national

Osaka gov't warns of baseless rumors on social media after quake

65 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

65 Comments
Login to comment

"A false rumor was spread that Koreans were taking advantage of the disaster, committing arson and robbery, and were in possession of bombs"

From the Wikipedia report of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake.

Makes you wonder how much underlying attitudes in Japan have changed in the last 95 years.

26 ( +34 / -8 )

foreigners in Japan will start robbing convenience stores and others warning of possible terror attacks by foreigners following the quake.

Japan sadly has a long history of blaming foreigners during earthquakes. You'd think that would have stopped by now

19 ( +27 / -8 )

sf2k

You'd think that would have stopped by now.

I wouldn't. I am completely unsurprised.

Not saying it's a Japan-only thing, but it is a thing.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Im more worried about the tweets that say a second bigger earthquake is coming.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Have to admit that me and the kids are all kitted out in our thievery gear every weekend, ready to go plundering when the big one strikes....

16 ( +18 / -2 )

I was going to ask, "Didn't some clown post about a zebra escaping after the Kumamoto quakes?" but that was indeed a lion. Thanks for clearing it up. Shame the same kind of lunacy and joy in fear mongering prevails, though. And the thing about foreigners... I think that if whomever started the rumours is found they should be prosecuted, same as they should if it were against any group and incited hatred or some kind of reaction from the public towards said group.

papigiulio: "Im more worried about the tweets that say a second bigger earthquake is coming."

Not just tweets, but all sorts of scientists and theorists, and I'm genuinely curious (and asked the other day) what good it does. I mean, if they are just asking you to be prepared, I can understand it; asking you to make sure gas is shut off, etc. But the way some news outlets reported a coming megaquake or similar quake to Monday morning smacked solely of fear-mongering since there is basically nothing you can do.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

papigiulio - that is a possibility. The second Kumamoto earthquake that shortly followed the first one was bigger, and I once read a research paper by seismologists hypothesising that the biggish earthquake that happened a few days before the Tohoku earthquake made the conditions perfect for the one in 1000 year quake that followed.

However, if the best seismologists in the world can't accurately predict quakes, then the average Twitter user certainly cannot!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And the thing about foreigners... I think that if whomever started the rumours is found they should be prosecuted, same as they should if it were against any group and incited hatred or some kind of reaction from the public towards said group.

'Couldn't agree more.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

I saw some stupid rumours or Twitter yesterday, some of them obviously malicious, many feeding into racist sentiments, and many were just the result of ignorance and people showing off. Lots of 'Look, I've survived and earthquake, look how cool and brave I am' exaggerated crap. One person, appearing to be a tourist in Osaka, seemed to enjoy spreading lies about the trains and saying it's all OK, they are all back to normal and messing wth scared visitors' heads.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

This should be considered hate speech and prosecuted as such. At the very least fined for being a public nuisance and trying to cause a panic

13 ( +16 / -3 )

foreigners in Japan will start robbing convenience stores and others warning of possible terror attacks by foreigners following the quake.

Bwahahaha! Xenophobia much? Grow the truck up Japan! You only make yourselves look like idiots!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Aftershocks can be stronger than the original one. Since the 1994 earthquake the region has been quiet but maybe the pressures have been building once again and there could been a period of earthquake activity. There are no indications of any sort of mega quake. Stay alert, stay prepared, stay cool.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Build an emergency kit

https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

A Simple And Cheap Earthquake Kit List

https://besurvival.com/guides/earthquake-kit-list

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Not to be a fear monger here but I'd have to somewhat agree on the possibility of a second quake, after all other countries in the Pacific ring of fire have seen seismic activity. Escaped animals? Meh. Assuming foreigners of doing crimes during an earthquake? Really? It seems that not all countries have yet to let go of their medieval thinking.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Can we just do away with social media in its entirety?

Got on more than fine without it.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Makes you wonder how much underlying attitudes in Japan have changed in the last 95 years.

I think much as changed. There will always be racists in every society. As long as these racists are a small minority, that's as good as it will get, although I think japan still needs lot more improvement. No country is free of racism.

