Japanese city in a dance over pop band that criticized ruling LDP


Staff Writer

The municipal government in the city of Yamato, Kanagawa Prefecture, is taking the unusual step of retroactively withdrawing support for a public event, after deeming that a band’s lyrics were too political.

At the June 13 event, all-girl pop ensemble Seifuku Kojo Iinkai (Uniform Improvement Committee) performed a song that slammed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

“The LDP, the root of all evil,” the group sang. “Let’s remove the LDP from power.”

One condition the authority set for lending its support to the June 13 event, a discussion forum organized by supporters of the pacifist Constitution, was political neutrality. The city declares that it does not extend nominal support to organizations and events that express specific political beliefs.

Organized by the Article 9 Yamato no Kai civil group, the event was billed as an opportunity to discuss the nation’s right to collective self-defense.

Eiichi Funakoshi, chief of the city’s International and Gender Equality Department, attended the event. He said the city recognized the forum as having a strong political slant, and that it plans to withdraw its support even though the event has already taken place.

“It’s quite unusual to quash an event after it’s over. The withdrawal per se is intended to show that the city does not support specific political ideas,” he said.

The city has lent its nominal support to events organized by Yamato no Kai for the past nine years. Funakoshi said the city understands that it is a civil organization that advocates peace and provides opportunities for citizens to learn about and discuss peace and the Constitution.

Ryuta Saito, the secretary-general of Yamato no Kai, said the group had simply tried to provide an opportunity for citizens to learn more about Article 9, adding that the event also featured former Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary Kyoji Yanagisawa, who is well-versed in constitutional issues.

“We wanted more young people to come to the event to discuss the Constitution, and I thought inviting an idol group would be a great idea to attract young audiences, (rather) than having Mr. Yanagisawa alone,” Saito said.

The organizers did not intend to proselytize against the LDP, he added.

Saito said the group has been a target of criticism for years. Prior to the June event, the city council had received a petition from some citizens who support constitutional revision — urging the city to reconsider its nominal support for Yamato no Kai.

“Considering the change in the political sphere, an increasing number of people are now calling for amending Article 9 of the Constitution,” the petition said.

The city did not act on the petition, and Funakoshi said the reason support was being withdrawn was that the band had simply criticized a political party.

  • zer0_0zor0


  • anoninjapan

    wow!!….is there may be, just may be, a growing ember of dissension that is not being quashed by the Govt??

    “…“We wanted more young people to come to the event to discuss the Constitution, and I thought inviting an idol group would be a great idea to attract young audiences, (rather) than having Mr. Yanagisawa alone,” Saito said….”

    Yup…that’s what they are doing….but, that’s the trouble with free thinking minds….they don’t conform to the indoctrination by Govts. Way to go…

    Girl power :))))

  • Nancy Snow

    I have a song too that I wrote two years ago but it’s a bit critical and I may not get to perform it in public! I’d like to hear the idol song or watch it on YouTube.

  • tokyoprogressive

    This is how fascism works. You uninvite people who say uncomfortable things. You use the excuse that publc events cannot be political (how can a discussion of Article 9 be anything but?). Now that discussion is effectively cut off, there can be no opinions except those approved by the LDP. Already what NHK is doing with its reporting, or omission of relevant facts, such as that Abe was hecked in Okinawa the other day. And with the LDP’s draconian secrets law, where you could, for all I know, be proosecuted for writing “drive out the LDP” in newspaper comments sections, newspapeers will increasingly remove those potential problems proactively, so that there will no longer BE anyone speaking out Abe’s ‘proactive’ and aggressive embracing of guns to ‘further world peace’.

    Once there is but one voice you have effectively manufactured consent for repression in the name of maintaining and expanding U.D. bases, Japan remilitarising and trying to catch up with the world’s biggest merchant of death (the U.S.) in selling WMD. Japan’s democracy will effectively be snuffed out.

    That is how fascism will come to Japan, cortesy of the LDP.

    • Cristián Hugo Muñoz Campos

      Stupid comment. LDP ruled Japan for the major part of it’s post-war History with OUTSTANDING AND EXCELLENT RESULTS, but you think LDP is being “fascist” after 2013 just for improving military capabilities of Japan??. You are the typical Korean/Chinese Communist troll worshiping Communist genocidal mass murder tyrannical totalitarianism.

      Glory to Mr. Abe.
      We need a nuclear armed Japan against the Communist nuclear threat.

    • Hendrix

      Fascism indeed and it’s coming very soon.. wont be long now, i saw the writing on the wall a few years ago…

  • Cristián Hugo Muñoz Campos

    Mr. Abe, you don’t have to bother with this Communist Korean/Chinese agents infiltrated among Japanese “artists” (Chinese funded Communists). What Japan need to do is economic sanctions against this Communist trolls funded from China and Korea, expose their link to the tyrannical-totalitarian mass murderer Communism, and deprive them from access to any kind of benefit guaranteed by Japanese people and nation. For example, to begin with, Japan should deprive them from any access to drinking water, electricity, gas, oil or other resources being extracted from Japan or being paid by JAPANESE WORKERS & TAXPAYERS, not by China/Korea-funded Communist Zainichi or Korean-naturalized-as-Japanese agents and saboteurs. Also, this foreign agents MUST be deprived from any land or private property. Do you want lands, Communists??, then GET OUT OF JAPAN, go back to China and tell Beijing you need lands and property. ;)
    Any asset this Communists agents manage in Japanese soil must be immediately confiscated. Also, this Communists must be deprived from any access to the JAPANESE electromagnetic spectrum, and any access to JAPAN-provided communication networks.

    Finally, for those Anti-LDP and Anti-Abe Communist Wanna-Be-Chink trolls that accuse Mr. Abe of being “militarists” against ANY EVIDENCE: Before spread false propaganda about “Japan’s militarism”, first, you should take a look at the massive militarization of Russia and China since 2000, and you will see that Moscow and Beijing are the real large scale threat to the peace in Eurasia, Arctic seas and Western Pacific. Russia and China are increasing their nuclear and balistic missile capabilities, meanwhile, Japan has NOT any kind of nuclear or balistic missile program. Both Koreas are also MILITARIST extremist states, with the North developing nuclear and missile programs and both Koreas developing cruise missile programs without any restriction. So, the claim that Japan is “militarizing” is a BLATANT LIE against any evidence.
    So, why there are people insisting in their blatant lie of a “Militarized Japan”??: That’s because they are Anti-Japan Communists & Internationalist supporters of the mass murderer Communism. Japan is only improving it’s self defense capabilities in light of the heavily increased Chinese, Russian and Korean MILITARISM proved by FACTS and evidence.
    BANZAI Mr. Abe.
    Glory to Japan.
    Let’s fights against Communists foreign agents “artists” in Japan.
    Deal with it.

    • Hendrix

      Time for your medication now…

    • J.P. Bunny

      I’m guessing there is a coherent thought in there someplace?

  • tokyoprogressive

    sorry, posted twice, cannot delete.

  • J.P. Bunny

    “We want young people to discuss the Constitution, but only if we agree with what they say.” How far to the right can can these people lean until they topple over into the Fascist Zone?

  • aa0145

    By not being critical of the LDP, they are supporting the party’s actions.