Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The LDP and the thugs of the right

A woman takes the stage and says: "We are committed to rebuilding a proud Japan, where the prime minister can openly worship at Yasukuni. We will devote ourselves to speeding the day when the Emperor too can worship here."

As she rejoins the spectators and the familiar chords of "Kimigayo" groan from the speakers, two young protesters shout anti-Yasukuni slogans. The protesters are hauled away from the stage, beaten by ultra-rightists and chased from the shrine as an enraged old man repeatedly screams at them to "Go back to China." The two men, who are Japanese, are then arrested by the police.

That woman politician was of course Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Tomomi Inada, today widely seen as the main critical force against the movie [Yasukuni] and a leading historical revisionist....

"Politicians know that when they, say, make pronouncements about these issues that we will take action," says Yoshisada Takahashi, who heads a Tokyo-based ultra-nationalist group.

It goes on and on. Abe was a stooge of the right who became Prime Minister. Aso awaits his chance after the more moderate Fukuda. Of course not all of the return-to-the-past rightists are LDP members. Former LDP member and now Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara is another of the rightwing crowd and not only because he dislikes immigrants, women, and about everything else. (See the article to learn just a little more of Ishihara.)

David McNeill has a piece in the Japan Times about the "politicians who flirt with fascists" to attempt to stop the showing of the Li Ying documentary, Yasukuni. That attempt may be failing as at least 20 theaters have decided to show it in spite of the risks. Article here.

Li discusses the film and his reasons for making it here.

...It was a shock. It left me shaking. I couldn't believe it. I felt like I was standing on a battlefield. It was a shock to experience such a scene, here in Japan so many years after the war. That people still feel a sense of honor and pride toward such a scene, it's unthinkable...

Both articles provide a strong refutation of the 2002 Eugene A. Matthews article in the CFR below.

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