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Japan turns to 'I am Kenji' Facebook page on hostage crisis

33 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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33 Comments
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I AM shaking my head.

These people didn't understand the whole idea behind je suis charlie.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Lol. I agree with strangerland. I give them partial credit for trying, but unsurprisingly they don't seem to get it.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Clueless.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I don't really like the "I am Kenji" slogan, Goto seems to have been a pretty heroic guy going to syria to try and help his friend, I certainly haven't done anything like that

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How about "I am a family member of one of the 60 Jordanians killed by the terrorist that Japan wants to exchange for Kenji".

How about some evidence of your claim that "Japan wants to exchange" the jailed murderer for Kenji Goto.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Je suis Kenji. I don't want a terrorist exchanged for me, though.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Japan turns to 'I am Kenji' Facebook page on hostage crisis" = some people (not the entire country or anywhere near a majority) starting up a Facebook page, which will probably have lots of feel good wishes and zero actual influence.

Cold, but unfortunately, and I'd love to be wrong, true

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Can't agree more Strangerland. Talk about piggybacking on an important issue without even having the creativity to create their own slogan.

The attack in France was an attack on freedom of speech in a Western nation. It threatens all of us. How many of us are irresponsibly running off to dangerous war zones leaving our wife and children behind? In the released video he says he wants to see his children - well maybe he should have thought about that earlier. I'm not against journalists going to these areas, it is obviously necessary to get the information out, but I can't understand why someone who is married with children would do it. These children will most likely not get to have their father around growing up. Why? Because he wanted to play with fire to chase fame and adrenaline.

I am NOT Kenji and neither are any of these people posting these photos on social media.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Why can't Japan come with something original?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Kenji made a huge mistake by going over to this land.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It appears that a catchy and original slogan is more important than the life of an innocent about to be killed in front of the world judging by the ignorant comments here.. The only purpose of the slogan is to show solidarity and support with Kenji, not a contest for best new slogan meme. Have some humanity for god's sake

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Typical Japan, copying the West but having no real idea of the true meaning of what they are copying.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

“Let’s show that we’re united, and tell that it’s unjust to kill innocent citizens and it’s meaningless to turn entire nation against you,”

No, no, no. Wake up, all you I am Kenji's. How many of you were I am Charlie's, which was about something bigger than just one man? Or is it now you give a poop because it's one of your own? And if Kenji was the one killed first would you be as sympathetic to the guy who had mental issues?

IS killed the other guy first because they are very savvy with the internet and social media and know no one cared about him. Kenji Goto has an I am Kenji facebook page and cries for his release and now IS is playing on these emotions to get the terrorist they want freed.

Don't get this emotional and motivated when something happens to one of your people because we're all one freaking world, one freaking people and when children are slaughtered in some African country or somewhere far from you that you don't give a poop about, it still affects all of us.

Kenji is an adult, he made his choice, and I am not sure Kenji himself would want his freedom in exchange for a terrorist to go free.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Glad Goto's got some support, but the "I am Goto" 'movement' is merely using a catchphrase--they have no actual clue what "je suis Charlie" means--and are therefore misguided. Why not just a movement like "get Goto back!" or "don't engage in middle eastern wars" or something? At least something with an actual connection to this situation, whatever you believe in.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@flash_gordon

Typical Japan, copying the West but having no real idea of the true meaning of what they are copying.

And we only have the insular, "filtered" Japanese media to blame for that. Seriously though, they have no idea about anything outside of Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I prefer not to be a person who takes a big risk going to a place he knows from experience to be extremely dangerous a step which damages the lives of people around him. The saddest aspect for me is that probably he was aware of that at the start.

Trying to save Haruna, friend or not, was a noble intention but not worth the wreckage or attention on all the other people.

As well, people actually saying 'I am Kenji' may not understand truly what it means: currently it means that you are someone possibly about to have their head cut off by people who view life as something far cheaper than people here.

I am sorry, but I am not Kenji, nor Charlie for that matter.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hard to put an impression here...I do not want him dead, am sorry for his situation, misfortune, may God be with him, peace...hope he doesn't suffer. It's all about compassion, phrases and understandigs I don't give a crap.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Jeez, can you lot stop bashing Japan for one day? So they have nicked an idea for a slogan... so what? If it makes people feel connected to the situation then let them use it in peace.

God sake, get off your high horses.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Thank you, Thunderbird2. I have difficulty understanding the attitude of some here.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

An individual starts a Facebook page in an attempt to help someone but somehow people are having a go at Japan? Japan bashing's becoming old. Comments like Japan' s missing the point sounds pretentious.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Harry_Gato:

" How about some evidence of your claim that "Japan wants to exchange" the jailed murderer for Kenji Goto. "

You don´t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that that is the reason he is in Jordan...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Thunderbird2,

They didn't just take a slogan, they took a slogan that was about freedom of speech and being able to say something without fear of an attack, something that effects everyone worldwide, yet it wasn't much of a movement here in Japan, a country that has little freedom of the press.

No, most people here in Japan didn't have I am Charlie buttons or signs and Abe wasn't on the offensive with other world leaders about I am Charlie, nope. People were gunned down in cold blood because they made satirical cartoons. And beyond the news reporting it here, the Japanese near me at least weren't joining in with the voices condemning the attack. They wanted nothing to do with it and to stay isolationists.