I think its unfair to say japan hasn't changed much since the Kanto earthquake 95 yrs ago just because of few racists tweets.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

"In one instance, a tweet claiming a lion had escaped from a local zoo went viral. A 20-year-old man who posted the tweet was subsequently arrested for obstructing the zoo's business."

These rumours should be retraced back to the source and the people who started them should be swiftly and publicly prosecuted to the degree that fits the danger they created.

Every dummy with a cell phone should be made very aware that they endanger they're own liberty by spreading lies.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Xenophobia is just beneath the surface. Don't let your guard down. I asked my older Polish-American friend whether he would buy a house here and he said never. If anything like 9/11 happens in Japan, foreigners will be harshly targeted.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Re the mega quake rumors,

I’ve been in Japan for a long time.

The reality is that anyday there there could be a mega quake .

Good to be prepared as well as you can, but realize that if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, there may not be a lot you can do.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Whoever signed off on the wall which killed that poor, little girl should see prison time. Shoddy and illegal.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

But the zebra thing gave me my first laugh of the day.

Gaijin ribbing cinvenience stores and a zebra on the loose?

Maybe I’ll tweet that zebras are robbing convenience stores and there are gaijin on the loose.

Exceot it might be taken seriously.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has warned of possible landslides in quake-hit areas in western Japan as heavy rain was forecast for the region on June 20.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180619/p2a/00m/0na/005000c

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I think its unfair to say japan hasn't changed much since the Kanto earthquake 95 yrs ago just because of few racists tweets

"'Atrocious crimes have been committed again and again by sangokujin and other foreigners,'' Mr. Ishihara said over the weekend at a ceremony of the Ground Self-Defense Force, the Japanese equivalent of an army. ''We can expect them to riot in the event of a disastrous earthquake.''

That's Shintaro Ishihara, 25 years a Diet member, former Minister of Transport and Governor of Tokyo for 13 years. Many things have changed in Japan since 1923 but many haven't, obviously.

https://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/11/world/tokyo-chief-starts-new-furor-on-immigrants.html

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Fake news or not.

its a Racist SOP.

Always blame the foreigners first.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Well, look at reality. After the 3-11 quake, not one store in the Tokyo area was broken into, yet look at quakes and other natural disasters in places such as America.

People go crazy even after a non-jury conviction, let alone just a trembler.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Let's see the Shinkansen killer, hmm Japanese,

The killer of Vietnamese girl: Japanese,

The killers of Sarin Attack: Japanese

it goes on and on. so Japanese are not perfect either...

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Japan is the only country I know of where everyone, White and Black, Christian or Muslim can suffer Racism. For those arm-chair readers back in your home country, if you've never experienced Racism, please come live in Japan a while, when you go back, you may begin to appreciate what some of your own local minority groups are feeling when subjected to home-grown Racism.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

I sort of feel sorry for those who've Married Japanese and who've had Kids here. The old ways don(t die and they will forever be looked down upon, as too their Kids, who will never be Japanese.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Just tell all these rumor spreading Japanese, that a Foreigner caused the Earthquake, and they should be all be nice to Foreigners lest they create an even bigger Earthquake that turns the whole of Japan into an Aquarium.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Earthquakes bring out the best and worst in people. Add social media to the mix and out of the woodwork comes the cowardly right-wing variety of xenophobic vermin feeding the fears of a highly-strung and easily spooked Japanese populace. Fortunately, Japan is a different place than that of 1923 Yokohama, so I'm still sanguine about the Japan's peaceful future (at least, in the short run).

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It only takes one racist on sns. Japan on the whole has never been racist towards foreign travelers and most welcome them. Uncertainty certainly brings about suspicion, but I saw none of that in the last 3.11 earthquake. Ignore bigots and move on. Arrest the worst offenders.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The inherent racism in Japan will be made obviously evident that not one of the rumor mongers will be neither tracked nor indicted by authorities here.

That is the real problem.....

5 ( +9 / -4 )

How immature can government be?

