/

Does right-wing extremism threaten Japan’s democracy?

by

Extreme nationalism is a threat to democratic institutions and values everywhere. Recent reports in the British media about the growing influence of right-wing extremists in Japan have caused deep concern among friends of Japan here.

On Oct. 22 it was reported that Sanae Takaichi, the minister for internal affairs, had given an enthusiastic endorsement of a book praising Adolf Hitler. The explanations and denials issued have been contradictory and unconvincing.

If any British minister were to say anything that even by implication supported a criminal who had been instrumental in instituting the Holocaust, there would be a public outcry and the minister concerned would be forced to resign.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s alleged statement in April that convicted war criminals were “martyrs” was regarded here as unacceptable. I wrote to the Japanese Embassy in London asking whether Abe had in fact made such a statement. I said that any such statement was highly offensive to British people whose relatives had suffered so much at the hands of some members of Imperial Japanese forces during World War II. As no reply to my letter was received, I have to assume that Abe had indeed made this remark.

On Oct. 18 it was reported that NHK, in a notice to journalists on its English-language services, had banned any references to the Nanking massacre and to the Japanese use of “comfort women,” the euphemism used for sex slaves.

NHK is supposed to be like the BBC and to be both politically neutral and objective. Under the direction of Katsuto Momii it seems to have been turned into a tool of the Japanese government. As professor Koichi Nakano has apparently said, it looks “increasingly like a mirror of CCTV,” China’s state broadcaster.

There have been many reports here suggesting that Abe’s right-wing ministers want to rewrite history to provide academic support for their attempts to exculpate Japan’s wartime leaders.

Western historians, basing themselves on unimpeachable evidence, have no doubt about the atrocities committed by Japanese forces not only in Nanjing but elsewhere in China. That Chinese forces, nationalist and communist alike, also committed crimes against civilians is also true, but Japan was the aggressor and Chinese behavior was no excuse for the deliberate policies of oppression adopted by the Japanese high command.

There can be no doubt that members of the Japanese Army not only were responsible for many rapes but also forced women, not only Koreans, in occupied territories to become sex slaves.

The facts about the activities of the Japanese biological warfare unit 731 in Manchukuo are so horrific that its existence and experiments tend to be buried and, if possible, forgotten. This “amnesia” is at least in part due to American connivance; American investigators were told the results of the “experiments” in return for not pursuing the Japanese perpetrators.

The maltreatment, to use an understatement, of the civilian populations in occupied territories including Singapore cannot be denied except by the willfully blind. Nor can historical revisionists justify the way in which allied prisoners of war were mistreated.

I do not mention these facts to stir up trouble or ill feeling. Like other friends of Japan here I believe strongly in reconciliation and support the efforts made by both Japanese and British individuals and groups working for mutual understanding and seeking to ensure that there is no repetition of the atrocities committed in war. Revisionists make these tasks harder.

In the eyes of Japanese right-wing nationalists, the only crime committed by Japan’s military leaders was that they failed. The rightists lack ethical principles and are opposed to democratic institutions.

I hope and believe that the extreme right will not be allowed to take over the Japanese government, but the opposition in the Diet is weak and divided.

It seems that Japan has reverted to one-party government. This could lead to autocracy and the infringement of human rights.

The Japanese media should be one of the main pillars supporting Japanese democratic institutions, but they have been under pressure from the extremists. The official secrets legislation rammed through the Diet in December 2013 is a potential threat to press freedom. Commercial television stations see little or no profit in exposing and combatting the right wing, whose members may be able to call out support from Japanese gangsters.

It is unfortunate that one of the leading papers opposed to the rightists has been exposed as relying on tainted evidence over the “comfort women.” Even if one piece of evidence was flawed, there is ample other evidence of the sexual exploitation practiced by the Japanese Army in occupied territories.

The Japanese media have the reputation abroad of being too close to the Japanese establishment as a result of the “kisha club” system. The beneficiaries of the system deny this, but even if the Japanese media are not “pussy cats,” a study of prewar history suggests that extremist threats can inhibit the free and frank criticism that is necessary to preserve a healthy democracy in Japan.

Japan’s image and prestige abroad is suffering as a result of the apparently growing influence of extremists in the Japanese government. It is very much in Japan’s national interest that the revisionists are discouraged from propagating their historical lies and that Japanese democratic processes are not threatened by extremist anti-democratic individuals or groups.

