Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Japan justice minister claims al Qaeda connection

That's the headline of an article at OnSanDiego.com. He originally stated that he had heard about a plan for the terrorist bombing in Bali from a friend whose friend was a member of al Qaeda. Later he must have realized that it would look bad if a person who later became Justice Minister had connections with al Qaeda and prior knowledge of a terrorist attack did not warn anyone of said plans. He then held another news conference to explain his claimed al Qaeda ties. In this conference, he said he only heard about the warning months after the attack from his buddy's friend in al Qaeda.

The whole story is confusing---I understood the above version from a report on the NHK news last night, but other media have somewhat different versions. He got into this because he was trying to explain why the government would adopt the US approach of photographing and fingerprinting every non-Japanese when the enter Japan.

Perhaps his views on non-Japanese could be better understood from his own statement---if he actually knew and meant what he was saying:

Hatoyama earlier on Monday also expressed opposition to the pro-immigration stance of his predecessor, Jinen Nagase, who called for more foreign workers to make up the shortfall as Japan's population ages and shrinks.

'Japan is not a country that can become a 'melting pot', he said, arguing that allowing more foreign laborers into the country would lead to a rise in crime. Full article here.

He is also the guy who got in a little hot water a few weeks ago when he suggested that he should not have to sign execution orders in order for convicts to be killed, instead he prefered a more automated process which would eliminate the need for him to deal with such unpleasantness.

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