Saturday, September 27, 2008

Confidence restored

MangaMan Aso is a man of action and as such has already appointed a fresh, competent cabinet.

His new tourism minister began by arguably being a bit too honest:

...Nariaki Nakayama wasted no time putting his foot in it. The day after stating that Japanese do not like foreigners and that the country is ethnically homogeneous...

...Asked how more foreign travelers might be enticed to come to Japan in the face of opposition from some locals, Nakayama responded, "Definitely, (Japanese) do not like or desire foreigners."

He added that Japan is extremely inward-looking and "ethnically homogeneous." (Japan Times.)

OK, so Japan is not "ethnically homogeneous." I assume that this error in fact is what the controversy is over as the rest of what he said rings true. Or is it because a man in his position should have more sense than to publicly make statements, well-intentioned/true or not?

Or, is the real sin this statement:

"In that sense, I envy somewhere like China"...

(Made when complaining about local opposition to the Narita airport expansion--- I guess he assumes that it would be better if he and his fellow rightwing nutjobs could repress protests as China can.)

Mr. Nakayama is one of rightwingers who has claimed that the Nanjing Massacre is a lie*, and was so happy that he could have s**t himself when references to sex slavery were removed from some school texts in 2005.

Maybe, just maybe, the LDP is on its last legs this time. These old goofs are going to continue these sorts of statements because they believe them---and in some cases making such statements satisfies the nutjob section LDP supporters. The question is if the public cares enough about these sorts of things to throw them out for more than one election cycle. I wonder, as even the pension scandal seems to have gone off the radar screen. Of course, if they do vote the LDP out then we'll get to see if the DPJ, led by Ozawa (???!!!), is any different.

* 29 Sept: I have also read that he actually said that the number of deaths has been exaggerated by China, but that he did not deny Nanjing occurred. Also, I deleted "Aso/Abe" from "
rightwingers" as I do not know that either of them have claimed Nanjing is exaggerated or a lie.

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