I am aware that by writing this article Japanese right-wing nationalists will regard me as anti-Japanese. This is not the case. I admire and like Japanese culture and am happy to have many good Japanese friends. One book on which I worked long and hard for a series on “Great Civilizations of the World” is titled “The Japanese Achievement.” In this I attempted to outline Japanese history and its culture. Better a candid friend than an insincere sycophant.

Hugh Cortazzi served as Britain’s ambassador to Japan from 1980-1984.

  • Japanese Bull Fighter

    “NHK is supposed to be like the BBC and to be both politically neutral and objective.” It is my understanding that this does NOT apply to its foreign-oriented programming. The foreign programming is paid for by the Japanese government, not by the license fee. Not a good thing in my view, but it does mean that if it says what the government wants it to say in the foreign programming, that is not a violation of its charter.

    • Oliver Mackie

      Not disagreeing with you, but of course the government does not have any money other than that which has come from the public.

  • Ahojanen

    I see Japan’s right wing is not representing the majority, nor it will become. They won’t vanish, though.

    Note that back in 1950s through 70s, liberals and socialists were more powerful and popular, some of them were much more radical and violent than present-day Zaitokukai or other right-wing extremists. Yet they never gain the ruling power in Japan’s political scene during these periods, not even influence upon some crucial policy at that time, such as US-Japan security treaty.

  • johnniewhite

    While I understand the sentiment of those people who suffered under Hitler’s policies to kill Jews and the invasion of other countries, it is nothing wrong to study what Hitler did calmly and objectively. This book was written to learn how Hitler the politician gained popularity so quickly, which is nothing to do with the intention to hate Jews or to invade neighbouring countries.

  • johnniewhite

    I disagree with this writer about NHK’s stance. To me NHK’s stance is that of leftist, as if it is CCTV! It’s particularly so in English language service. So it it was told by the government not to use the language such as ‘sex slave’, then it is getting normalised. Oh, I am sorry — I am forgetting that The Japan Times is a extreme-left media, broadcasting the views of CCP.

    • Toolonggone

      I disagree. Left-wing does not always mean that it reflects the views of CCP. NHK is supervised by the governing committee appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office. NHK CEO has a strong connection with conservative LDP politicians. Katsuto Momii was nominated by Shinzo Abe.

      • johnniewhite

        I disagree. Even after Momii’s appointment, NHK continues to maintain its left-wing stance, which is most clearly confirmed when Hiroko Kuniya grilled Yoshihide Suga in the programme called ‘Close-up Gendai’ aired on 3 July 2014 on the topic of the collective defence. Did you not watch it?

  • Steve Jackman

    It is not just the Japanese government and media, but also Japanese corporations and other institutions, such as the corrupt Japanese judiciary, that are dominated by right-wing and ultra-nationalist elements. The level of xenophobia, discrimination and prejudice against foreigners in these is quite extreme.

    The resulting insularity is what has largely been holding Japan back for the last three decades. Almost no Japanese are willing to take on this elephant in the room, for fear of being labeled anti-Japanese and the harassment by right-wing forces that comes along with it. This is a key reason for the Japanese being the most apathetic of any nation among the developed world.

    Right-wing and ultra-nationalists at the grass-roots level routinely take on the role of cyber-activists and use extreme tactics of intimidation against anyone they deem to portray Japan in a negative light. Just this week, The New York Times published an excellent article by Martin Fackler, which highlights this problem and how Abe has emboldened the right-wing. The article is dated October 28, 2014, and is titled, “Pressure in Japan to Forget Sins of War”.

    • Oliver Mackie

      “It is not just the Japanese government and media, but also Japanese corporations and other institutions, such as the corrupt Japanese judiciary, that are dominated by right-wing and ultra-nationalist elements…….Almost no Japanese are willing to take on this elephant in the room, for fear of being labeled anti-Japanese and the harassment by right-wing forces that comes along with it.”

      What a remarkable statement, remarkable in that it seems to completely ignore any of the post-war historical evidence available to us. If a country’s government, media, corporations, and judiciary were “dominated” by “ultra-nationalists” and if “almost no” members of the population were “willing to take on this elephant” then surely the history of government policy would be one of consistent extreme nationalism? And yet the facts are that, in a period of almost 70 years, the most extreme policy we see is the wish to engage in a level of military activities which is far below that of international norms, even in the face of direct threats to national security, a current policy of increased but controlled immigration (similar to that of countries such as Singapore and Australia), a consistent record of sincere participation in international bodies.

      The actual reality is this. There are extreme right-wing elements in this society for sure, as there are in any. In terms of numbers they are miniscule. Any attempts to make even modest moves to the right in the established policies are blocked by a public which is very adverse to them. Extremism in any direction is strongly frowned upon. Remember, this is a country where the most apparently extremely racist of parties with elected politicians is suggesting what exactly? That long-term residents leave? No. That they become citizens! This pales in comparison to the immigration policies of the right-wing parties in almost all developed countries.

      • Steve Jackman

        So, you don’t think Abe, his ministers who associate themselves with racists and neo-Nazis, Ishihara, Hashimoto, et al, are extreme or right wing?

        You also write, “(Japan has) a consistent record of sincere participation in international bodies”. Are you serious?

      • Oliver Mackie

        So, you don’t think Abe, his ministers who associate themselves with racists and neo-Nazis, Ishihara, Hashimoto, et al, are extreme or right wing?

        I think Ishihara is comparatively in domestic terms, but again look at what his supposedly extreme party is proposing: that long-term residents become citizens and that those who are unable to fulfill their commitment to remain employed soon after arriving do not be asked to leave but rather be provided with food banks and other assistance for a year. Hardly radical extremism in comparison to anything else on the right wing in other advanced countries.

        Abe’s supposed right-wing extremism is exaggerated. He is currently pushing for more women to participate in the workforce!

        And yes, Hashimoto is clearly a friend of the hate-groups isn’t he, as shown by the recent TV encounter between them.

        “You also write, “(Japan has) a consistent record of sincere participation in international bodies”. Are you serious?”

        A fully paid-up member of the UN (which can’t be said for some other major powers, can it?) Japan uses international forums to further its national goals as best it can, which is, you know, EXACTLY what every other country does. Also a sincere proponent of efforts to combat global warming (that’s why it’s called the Kyoto agreement, remember.) Finally, even on the topic of whaling, Japan continues to negotiate with the IWC whilst Norway, Iceland, and the U.S. refuse to.

        So, yes, Japan has a pretty good track record.

      • Steve Jackman

        That’s quite a spin on facts, but sorry, I’m not buying any of it.

        I suggest, you do a Google search on Ishihara’s extremely racist, paranoid and xenophobic comments he’s made in the past about Japan’s foreign residents. This is a guy who was elected as the Governor of Tokyo multiple times by citizens of Tokyo. What does this say about Tokyo voters?

        If you really think that Abe is serious about equality and empowerment for women, then there is a bridge I own which I’d like to sell you. Abe’s policies towards women and his so-called third arrow are no more than smoke and mirrors.

        Hashimoto’s recent TV encounter was nothing but a staged stunt. If you cannot even tell so much, then I’m afraid you are extremely naive ( or, you’re being disingenuous).

        Lastly, Japan has a terrible track record with the U.N. Yes, it gives the U.N a lot of money, but that is just its attempt to buy influence (as it always tries to do in almost everything).

        Did you not read the two seperate reports by the U.N about racism and human rights abuses by Japan? Both these recent U.N reports were scathing in their criticism of Japan.

        How about the comfort women issue (read Jake Adelstein’s excellent article that was published in this newspaper today and is available on this website). How about Japan’s mockery of IWC’s ruling against its whaling program? How about Japan snubbing it’s nose at the rest of the world, while inhumanely massacring hundreds of dolphins at Taiji every year? How about its reluctance to act on the Hague treaty? How about it’s refusal to pass a law against racial discrimination, which is something the U.N has repeatedly asked Japan to do. The list goes on and on…

      • Oliver Mackie

        “I suggest, you do a Google search on Ishihara’s extremely racist, paranoid and xenophobic comments he’s made in the past about Japan’s foreign residents. This is a guy who was elected as the Governor of Tokyo multiple times by citizens of Tokyo. What does this say about Tokyo voters?”

        It says that they elected him on unrelated issues and at no point did he attempt to make any of his extreme personal views metropolitan policy, because he knew he wouldn’t have a chance.

