Reader Mail

Asanuma's killing re-enacted in U.S.

It should be worth noting that the local Republican Party-sponsored event mentioned in the article,”New York’s Andrew Cuomo blasts Trump, Republicans over protest clash” (Oct. 16) included a re-enactment of the 1960 assassination of Japanese socialist party leader Inejiro Asanuma by a young right-wing nationalist in which the part of the assassin was played by top right-wing Proud Boy Gavin McInnes.

In the run-up to the event, McInnes described the brutal murder, which at the time shocked Japan, as an “inspiring moment.” The following day McInnes’ Instagram feed featured the iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning photo capturing the moment the assassin pulls his sword from Asanuma’s writhing body superimposed with the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it.”

It’s a chilling message that seems to advocate turning America’s democratic political landscape into a blood-soaked battlefield, a message that’s now been amplified by a major U.S. political party in a strange and shocking way. Do the Republicans who hosted the event realize that the only people in Japan today who would openly rejoice over Asanuma’s death by sword are those that long for the days when those same kind of swords were used to decapitate American POWs captured while fighting fascism?

I wonder how the U.S. government would react if the ruling Liberal Democratic Party were to celebrate, say, Bobby Kennedy’s or perhaps Abraham Lincoln’s assassination as an “inspiring moment.” I hope that they would protest it in the name of peace and democracy just as I hope Japan would speak out against these American Republicans’ very real and terrifying celebration of the assassination of a Japanese political leader.

JT CASSIDY
YOKOHAMA

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.