanigaki, president of the Liberal Democratic Party.
Tanigaki said Kim is being treated almost as a very important person, but that in light of such treatment of a convicted terrorist, ‘‘Japan cannot win international understanding for its stance on terrorism,’’ he added.
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who belongs to the LDP, said the government should have arranged a session for investigative authorities to question Kim during her four-day stay until Friday.
Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the New Komeito party, said the government should be more accountable for Kim’s visit as it is being financed with taxpayers’ money.”
Got to agree with Tanigaki that this was nothing but a performance.
While on the subject of our tax yen at work on the government’s abduction issue-related ‘performances’, feel free to enjoy the Japanese government’s radio programs produced for, and broadcast via shortwave to the abductees in the DPRK.
It’s a shame the study group that looked into the feasibility and potential effectiveness of the program overlooked the fact that radios in the DPRK are preset to the frequencies of the state broadcaster, and other transmissions from outside the country are jammed.
This isn’t a Hatoyama or Kan cabinet initiative, but one of Tanigaki’s LDP chums’ bright ideas from a few years back.
I’m not saying it was right to use taxpayers’ money to bring her to Japan, but come on, she was brainwashed. Is everybody who succumbs to brainwashing evil? To her, at the time, what she was doing was probably in line with how we now regard the 20 July plot. Is it so hard to believe that she would realize she had been brainwashed when she saw what Seoul/SK really was like?
— Even if we allow for brainwashing and assume she’s not willfully conning people (an assumption I’m not willing to make), she had no business being brought over here on our dime with this much extravagance.