politics

Abe's new slogan stirs memories of wartime rhetoric

72 Comments
By Linda Sieg

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

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

72 Comments
Login to comment

I think some people over think what is actually intended, but he could have said something about Japan's population levels instead.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

富国強兵 (rich country, strong army) would probably be the most appropriate one for Abe-chan to resurrect. Though it is much older.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And you've only just picked up on this? When I read the Japanese transcript last week, I was transported back about 20 years to a discussion I had with an elderly friend. He was just a little young to see active service in World War 2, but was old enough to undergo training in the use of bamboo poles to which explosive devices were attached. In response to the Allies invading Honshu, this chap (and his school friends) were tasked with swimming out into the water, and pointing these bamboo poles at the bottom of unsuspecting landing craft, if you believe it. Anyway, this old fella told me all about the brainwashing they underwent including the "Death of 100 Million" slogan that was rammed into them. Considering the historical legacy of such lunacy, I was more than a little concerned when I hear Abe's spiel last week.

Moreover, in that Japanese has a larger population than 100 Million people, I wonder what will happen to those who are not covered by the Prime Minister's slogan? Does his insight perhaps hint at the euthanizing of excessive numbers? The old? The infirm? Ethnic minorities perhaps?

9 ( +16 / -7 )

No retirement for you!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It's sort of sad that he mentions 100 million, implying that the government has mostly given up on any short-term solutions to the population decline here, which was supposed to be part of his "third arrow" reform policy. I guess it's mostly handing the problem off to future governments.. That being the case, 100 million may even be optimistic..

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Wartime rhetoric?

'Never in the field of Japanese politics was so much bollocks spoken by one man and believed by so few"

W. Churchill ( well, kind of ).

9 ( +12 / -3 )

“The biggest meaning is ‘inclusive growth.’”

Ah, so then no ruling out at all that it is a sympathy for pre-war and wartime Japan and that Abe is harkening us back to a dark era? Not surprised, given that there is absolutely no doubt that Abe the clown is in love with 1930's "beautiful Japan".

8 ( +13 / -5 )

The only 'inclusive growth' we'll see in our lifetimes is the debt burden on the taxpayer!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

"100 million people active"?

Active in which way and which field?

And of course one more cabinet post after re-re-re-re ... shuffeling!

How many more will he create for his buddies and their buddies?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

If only life trials and tribulations, economic or otherwise can be mended with a sound bite or slogan.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The left must be desperate to try and tag Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slogan as nationalism propaganda. Why isn,t the left opposing the issuing of National ID number emailed today with more vigour. Because the they know that it is a revenue raising, meaning more money for them if they win Government.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

“a society in which ALL 100 MILLION people can be active” when the current population is 126 million??

Enough said... :-)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

a great point the article makes is that abe kun has been enamored with not burdening future generations with the past, but then he goes and makes this idiotic slogan that is identitical to a slogan made 80 years ago? and only talks about 100 million people? am i in the twilight zone right now? if the japanese people don't vote him and his idiotic coterie out of power in the next election then it really is high time many of us look elsewhere to live.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Much ado about absolutely nothing, me thinks.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Moreover, in that Japanese has a larger population than 100 Million people, I wonder what will happen to those who are not covered by the Prime Minister's slogan? Does his insight perhaps hint at the euthanizing of excessive numbers? The old? The infirm? Ethnic minorities perhaps?

Maybe your should Read The Article.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

When he said 100M, it meant 126M in round numbers.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

When he said 100M, it meant 126M in round numbers.

No he didn't. Maybe you should read the article.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Maybe you should read the article.

I did and still think he said in round numbers, which in Japanese Ichi Oku Nin meaning the Japanese population because Japan's population has been around 100M more or less for a long time.

It is easy to say Ichi Oku Nin than Ichi Oku Ni Sen Roppyaku Man Nin.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Society in Which All 100 million People can be Active

Whether or not it refers to pre-war rhetoric is not even the biggest culprit here. The biggest one is that the sentence written above means nothing, it makes zero sense, nada, nil.

On the other hand It may just how Japan politics is totally empty and that Japanese politicians are total idiots.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Don't panic, its just a slogan - nothing to do with ww2.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

If 100 million Japanese could actually get off their collective butts and be ACTiVE, they wouldn't have voted in the LDP!

Seriously, Abe doesn't want Japan to become active, he wants Japan to remain apathetic.