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

"A false rumor was spread that Koreans were taking advantage of the disaster, committing arson and robbery, and were in possession of bombs"

From the Wikipedia report of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake.

Makes you wonder how much underlying attitudes in Japan have changed in the last 95 years.

Sadly this led to the Kanto Massacre of an estimated 6,000 mostly ethnic Koreans.

Seems the underlying attitudes that led to this are still present today.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I never judge an entire country or culture based on internet trolls. Wouldn't calling an entire country racist basically be discrimination in itself?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

And yet, and yet such drivel doesn't have stringent punishment. For an ex original axis of evil, japan sure got off easy compared to say, I don't know, Germany? It's almost as if there's a deep seated desire to discriminate. Disgusting.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The best robbers can do is point fingers at another directions, foreigners here, so they can pillage in peace.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wouldn't calling an entire country racist basically be discrimination in itself?

Guess it depends on context. There's precedent - South Africa during the apartheid regime, the US during slavery, peonage and segregation, Northern Ireland/6 counties with sectarianism, India with the caste system and Israel with the oppression of Palestinians.

In this particular case, it's nothing new. Foreigners are always targetted in difficult times. Often with tacit agreement of some authorities. Easier to scapegoat people who are visibly "different".

3 ( +6 / -3 )

As a foreigner who travelled extensively, also in Japan, I must say that we "the foreigners do commit crimes', prove me wrong if this is not true.

Some people have got the chip on their shoulder on here.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The same group of haters who have been after Korean residents since 1923 - the 4chan crowd, and the wingnuts who follow "Sakurai" and Zaitokukai (在日特権を許さない市民の会).

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Another of these doing the rounds recently was that foreigners 'would flood the airports', no less! Some kind of twisted memory of the residents who fled and went back to the West after Fukushima Daiichi started three meltdowns following 3/11.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

FYI. It wasn't just Foreigners who were leaving via Air or Trains... Japanese were sending their Families outside of the region to escape the constant Eartquakes, and the ever present concern over contamination.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Rumours?  social media?  Surely not.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nothing will change as long as giant cat fish are allowed to move about in reckless abandon.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So stupid. Convinience stores made a mint yesterday! They also made millions from the thousands of tourists who had extra necessities to buy.

Well I went around helping peeps on my unexpected day off, and I saw foreigners and locals helping each other and working with each other.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Perhaps the combini should be requested to make a sign thanking the orderly tourists. Or they can get down and dirty and put up combini robbery stats. I wonder who the largest demograph of thieves are....by nationality

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wouldn't calling an entire country racist basically be discrimination in itself?

I was thinking the same thing myself. People decrying bigotry while engaging in it themselves. A few Japanese racists posted stuff on the internet becomes "all Japanese are racists." "A few X do evil, all X are evil." That's really the standard formula for racism worldwide.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And, the really crazy thing is, all cases of looting after the 2011 quake and tsunami were carried out by Japanese people, not foreigners. The Japanese will take any chance they get to diss on foreigners regusrdjess of how ridiculous or untrue it is.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Have you seen the “Tohoku earthquake was caused by Jews” conspiracy?

i actually met the guy when one of his cronies fell down on the street and I helped him up... only to be rewarded by a crock of paranoid gibberish.

There will always be people like this. Sigh...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Do the hustleToday 09:49 pm JST

And, the really crazy thing is, all cases of looting after the 2011 quake and tsunami were carried out by Japanese people, not foreigners. The Japanese will take any chance they get to diss on foreigners regusrdjess of how ridiculous or untrue it is.

And how many was that any actual statistics?

Actual police reports?

How many safes that was turned in to the police by the populous with ratio of Japanese vs people from abroad?

Basically the same level of ridiculousness as yours.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

At the very least fined for being a public nuisance and trying to cause a panic

Fines for being a public nuisance would be ideal and easier to prosecute. In the case of trying to cause a panic, you'd have to prove intent. The perps could get off simply by claiming it was intended as a joke. Blame is too easily shifted to the audience by asking what kind of fool would take it seriously?

