picture of the day

Pick two fingers


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers the opening address at the World Assembly for Women (WAW! Tokyo 2014) at Japan Business Federation building in Tokyo on Friday. The three-day summit of high-powered women, including IMF chief Christine Lagarde, is meant to underscore the Japanese government's commitment to redressing the country's conspicuous and costly gender gap.

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It's kinda lame that someone who denies the comfort women would be the host for a conference on women's issues. Just goes to show the disconnect that old conservative en have with reality in this country.

The world will judge on deeds not lip service.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

The two finger salute is just to let others know that he is Japanese.

Everyone, especially the Japanese, falsely assumes that this is the peace sign. In fact, the next time you see a Japanese person doing this, tell them that this is not a peace sign. Tell them that that it means Japan. When they look at you strangely, ask them (in Japanese) how many fingers they are holding up. When they reply nihon, they will then realize the true meaning of this subtle gesture.

-1 ( +5 / -7 )

Ironic that he is using the peace sign in the year that he basically eroded the Japanese peace policy.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Iwatejay: that might anger Tokyoites who insist its "Nippon"!

Seriously, though, I'm guessing you do actually know it originated and refersto "Victory", as I the victory that was at the end of WWII (which the Axis lost). Try telling that THAT is what it means. But I'm with Probie: Abe's one of the last people who should be flashing the peace sign.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I see the irony is lost on him.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

All this effort to get women into the workplace, but in the end it's the women in Japan who need to step up and aggressively join the full-time workforce. I just can't see that happening at all..

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'd like to return the gesture to Abe, except my fingers would be the other way around.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

That's how many fingers that can fit

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If he iturned his hand around it would more accurately reflect his attitude to constitutional democracy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

funnily he looks better without Mikan Lagarde next to him.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

All this talk about getting women into the work force but funny, I don't see daycares being built on mass around the country and in areas that there are massive waiting lists - my area being one of them - I see no changes to the 1.3 million spouse tax break and I don't seem him demanding to know who made the sexist comments in the Tokyo assembly even though it was from his party. I also don't see cheaper daycare, more pressure to cut overtime for fathers and better child bonuses or support for double into families...

Thanks for wasting my tax money on yet another stupid meeting that in the end will have zero effect for the women who live in this country and who are sick and tired of the sexism and disadvantages that go with being female and living here, regardless of nationality.

0 ( +7 / -7 )


In Japan, many people think the "two finger salute" means peace.

There is no language that I know of where the initial letter for the word "Peace" begins with a "V."

The "V" is for "Victory." It means, "We won! You lost!"

By the smug expression on Abe's face, I would say he knows the real meaning quite well.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Stewart Gale

except my fingers would be the other way around.

Or "behind his head" ?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Future generations won't think kindly about his empty rhetoric. But why should he care since he won't be around to experience their scorn.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Abe talkin' body language? I hope he expires like a magazine subscription.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It's kinda lame that someone who denies the comfort women would be the host for a conference on women's issues.

Its kinda lame that some folks keep on stating that Mr Abe "denies" the comfort women. No check that, its really lame.

Abe has said repeatedly that he feels terrible that some women were victimized during the war. What he "denies", and rightfully so, is the ludicrous claim that tens of thousands of women were "abducted and forced" by the Japanese army.

I wonder if you can tell the difference or if you are just deliberately trying to slander the man.

0 ( +5 / -5 )


-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yawn! Just shows how much charisma and imagination the current PM of Japan actually has. What number is he? Number 16 in 15 years?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )


Totally agree!

Looking forward to greeting Number 17!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

9 in 15 years

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Guess he forgot he was prime minister and not a teenager any longer?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Maybe he's just responding to someone "OK", or ordering something "Make it double" Nothing teenager about him.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I think if you live long enough in Japan, the "victory" sign becomes kind of a Pavlovian reflex when faced with a camera...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

it's the women in Japan who need to step up and aggressively join the full-time workforce....

I don't think it's quite that simple. Where I worked in Ebina the OLs were on a 3-year contract. In other words, they were on a three year mission to find a husband and become a housewife. If they didn't their contract ended and it was off to whatever. That even applied to women with degrees in science. Only translators were safe and they wanted to marry a gaijin and get the heck out!

It's Japan's paternalistic attitude that is the problem, not the motivation of the women.

In the meantime Abe might turn that symbol around the next time he meets with the Chinese.....

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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