Then he can do whatever he wants!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Lots of Hatius japanicuses on this here forum.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Bashers are just good in bashing. Bet if they're the PM, they won't be able to do things without being bashed too. I feel for PM Abe or whoever is at the top. No matter what good intention they do, some would still find something to bash on. I just thought some of us foreigners are here and here for so long because we find something nice here that we weren't able to find in our homelands. So can we just tone down the bashing or at least air grievance in proper platform.

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

Hmm... Abe's dropping comments like this while his Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide is making comments echoing WWII calls for women to have more babies. So are the Nippon Kaigi nationalists emboldened by Abe finally passing his unconstitutional militarism legislation, or have they always been saying these sort of things but most Japanese people never noticed?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Abe's dropping comments like this while his Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide is making comments echoing WWII calls for women to have more babies.

Aren't posters on here also saying that Japan needs more babies? I seem to recall that comment many times from the declining population stories.

As for the 100 million to be active... people read into it what they want to read into it. Anti-Abe punters will see it as wartime rhetoric, the others might see it as a rounded-up figure.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The point is that Abe has shown enough evidence that he is nationalistic (a member of Nippon Kaigi) and has enough knowledge of history (through learning and his immediate ancestors) to want to revise it. He would know very well that great slogans involving one hundred million (一億一心; 一億玉砕) were used during the war. If he didn't use the word deliberately then he and his advisers were unbelievably careless about stirring up wartime memories and fears. And he must surely know there are a great many people who are watching him closely now to see which part of 1930s Japan he will resurrect next.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Abe has often spoken of “escaping the post-war regime”, a legacy of the U.S. occupation that conservatives say eroded national pride and traditional mores.

So, am I to understand that Abe wants to escape the post-war regime and return to the good old days of the pre-war regime?

I really don't get it. The post-war years have been the most prosperous, enlightened and peaceful in Japan's history. Why would he want to "escape" that?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Thunderbird2OCT. 05, 2015 - 07:22PM JST Abe's dropping comments like this while his Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide is making comments echoing WWII calls for women to have more babies. Aren't posters on here also saying that Japan needs more babies? I seem to recall that comment many times from the declining population stories.

There is a pretty big difference between acknowledging Japan's demographic problems, and making comments that suggest it's a woman's patriotic duty to serve as, to borrow a turn of phrase a former Abe cabinet minister once used, "baby-making machines". It's the difference between encouraging a choice and and implying a duty.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

First build up our military bases like we are doing today all over Japan, next build and station on the Senkekus Island like China does making bases our of a rock sticking out the sea, then kick out Skorea and Russia out of Japan lands

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

"The Hundred Million" is essentially a euphemism for "all of us." Similar phrases appear in Emperor Meiji's Imperial rescripts years before the first Sino-Japanese or Russo-Japanese wars and was never meant to be taken literally.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Can't believe 100mill. is a rounded 126mill.

106mill, OK then. 116mill, well a far stretch. And 126mill, that's just nonsense.

Tina - he could have said ichi ten ni oku nin if he wanted a short simple expression.

I'd suggest he was dragging baggage with intent or naive or naively informed or all of these.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Can't believe 100mill. is a rounded 126mill.

It's not. Read the article.

I'd suggest he was dragging baggage with intent or naive or naively informed or all of these.

Or, you could read the article, then you wouldn't need to suggest anything.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It's not. Read the article.

The article was not written by Abe. What he said was in quotation marks.

Can't believe 100mill. is a rounded 126mill.

browny1, 100mil is often used in the Japanese. For instance, Ichi Oku So Cyuryu, which means most Japanese felt middle class. Or a song "Kon nichi wa Ichi Oku no kuni kara" which means "Hello from a country of 100mill" etc. 13 Oku means China.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

A new slogan adopted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and meant to show that all Japanese will benefit from economic growth.

Political analysts say the new slogan and Abe’s three new “arrows” of economic policy, ranging from a strong economy, and support for child-rearing, to a stable social security system, are aimed at wooing voters ahead of an upper house poll next July.

Another new slogan, and three "new arrows" are about all Abe is good for, and are just designed to distract the Japanese voters from the actual accomplishments of Abenomics -- which have been negligible. Sad thing is, they will probably go for it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The article was not written by Abe. What he said was in quotation marks.

So? It's an article. They do this little thing called 'reporting' where they get 'information' and put it in an 'article' so that people can get 'informed'.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Strranger thanks.

I had read the article - I was simply making comment re Tina's post.

And I stand by my suggestion. The coincidence of the newly coined "......100mill can be active........" with past "calls for 100mill...." is quite remarkable.

