SHRINE VISITS INCITE MANY
Japan continues to swerve to the right. Koizumi's most recent visit to the war criminal shrine provokes even more demonstrations. This time, the Koreans.
Police restrictions and a tense standoff with demonstrators forced a group from Taiwan to abandon a plan Tuesday to "liberate" the souls of loved ones from Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.Just like in America, if left wingers demonstrate, they get attacked by either mobs or the police or both but if even the KKK demonstrates, the cops protect them carefully from any enraged mobs and all right wing groups get to appear in nearly any venue they desire including all Presidential events while leftist groups have to be very careful of even the slightest problem or we get "police riots" since they are looking for any excuse to attack us. It is the same in Japan.
The group of about 60 Taiwanese indigenous people opposed the fact that relatives and acquaintances who died in World War II while serving in the Imperial Japanese Army are "enshrined at a shrine dedicated to praise those who sent them to battlefields."
The Taiwanese had planned to wear ethnic costumes and hold a ritual called "Return, our ancestors' souls" to release the souls of their loved ones from the shrine.
But when they came near Yasukuni Shrine, their two buses were surrounded by hundreds of people believed to be members of rightist groups who shouted angrily at the Taiwanese group, as well as police and journalists who also crowded the scene.
From Japundit (a right wing pro-Japanese site) a Chinese poster told this story about right wing abuse in Japan:
I posted this over at MarmotÂÂs site but in case this site draws a different audience.Just as neo Nazi action in Germany should distress and alarm anyone, so should nationalist neo fascism in Japan cause both anger and demands for a government crackdown. The mealy-mouthed "apologies" of Kozumi coupled with his outrageous actions and his tacit support of the obviously illegal strongarming of the populace in Japan by the far right wing means Asia should take the strengthening Japanese/American fascist alliance very seriously.
For people that have studied Japan that post on this site, IÂd appreciate an explanation of the black van phenomenon in Japan. From the perspective of this American who has not extensively studied Japan, I can only see the failure of the authorities to crack down on extortion and intimidation tactics practiced by Japanese right wings groups as a tacit approval of their viewpoints and methods. I find that disturbing. It also leads me to think that public apologies from Japanese leaders over Nanjing, comfort women, etc. reflect only ÂtatemaeÂ and not ÂhonneÂ and from an American perspective that makes the apologies rather hollow.
Anyway interesting reading about right-wing groups in Japan and their influence.
You should read the whole thing. A side of Japan most gaijin never see or experience. A snippet:
My wife Keiko and I host a weekly talk show on local radio in Western Tokyo Â just before Christmas 2000 we talked briefly about a trip we had made a year earlier to Nanjing[i] in China Â walking through the museum in Nanjing that commemorates the incident, reading the testimony of hundreds of Chinese and non-Chinese survivors, looking at countless photographs of corpses and indeed their bones, some of which lie beneath the museum site, itÂs impossible to deny what happened. And we said so, adding that those who do should pay a visit there themselves.
Thirty minutes after the show was broadcast, three members of a local Âpolitical groupÂ arrived at the studio and asked to see the management. The station director, Sato-san, said he spoke for the station and, after exchanging name cards, everyone sat down.[ii] The only member of the group who spoke was the sempai (senior member) who softly and politely explained his displeasure. The Nanjing Massacre had not been Âofficially announcedÂ (koshiki happyo) by the government, so we shouldnÂt have mentioned it, he said Â Why, he wanted to know, were we going on about China? Was our radio station communist? Sato-san carefully noted these points, including the last, on a writing pad before escorting the visitors to the elevator, bowing and thanking them for their visit.
Two days later the senior station manager called a meeting. He apologized for taking our time and explained that from now on he would be very grateful if we would not discuss political issues on the radio Â He said we would need to apologize over the air for the Nanjing comment. If we didnÂt, the men and their friends would drive their gaisensha, or black sound trucks, outside our sponsors (two ramen, or Chinese noodle, restaurants, a bar, and a couple of real estate agents) and harass them until they withdrew their support. Violence was unlikely, but he couldnÂt rule it out. He apologized again for asking us to apologize. He handed us a sheet of paper the station had prepared for us to read on the next show. It said that we humbly apologized for the Âinappropriate commentsÂ (futekisetsu na hyogen ) we had made the previous week.
My wife and I were stunned. Far from being angry at a crude, thuggish attempt to shut down a public discussion, the stationÂs management had gone along with the rightistÂs suggestions and upped the ante, out-censoring the censors by requesting an end to all political discussion.
Comment by ariwrong Â 4/13/2005 @ 5:32 pm
In a recent Japanese poll 57.7 of the respondents said Koizumi shouldn't visit the shrine. Evidently, this popular support for ending the crisis isn't being heeded. Why?
Look at these two side boxes in the Japanese newsite. The NIKKEI has been struggling to keep above 10,000 ever since the real estate bubble burst wdisastrousht after the disasterous Kobe earthquake. Yet their export market has boomed since then as well as their government money available which has been pretty much propping up the US government via "loans" yet the Japanese are a tad nervous, wondering when thbasiliskers will turn a basklisk eye towards Japan. The rage and fury over China's deficits has distracted American political parties from examining the dangerous relationship of the Japanese ruling corporate/right wing and the corruption and malefeasance and irresponsibilities of the American/corporate/right wing.
Do you think it is a good move by Toyota to hike prices of its vehicles in the U.S. to help its struggling American competitors?
For business reasons, both entities have decided to cut out and attack both Korea and China because they are alarmed at the incursions being made by both countrie's capitalists. Just like, after visiting the newly installed right wing President, Bush, in 2001, neo fascist Sharon of Israel immediately and deliberately provoked the Muslims in Jerusalem to riot when he and a huge entourage entered one of Mohammedism's most sacred shrines, thus starting the Infantata and giving the Jews a green light to attack a mostly disarmed and surrounded population so they could build a wall and ghettoize Palestine.
Education minister Nariaki Nakayama apologized Tuesday for "causing trouble" to the government with his recent remark praising the removal of references to "comfort women" from revised history textbooks, top government spokesman Hiroyuki Hosoda said.This was incredible. Once again, a top minister in Japan tried to belittle or minimize Japanese war crimes. Even as the courts dismissed lawsuits from the victims of these crimes, top ministers have the gall to mock them!
Nakayama apologized in a meeting of Cabinet ministers after being chided by Hosoda for his weekend remark that has drawn fire from South Korea and China, Hosoda told a press conference. (Kyodo News)
Japan and China on Tuesday agreed to hold subcabinet-level talks in Tokyo later this month to discuss various pending issues, a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official said.Once again, the Chinese attempt to get the Japanese to open serious negotiations. Since the Japanese slap in the face of the visiting Vice President last month, forcing her to cancel her visit, negotiations have only struggled along at lower levels.
Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi and visiting Chinese diplomat Cui Tiankai who heads the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Asian Affairs Department reached the agreement during a meeting in Tokyo, the official said. (Kyodo News)
The Chinese have used this time to strengthen alliances and form secret agreements with the many people who are interested in clipping Japan's wings.
It looks like some of the saner Japanese are trying to stop this mess:
The Osaka High Court on Friday is scheduled to hold a hearing of an appeal of a lawsuit filed by Taiwanese people who claim that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine violates the Constitution.