But, look now. A Japanese man is taken and now they take a phrase that was a world wide movement, a movement they wanted little to do with, and stole it to champion a cause they care about and want others to join them, even though wouldn't join I am Charlie.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I'm actually more embarrassed by the posters here claiming "THEY don't know what it means...like WE do," "why can't they do something original?" or "they don't know what they're talking about" than I ever was by any Japanese citizen claiming "I am Kenji." Your criticism is pathetic.

Get off your high horses, bashers! It's a show of solidarity! That's it! It's not an "It means free speech, ONLY!" situation at all, since what Charlie Hebdo stands for is much more than that: including the entire history and tradition of freedom, openness and tolerance made reality by Western societies in general. (By the way, who's seeking to limit or criticize the right to free speech, again?? The "I am Kenji" people? Or you here who insist "you either must understand what it means like I do, or else you cannot use the term at all!?" Think about the irony for a moment...jeesh!)

As for the supposed "originality" of the "real" creators of the term, perhaps the "I am Charlie" people should be paying royalties to the family of Stanley Kubric for stealing his "original" statement of solidarity: "I am Spartacus!" His 1960 movie sought to convey a very similar sentiment while coining an almost verbatim catchphrase (implying "you're going to kill him/take Spartacus away to captivity? Well you'll have to kill me/take me away, too! Because I, TOO, AM SPARTACUS!!") and guess what? Kubric beat Charlie Hebdo to the punch by...oh, only 55 YEARS! Don't lecture anyone about originality if you failed to make a connection between this most famous of movie solidarity scenes and the real life scenes being played out on the streets of Paris.

It has to be said: Your bashing of Japanese who've never been through this situation before and are clinging to any shred of hope while trying to SHOW solidarity with the victim and their family...it's simply embarrassing!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Salvor Hardin:

Reasonable criticism is not "bashing".

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Salvor Hardin

I'm not bashing Japanese people and I'm not saying "I am Charlie" is an untouchable iconic phrase like "I have a dream".

By all means, stand up to the barbarians, but it's simply embarrassing to imply the person or persons who decided to start the "I am Kenji" movement didn't simply see a massive march happening in France with world leaders from around the globe standing in unity to show that we, the countries fighting radical Islamic terrorists, will not back down and will not bend to their hate and their demands and then this person in Japan thought, yeah, what Kenji did is something similar to this.

I am Charlie is more about standing up to IS and saying we are not afraid. I am Kenji is saying we'll give you whatever you want, just don't hurt our Kenji.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But, look now. A Japanese man is taken and now they take a phrase that was a world wide movement, a movement they wanted little to do with, and stole it to champion a cause they care about and want others to join them, even though wouldn't join I am Charlie.

Oh stop being so precious about a phrase. If the Japanese people feel they can unite behind it (like "I'm Spartacus") then let them do so without receiving unwarranted criticism from those who feel it's a sacred text. You want to deny them the right to use the phrase? There's irony.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Thunderbird2

Here's what Salvor said "I am___" started from and it's meaning: I am Spartacus..."(implying "you're going to kill him/take Spartacus away to captivity? Well you'll have to kill me/take me away, too! Because I, TOO, AM SPARTACUS!!"

"I am Kenji" doesn't mean the above definition at all. Japanese people aren't saying, you'll have to take us or we'll fight for Kenji. Quite the opposite. "I am Kenji" says, "We'll give you what you want, money, convicted terrorists, just please don't hurt our Kenji and we'll leave you alone."

I am Charlie is defiance, I am Kenji is concession.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Harvey... can you see into the minds of the people with the signs? Do you have some magical mystical ability to read minds?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Salvor Hardin "I'm actually more embarrassed by the posters here claiming "THEY don't know what it means...like WE do," "

Yeah, I found it self-contradictory that those who define "Je suis Charie" movement as defiant fight for free-speech against terrorism, allowing no other possible interpretations outside of it although there are considerable people joined it, probably, with different motivations. For me, free speech is only supported by allowing our societies various opinions from different point of views and backgrounds. In fact, if it can only be single-mindedly interpreted as a fight for free-speech against terrorism, why Charlie Hebdo magazine itself put crying Muhammad with the exact sign on the cover of the first print after the incident? I won't put my words to other people's mouths but, I feel the expression appealing to compassion-not just about fighting or defiance, which feels more akin to what these "I am Kenji" people doing. If you think a message cannot have originality, arrangement or even some twists from different individuals, then, isn't it your mind that is leaning toward totalitarian, which is, IMO, the exact opposite of free spirit.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The French, used French... and the whole attack against Charlie was not against a singular entity, but an idea, the idea of Western philosophy. Of tolerance, of democracy of freedom to SPEAK, to BE.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm sorry a lot of people feeling empathetic towards someone from their country upsets some of you... Wait, no I'm not. I find it beyond weird and the explanations of why pedantic and self-righteous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

if you look at twitter, most people in japan are actually complaining about those two guys - saying they deserve it for sticking their necks out and going there in the first place. not exactly the same solidarity we saw in the case of the Paris attacks aftermath. i like pie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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