Abe recently has taken more than enough flak as it is, who'd have thought his elves hadn't given this one due consideration. So I'd suggest it's a possible hat-tip to the thinly veiled ones amongst other things. Simple.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The problems is that these politicians see japan as factory where they need workers and labour to just serve their agenda. there is a plan agenda which comes in pieces, they are passing law after law and ironically they do not care that most of the public is against.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The 100 million level is where the government wants to hold Japan’s shrinking population over the next five decades, versus 126 million now.

This sentence in the article is, I think, writer's wrong speculation trying to figure out what Abe said. The writer probably didn't know 100mill is "Oku", easy to say, so " 1 Oku" is often used to mean the whole population of Japan.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

tough crowd: as they say in Vegas......

you try to come up with a catchy slogan, some say it smacks of militarism - while others say :" too low a number"

should he have said "125.6 million?" or maybe came to the stage with a display behind him and say - we will have a society where " read number" ..............

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A "Society in Which All 100 million People can be Active," huh?

Prescient, especially since in breaking news right now, they're announcing that the TPP negotiations have been successfully concluded.

Open the floodgates, cause here comes the competition! On your marks...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Abe and numbers. Remember when he was photographed in an airplane numbered 731? Unit 731 was the army unit in China that did unspeakably horrific medical experiments on Chinese (and unfortunately, the doctor in charge was not tried as a war criminal because the US wanted his data)..

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This sentence in the article is, I think, writer's wrong speculation trying to figure out what Abe said.

No it's not.

Unlike you, the writer isn't making stuff up.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If you think that Abe randomly chose the term "One Hundred Million" when referring to the Japanese people, think again. It was indeed often used by the autocrats running the country during the Showa war years, and any Japanese who lived through the period or has even a cursory knowledge of the era knows this full well. Examples:

From Bix's 'Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan': (The War Journal of the Imperial Headquarters concluded) "We can no longer direct the war with any hope of success. The only course left is for Japan's one hundred million people to sacrifice their lives by charging the enemy to make them lose the will to fight."

2 ( +4 / -2 )

When I see the name Shinzo Abe I see Hideki Tojo.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

When I see the name Shinzo Abe I see Hideki Tojo.

 He is like bush but Asian version 3.0

0 ( +4 / -4 )

BNlightened, I told you Abe did not say "One Hundred Million", he said "Ichi Oku" which is often used even now to mean the whole Japan's population. The Japanese language is the same from the time you mentioned.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

More examples of "hundred million" use in wartime propaganda:

"Japanese civilians were told that they too might have to choose death to protect the dignity of the nation and the sanctity of the imperial ideology. "The hundred million," the propaganda's term for the civilians at home, might have to embrace a death that would be beautiful in its tragedy, "like shattered jewels." (taken from the magazine The Atlantic)

Wartime propaganda slogan: "One Hundred Million With One Spirit." Or, when Japan began to lose the war, it became, "One hundred million hearts as one human bullet." (taken from Dower's 'Embracing Defeat')

Finally, can anyone doubt Abe's knowledge of this particular example of the term's usage, by Emperor Hirohito in his radio broadcast announcing Japan's surrender: ""Despite the best that has been done by everyone—the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State, and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people—the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest..."

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This time the Emperor of Japan is not on their side.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The prime-minister Shinzo Abe-sama is a good man. Let him do his job to improve Japanese policy.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The 100 million slogan reminds me of a plot I once heard of about the illuminate wanting to decrease the earth's population by one quarter of its size.

PM Abe is saying to me by this is that he knows the results of leaving an exposed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear incident of a triple meltdown and excessive pollution of the environment. He is allowing for over twenty percent of the population to be adversely affected.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

"Abe, 61, has often spoken of “escaping the post-war regime”, a legacy of the U.S. occupation"

That "post-war regime" sure was good for Japan, at least until the bubble burst in the late 1980s.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Funny Abe puts it as if it's a matter of choice. With the pension fund drying up, "Be active or perish" is more like it. It's basically the same thing as the wartime slogan, right?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This time the Emperor of Japan is not on their side.

https://www.facebook.com/JapanToday/photos/a.264156846944983.77222.206382352722433/1025633807463946/

Yup , He is on their side and that's a good thing , if he thinks that there is a bad guys in that world so the solution for the good guy is to wipe them out

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A new slogan adopted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and meant to show that all Japanese will benefit from economic growth is raising eyebrows among those who see it as an eerie echo of wartime propaganda.

How do you like to suggest Abe for new slogan if you think "all Japanese will benefit from economic growth" was same slogan as wartime propaganda?

Do you want Abe to say " some of Japanese will benefit from economic growth" or "rich Japanese and Japanese Companies will benefit from economic growth"?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do anyone know what is Abe's new slogan ? Original Japanese Abe said - not some translation in English. Ichioku was used as entire Japanese people instead of Zen-Nippon-kokumin. Actually less than 100 million Japanese, then. Ichioku Do-shin to encourage every one think same. Then later, Ichioku Gyokusui to encourage suicide when Yankees land to Japan. Abe is 61. He did not grow with these war rime militant slogan. Ichioku for after war Japanese, All NipponJin. There was another slogan during WW II. Umeyo Fuyaseyo Ichioku ni.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Umeyo Fuyaseyo Ichioku ni.

but the population is decreasing , umeyo ( breed and increase until it reach to 100 million ) hmph , don't tell me the same tactic of the 30's will be used in stimulating population increase ? eh .

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nice try, no cigar. If the slogan is not taken from the population target, it is most probably taken from 一億総総中流 (one hundred million middle "class") that came into vogue when Abe was in his teens and remained a popular if inaccurate description of Japanese society until the early 1990s. Ichioku in the sense of all inclusive has also been widely used in advertising slogans.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Keep your meaning (interpretation) at your rubbish bin....lets Abe meaning work to the people..!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

When I see the name Shinzo Abe I see Hideki Tojo.

 

He is like bush but Asian version 3.0

One is off the cuff, the other is just plain ridiculous.

Man, the hatred and bitterness towards Japan by hating and bitter foreigners is overflowing here. If you hate Japan this much, and you hate the PM, and you hate the politics, and every things else you bitch and moan about on other topics, why don't you just leave then?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@Mr. Noidall Man, the hatred and bitterness towards Japan by hating and bitter foreigners is overflowing here. If you hate Japan this >much, and you hate the PM, and you hate the politics, and every things else you bitch and moan about on other topics, >why don't you just leave then?

Someone was bound to say it. Well said @ Mr. Noidall

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Mr Noidall - not everyone who has a particular dislike for Abe, Jiminto and their cohorts hates Japan. You are painting with a very w-i-d-e brush. Of course some may hate Japan in its entirety, but stop the stereo typing of all who have opinions different to yours.

The most vitriol I've ever heard against Abe has come from a close Japanese friend - a retiring type, a doctor in his mid 70s and he pours it on Abe. His father died in the war, and you'd think it was yesterday sometimes. He'll take this contempt of Abe & Co to his grave. But at the same time he is a wonderful calm man with 3 children & 8 grand children and he loves his country.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The Japanese population is almost certain to fall below 100 million in the future. Another failure for Abe.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I think this is click bait, and socialist bull... No other news source dealing with Japan in an honest manner is reporting such trash.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Anyone who tries to build the a future basec on tradition needs a good kick in the cobblers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@gkamburoffOCT. 05, 2015 - 11:05PM JST When I see the name Shinzo Abe I see Hideki Tojo.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Tojo wore eye glasses. Had chobi hige under his nose. Every time Kishi nit picked Tojo, Bocho Shinbun and Chugoku Shinbun had big articles.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This brings back memories of the Greater SEA Co-prosperity sphere.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“Abe-chan, is this a return to 1937 and a “Movement to Mobilise the National Spirit?”

you just figured it out now? Gee you're fast

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

100 000 000 is reasonably accurate I would think because at the moment there is a very high proportion of so called baby-boomers who are going to die at a greater rate than an even increased birthrate. The slogan is however inappropriate and sounds like something thought up at a Nippon Kaigi meeting.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Back to topic, I am guessing he used ichioku as another meaning in Japanese language, Zen Nippon Kokumin.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Jerome_from_UtahOCT. 06, 2015 - 02:54PM JST This brings back memories of the Greater SEA Co-prosperity sphere. ro '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

I'd bet you mistranslated Dai ToA KyoEi Ken

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe next Abe slogan will be "4 hole button helps make twins and triplets"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

tinawatanabe: " I told you Abe did not say "One Hundred Million", he said "Ichi Oku" which is often used even now to mean the whole Japan's population."

Sorry, guys, but the idea that "Ichi oku" doesn't mean 100 million but instead means the entire population is ludicrous, unless you are suggesting that Abe is saying that within 50 years the population of Japan will stabilize at "ichi oku", meaning the entire population of Japan today at more than 120 million. Are you saying that he's going to 'stabilize' depopulation at EXACTLY the same levels as the population right now, when he made his "all inclusive" speech? or does ichi oku suddenly mean only the number 100 M in that case (and hence you are just interpreting it at random)?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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