The bonus of severe penalties for public nuisance offenses would be that many other instances not linked to earthquakes would conveniently fall under that umbrella. I won't change the subject by listing them. You know what they are.

As for the reference to post Tohoku looting, some years ago I read the statistic that less than 2 percent of crimes committed in Japan were carried out by non-Japanese. Most likely that's not changed a whole lot in the last decade. But let's not confuse discriminatory points of view with any facts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Gorramcowboy:

I wouldn't say get rid of it, just regulate it like we do with newspapers, radio, and TV. Preface social media comments with IMHO, etc to show that commentary and not news is presented, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is going on here? You hear this hysterical anti-foreigner rumors and crap in the USA all the time. Is the Japanese media getting that stupid too? I hope not, for Japan's sake. This type of hysteria has been plaguing America for over 20 years and now look at it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

From the Tohoku earthquake more than 100 billion in cash was handed to the police. The "looting" was in the first days when whole areas were destroyed and people hungry looking for food everywhere.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Are they blaming Koreans again?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Among the rumors were Twitter posts saying foreigners in Japan will start robbing convenience stores and others warning of possible terror attacks by foreigners following the quake.

It wouldn't be the first time Japan made these rumors against foreigners. The Koreans and the Chinese are common targets of these, as if they actually need to loot to get stuff there lol.

I saw a Vice documentary where right-wing groups believed (most likely also spread) such rumors.

"Yakuza, Organized Crime, and the Japanese Right Wing", around the 9:00 minute mark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeWfPTCMCTo

-

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@zichi

The "looting" was in the first days when whole areas were destroyed and people hungry looking for food everywhere.

No it wasn't. Evacuation centres had to post signs warning residents to keep their valuables safe after a number of thefts were reproted. Food was plentiful in the facilities. Police beefed up patrols of neighborhoods in the following weeks following reports of thefts from homes, deploying extra officers, according to a report I read on JT at the time.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

On the other hand, some are rightly complaining in social medias about the announcement of disaster warnings which come after the earthquake as it only is arousing confusions and anxieties of people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Makes you wonder how much underlying attitudes in Japan have changed in the last 95 years

Only if you are ignorant of both history and current events.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan sadly has a long history of blaming foreigners during earthquakes. You'd think that would have stopped by now

It has. Japan is warning AGAINST the false rumors.

Some trolls troll. Because they are trolls. And the AUTHORITIES in Japan are on it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are many countries in which contempt /antogonism towards people from other countries is endemic I couldn't mention them,of course, because that would be "Racisist"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mar 21 2011

Isolated incidents of looting have been reported as survivors of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami become increasingly desperate.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-in/8395153/Japan-earthquake-Looting-reported-by-desperate-survivors.html

Mar 31 2011

In Japan, Scenes Of Much Destruction, Little Looting

https://www.npr.org/2011/03/31/134996688/in-japan-scenes-of-much-destruction-little-looting

Mar 15 2011

Overnight and into the grey, chilly morning, long lines formed outside small convenience stores and supermarkets throughout the tsunami-ravaged city of Sendai.

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/japan-victims-show-resilience-earthquake-tsunami-sign-sense/story?id=13135355

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well if those who started such rumours got their inspiration from how the gajin they see in America react when a disaster takes place I can understand their concern. IE New Orleans, the riots and vandalism during and after the police shootings and a myriad of other such incident. Evil people will take advantage to gain things while others suffer.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Went to my local Daiei and water was completely sold out yesterday, An oji-chan was reduced to buying 20 bottles of ocha instead,

Taxi drivers have been making a killing tho.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Black Sabbath - I put up my original comment to provoke some discussion (and it worked!). What always strikes me is the silence from other Japanese in such situations. Not one of the Japanese posters on the board (Abe fans or otherwise) made a comment apologising for what is undoubtedly the work of nationalist trolls. In my fifteen years, I have heard numerous dispicable comments from Ishihara, Aso et al. about foreigners and other issues, and always silence from the many Japanese people I know and am very friendly with. Never once a 'not in my name'.

So I can only conclude that attitudes haven't changed all that much.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites