What is with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's arrogant disrespect for the United Nations?
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga spread fake news by insisting that the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres endorsed Japan's much-maligned "comfort women" deal with South Korea even after his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, who was in Italy with Guterres when he met Abe, emphatically denied this. The South Korean government reported that it confirmed with Guterres directly that he had not endorsed the deal. Suga's disinformation may be aimed at discrediting the U.N. Committee Against Torture's recent call for revisions of the comfort women accord.
David Kaye, a professor of law at the University of California-Irvine and special rapporteur for the U.N. Human Rights Council, called Abe out on his government's incivility towards U.N. representatives. Abe is miffed that Kaye and other U.N. representatives have voiced criticisms about the erosion of press freedom and the freedom of expression, in addition to conspiracy legislation that threatens the right to privacy and the right to dissent. These are legitimate concerns widely shared by Japanese about how democratic norms and values are being sacrificed in favor of the surveillance state, and where Abe is leading the nation.