        “Lastly, Japan has a terrible track record with the U.N. Yes, it gives the U.N a lot of money, but that is just its attempt to buy influence (as it always tries to do in almost everything)”

        Japan doesn’t give the UN any more money than the dues it is requested. Doesn’t try to buy anything, votes are negotiated between members (yes, in a realpolitik way) which is unrelated to payment of dues.

        In what way is ‘Japan’ massacring anything at Taiji? It’s a few locals….

      • Steve Jackman

        I think it is pointless to try to have a rational discussion with you.

        In regards to the inhumane slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, you should watch the Academy Award winning documentary called “The Cove”, which used hidden cameras disguised as rocks to film the slaughter. The producers of the film had planned to show the documentary in Japan, but screenings of the film were cancelled after threats and intimidation from Japanese right-wing activists who did not want their fellow Japanese to see the Taiji slaughters. Such is the influence of the right-wing and the state of censorship in Japan.

      • Oliver Mackie

        I think it would be more accurate to say that, were you actually trying to have a rational discussion, you would surely find it difficult.

        Rational discussions are based on logic and, most importantly, credible evidence. But let’s give that rational discussion a try. If you do take up that challenge, do us all a favo(u)r and don’t use any justifications along the line of ‘in my experience’ (too narrow a database and open to personal prejudices) or ‘everybody knows that….’ Furthermore, if you do provide a piece of evidence, don’t just refer us to it, point out exactly how it’s relevant to the point you make and the reasons we should consider it credible. You are the one making claims about the state of Japan on certain issues, you are the one upon whom responsibility lies to back up what you claim.

        Your hypothesis is as follows:

        “It is not just the Japanese government and media, but also Japanese corporations and other institutions, such as the corrupt Japanese judiciary, that are dominated by right-wing and ultra-nationalist elements…….Almost no Japanese are willing to take on this elephant in the room, for fear of being labeled anti-Japanese and the harassment by right-wing forces that comes along with it.”

        So, let’s look at this objectively. Were it literally true of any country, then there would be nothing to prevent public policy from being extremely nationalistic and right-wing. Indeed, it would not make sense for public policy to be anything else.

        You have given as evidence the following (from you original post and various responses to me):

        – Right-wing and ultra-nationalists at the grass-roots level routinely take on the role of cyber-activists and use extreme tactics of intimidation against anyone they deem to portray Japan in a negative light.

        Yes, they do. But this is no evidence for anything other than a very small minority of such people. It does nothing to bolster the claim that a majority of whomever holds such views.

        As a particular example of such actions, and to back up your claim that views which depart from that of such extremists get ‘censored’, implying (intentionally or otherwise) that the government is involved, you cite the following:

        -The producers of the film had planned to show the documentary in Japan, but screenings of the film were cancelled after threats and intimidation from Japanese right-wing activists who did not want their fellow Japanese to see the Taiji slaughters.

        This is exactly correct. The film as to be shown at two (or was it three?) theaters in Japan, but right-wing extremists intimidated the cinema owners into withdrawing the showing. I was as equally disappointed by the actions of the owners myself, but again, this implies no pattern of censorship on or at a national level.

        To back up my assertion, I offer the following evidence:

        -Since its release, the documentary has (and still is) available for rent at a vast majority, if not all, branches of the largest rental chain in Japan, Tsutaya.

        On the subject of the views of politicians, you cite Ishihara and Hashimoto.

        I have no doubt that the comments attributed to Ishihara that you have referred to are accurate.

        I would offer two responses. First, this says something, but not everything, about the man. People (politicians especially) say different things at different times to different people (they are after a wide base of support, after all.) As we are unable to ascertain what their true priorities are from such a mixed bag of comments, we are obliged to look at their actions (hence the proverb ‘actions speak louder than words.’) During Ishihara’s drive(s) to become (re)elected as mayor of Tokyo, immigration was never an issue in the campaigns. After a long career in politics, culminating in the formation of a political party which some have dubbed as extremist, what are the avowed policies of this ultimate expression of his views? A ban on immigration? The expulsion of current immigrants? (Both of these polices are expounded by the National Front in the UK and its equivalent in France.) No, its stated policies are that long-term residents should naturalize if they want to be eligible for the one minor state benefit which they are not currently legally eligible for, and that new-arrivals that cannot maintain their pledge to remain employed by supplied with food banks for a year whilst they sort themselves out.

