Thursday, November 30, 2006

Japan Focus and Gregory Clark's article

Interestingly, the article in last Monday's Japan Focus by Gregory Clark in which he discusses the attacks on him, and to his employer by right wing in Japan, has completely disappeared from the sight. None of his other articles have disappeared, even those in which he criticizes the rightists.

Did Clark withdraw it due to some error on his part or other reasons? Was he pressured to withdraw it? Was Japan Focus pressured? These are questions which have to be asked in Japan, but the likelihood of that type of pressure occurring is very high, as Clark discussed in the (removed) article.

In the US, "political correctness" usually refers to how minorities are addressed or how certain issues concerning minorities are discussed/addressed. generally the idea is that one should not use language which would offend people just by the language. In Japan, political correctness means not openly disagreeing with anyone, most especially the rightwing nationalists. To do so is very risky for a Japanese, and now it seems to be becoming risky for non-Japanese. I guess it always has been, if one looks at what happens to many foreign academics who are critical of Japan. As has long been known, money and access tend to dry up.

3 December update: The article was removed at Clark's request, according to an email that I received from Japan Focus.

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