        If you argue that these are not his real views, that you believe them to be much more radically racist, then you have some explaining to do, i.e. why his party doesn’t expound those more radical views. There are only two possible answers. First, that even within such an apparently right-wing party his views are considered to be too radical to become party policy. Second (and my preferred explanation) that the party holds those views but doesn’t expound them because they understand that they are too radical for the public at large to support. In either case, this makes a mockery of your claims that the public harbo(u)rs such views as well.

        This brings us to the Hashimoto point. You stated, with no evidence given that, “Hashimoto’s recent TV encounter was nothing but a staged stunt.”

        Maybe yes, maybe no (but you certainly don’t know for sure.) If it wasn’t staged then my points stands. If it was staged, then it begs the question, “why stage it?” Why would Hashimoto stage it? The only explanation would be that he sought to distance himself from such views in the eyes of the public. And the only reason he could have wished to do so is because the public at large finds such views distasteful.

        On to other points made…..

        Japan’s participation in International bodies. You claimed that, “Japan has a terrible track record with the U.N. Yes, it gives the U.N a lot of money, but that is just its attempt to buy influence (as it always tries to do in almost everything)”

        Please give me any examples that you can find of where Japan has been accused by UN members of trying to buy influence illegally.

        My point was that the reality of UN negotiations is clearly one of realpolitik. As an example, please watch ‘The Blair Years Part 2’ a US/UK documentary which is easily viewable on YouTube. In it you will clearly see the details of both the UK and French governments attempts to ‘woo’ the votes of various African countries who had rotating seats on the Security Council, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. Even more enlightening is the statements by senior US officials that they only agreed with British efforts to obtain a resolution out of courtesy to Blair, and that they didn’t think twice about acting without UN agreement.

        International relations is a messy business. The reality of the UN and other international institutions is nothing like as we might idealize, but Japan has not gone against a single UN resolution since WW2 and has not taken any unilateral action without UN agreement. The same cannot be said for the US, UK, France, Russia, China and some others. Factually, Japan is relatively well-behaved.

        The whaling issue further illustrates this. Which countries hunt whales? To my knowledge it is Japan, the US, Iceland, and Norway. Which of those countries operates within the auspices of the IWC? Japan alone.
        Do they use as much of their influence to swing votes their way? I’m sure they do. Realpolitik again. But that is a better track record than any other whaling nation.

        Other points before my hands give in.

        Whilst a sworn enemy fires missiles in the direction of the country and seeks to develop a nuclear weapons capacity, how does the population of Japan react? A few extremists march and shout obscenities at an ethnic group. This results in proposals for legislation to ban hate-speech, something that had not been an issue up to this time. The actions of a very very few were not nice at all, but just consider what the reaction of parts of the population of other economically developed countries would be if they were having missiles tested at them and the very real threat of nuclear attack. If you are positing a mass of racism among the population at large, you are going to have to come up with much more convincing evidence than that.

        I will leave it there for now. I would genuinely like to hear your response, but please don’t bother if all it’s going to be is ‘I don’t buy that’ ‘You’re spinning’ ‘You’re being disingenious’ ‘I have a bridge I can tell you’ or anything of that ilk.

        Tell me where you find the logical flaws in my connections between assertions and required evidence, or where you find my evidence to be lacking in credibility. Please spell all this out in detail, and then maybe we can have a reasonable discussion.

      • Steve Jackman

        Well, Oliver, that’s quite a voluminous response you’ve written! I generally prefer quality over quantity, but I guess brevity and succinctness are not your forte.

        Your comment must contain at least twenty five good sized paragraphs, so I’ll try to make some sense of the rambling post and get back to you when I have tons of free time (probably, after I retire and have nothing better to do).

      • Cora

        Oliver was far from rambling. Perhaps you have nothing to counter his points with.

      • Steve Jackman

        Cora, I see you just recently signed up here to enlighten us with your insights. Welcome, and I look forward to more of your profound opinions about other posters like Oliver. I don’t know what we did all this time without you!

      • Oliver Mackie

        “I’ll try to make some sense of the rambling post and get back to you when I have tons of free time (probably, after I retire and have nothing better to do.)”

        Not the response I was hoping for but a clear statement that you are not willing to engage in a logic and credible evidence-based discussion. This is still a fairly satisfying result, in the sense that I can now know for sure that are not truly sincere. Despite all evidence to that conclusion I had been trying to give you the benefit of the doubt up to this point. I can now move on, reassured that at least I tried my best.

        I do hope we don’t meet socially.

      • Steve Jackman

        Oliver, I was trying to be polite in my earlier post. So, let me be clear here. It took you more than 25 paragraphs in your comment above to say…exactly, nothing. Now that’s quite an accomplishment!

        Don’t worry, we’ll never meet socially. I’m quite certain we don’t move in the same circles. But, I hope you and Cora here can hook up sometime.

      • Oliver Mackie

        I’m sure you’re right. In the circles I move in people know enough about basic social interaction to not consider sarcasm (and cliched sarcasm at that) as being polite.
        Also, they respond to sincere reasoned argument against their views in a similar way.
        But please do continue responding in the way you have been. I have already been convinced (against my initial hopes) of the shallow, prejudiced, and insincere nature of your stated opinions. My subsequent goal is to make sure that as many others as possible see that too. (It’s not hard, I just have to get your fingers on the keyboard.)
        I already have one new recruit, who signed up specially to respond to you. And remember, for every person who takes action, there are 10 or 20 more watching and thinking the same way.

      • Steve Jackman

        Oliver, you can’t seem to take a hint. So, once again, Goodbye!

        Cyber recruits and online identities are easy for anyone to create, so enjoy your doppelganger, since nobody else agrees with your comments.

      • Oliver Mackie

        Goodbye? Are you planning on leaving this forum? I ask because I’m not going anywhere. As time and inclination allow I shall be there, countering you unsubstantiated posts with logic and credible evidence.

        “Cyber recruits and online identities are easy for anyone to create, so enjoy your doppelganger, since nobody else agrees with your comments.”
        I hadn’t thought about it but interesting that you pointed it out. Speaking from experience?
        To anyone reading these exchanges. Mr Jackman is quite clearly accusing me of creating the poster ID Cora as a doppelganger. Should you be so inclined, I invite you to look at the evidence for this (there is none) and what this accusation shows you about his state of mind. I also refer you to his consistent refusal to address the logic of my arguments against him as well as the credibility of the evidence I offer, and draw your own conclusions.

      • Steve Jackman

        I am most certainly NOT leaving this forum, since I enjoy exchanging ideas with other posters who have something of substance to contribute here. However, I am terminating any further exchange with you, since I do not have enough time in the day to respond to the flood of irrational and illogical posts coming from you.

        I don’t want to accuse you of trolling, but have you ever heard the saying, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” I would also suggest once again that you read Martin Fackler’s piece in The New York Times, which I referenced in my original post above (you may see yourself in the piece).

        You can continue commenting on my posts, but you will not get further replies from me. Goodbye, Oliver Mackie, for the last time (I hope).

      • Cora

        Would you kindly point out where Mr. Mackie was irrational and illogical in his arguments?

      • Steve Jackman

        It took his over 25 lengthy paragraphs in his post above to basically say nothing. What kind of person does that? You are gravely mistaken if you think I’ll waste my time responding to such babble.

      • Cora

        No more time for Oliver Mackie? Scared of his opinions, then?

      • Steve Jackman

        Yes, I’m terribly scared of his babbling, because life is too short for such nonsense.

      • Cora

        Where did he babble exactly? Where was the weakness of his arguments? What nonsense did he write?

      • Steve Jackman

        Hahaha, if you can’t figure it out for yourself, you’re just as bad and clueless as him. My sympathies to you both!

      • Oliver Mackie

        “I enjoy exchanging ideas with other posters who have something of substance to contribute here.”

        Translation: I don’t like to ‘discuss’ with those who hold opposing views.

        “I am terminating any further exchange with you, since I do not have enough time in the day to respond to the flood of irrational and illogical posts coming from you.”

        Translation: Although I spend a great deal of time posting here, if any particular post requires more than a sound-bite from me, I’m not interested.

        “You can continue commenting on my posts..”

        Interesting comment, given that you have no say in who can or cannot post here.

        “but you will not get further replies from me.”

        A shame. You were doing such a good job of making yourself out to be as described in above parts one and two.

      • Cora

        Well, I am Cora! I can assure you that I
        am not Oliver or some form of his alter ego.

        I have, for the most part, enjoyed
        these exchanges between Mr. Jackman and Mr. Mackie. I have always preferred to
        read, and hold in greater store, substantiated posts with credible evidence
        argued logically, which Mr. Mackie provides in abundance. That is not to
        say that anything Mr. Mackie says cannot be countered; indeed he welcomes
        well-argued, evidence-based rational discussion.

        It is a pity that some of the debate appeared to fall into slights and insults, but I guess egos were at stake. We all have a
        lot to learn if we listen, consider and question. We can all have opinions most
        of which are not worth a jot without logical argument backed up by evidence. This
        is what I found fascinating in this exchange. One side presented a well-thought out opinion, based not only on sound reasoning, but credible evidence, the other side quickly fell apart and started taking offence. One side welcomed any challenges to their argument, the other side had nothing to offer.

      • Steve Jackman

        I really couldn’t care less about who you are or what you think. I am more interested in what people can contribute to this forum. Judging from your posts so far, trolling seems to be your only contribution. So, I really don’t feel that your posts are worthy of any serious consideration.

      • Cora

        You sort of contradict yourself there.

      • Steve Jackman

        And, what exactly is you contribution to this discussion?

      • Cora

        Very well argued indeed!

      • Steve Jackman

        I would have agreed with you when I was in middle school. I’m sure Oliver appreciates your comment, since he was feeling a little lonely and out of his league here.

      • Cora

        Instead of chucking insults at Mr. Mackie, why not counter what he says if you have anything to counter it with? Mind you, there is nothing wrong in conceding a point if it is very well made. We could all do with a little more humility and less ego from time to time. There is much to learn and we don’t have to hang on to a particular opinion if something comes along to strongly question it, placing it in doubt.

      • Steve Jackman

        Because, I have no time for your or his childish quibbling!

      • Cora

        Time enough for an insult, though! What on earth is wrong with a detailed reply? It had merit and substance. Where was the childish quibbling as you put it?

      • Steve Jackman

        You sound like a broken record. Perhaps, reading comprehension is not your strong suit.

        For your information, there is very little of “merit and substance” in Oliver’s posts. Most of it is half-baked fallacies and falsehoods. What little there was of “merit and substance” in his comments, I have already responded to (hint: there wasn’t much).

        Given my busy schedule, I cannot go about wasting my time responding to everyone on the internet, especially if they seem to be still practicing their writing skills.

      • Cora

        So point out his half-baked fallacies and falsehoods, then. He challenged you do to fault his arguments, but you have failed to do so. Instead you make excuses and throw insults.

      • Steve Jackman

        I already have several times, both here and in my other exchanges with Oliver on this site. Do you know how to use the “Search” function on this site? Try plugging his and my names in it, so you may learn something.

        Oops, Cora, the meter just ran out on you! I can only take so much of this kind of malarkey and you just ran out of your alloted quota. GOODBYE, CORA!

      • Oliver Mackie

        “I feel that posters here should be more respectful of others’ time. Posting comments with 25-plus lengthy paragraphs with no substance, like Oliver has done here, is unacceptable.”

        Logic and credible evidence = no substance?

        Go ahead, dispute the logic, detail why you find the evidence lacking in credibility….EVEN IN ONE POINT.

  • Toolonggone

    I would say yes if corporate billionaires and hedge-fund managers start donating million dollars to such a conservative think-tank like Japan Institute for National Fundamentals and an anti-Korean harassing group like Zaitokukai. That will empower them to engage in more radical political activities for implementing right-wing agendas.

  • anoninjapan

    The deafening silence from Abe et al, say’s it all.

  • kilianmuster

    Calling Japanese war criminals “martyrs” is even offensive as hell to Germans. The conscious and knowledge about the atrocities in in WWII is just abysmally low in Japan. In Germany we’re on the other end of the extreme you are being taught about the topic and discuss the topic over and over in all media. This kind of right wing friendly utterance would be the immediate end of that politician there… It’s really an education problem in Japan.

    They do nothing to deepen the knowledge and tell the truth about WWII in Japan. They love to play the victims. If you watch war movies and TV programmes about war times, most have this “look at what the Americans did to us – we are the victims” undertone.

  • Perhaps extreme or mindless democracy is the problem when properly understood.

  • JSS00

    It’s official. Japan has been taken over by the far-right (Abe administration). It’s just like how the neocons and the far-rights have taken over the US. What Abe wants to do, is to bring Japan back to the 1930’s era Empire of Japan. This is not an exaggeration, it’s what more or less he really wants to do.

  • P Simat

    Wish any of us, God Willing, far from right-wing group