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Ex-Abe cabinet member makes discriminatory remark about Africans

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Kind of hard to access this without knowing the actual Japanese term used that was translated here as "such black" people.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

There's nothing about a simple "misunderstanding" in this issue!! You made that remark, because you despise African people etc! Do you even know where your ancestors long time ago originated from? Africa!! Africa was the birthplace for the human race on this planet earth, and this is scientifically proven.

My god, how can you lack the knowledge about such an important biologically proof about the human kind! Do you even have the right to call you human, when you despise where our human kind originated from? How will you deal with such people, Japan? Who only seem to think about themselves and their "own" race, when actually everyone emigrated and originated from Africa thousands of years ago!

-9 ( +13 / -22 )

This dude is an idiot, and sadly he is just saying out loud what plenty of other folks here think too.

Kind of hard to access this without knowing the actual Japanese term used that was translated here as "such black" people.

Rather easy to find it in the news for Japan.

何であんな黒いの好きなのか

7 ( +15 / -8 )

なんであんな黒いのが好きなのか。

The proper translation should be, “why does he like black people so much?”

Still inappropriate, but a completely different meaning.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

BeerDeliveryGuyToday 07:30 am JSTなんであんな黒いのが好きなのか。

The proper translation should be, “why does he like black people so much?”

Still inappropriate, but a completely different meaning.

OK thanks. I would translate that as "why (does he) like such black (people).

Agree very inappropriate. People's color is irrelevant to that discussion and he deserves to be labeled a racist.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

The proper translation should be, “why does he like black people so much?”

I don't agree with this translation - there is no 'so much' in there.

I'd put it at 'why does he like black people like that?', although even then I'm adding my own nuance as a more directly translation would just be 'blacks' rather than 'black people'.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I would translate that as "why (does he) like such black (people).

This works. It's a little awkward in English, but gets the proper nuance/gist of the statement.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Mr Yamamoto cannot be a racist as there aren't any laws that pertain to this issue in Japan....

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Mr Yamamoto cannot be a racist as there aren't any laws that pertain to this issue in Japan....

I came across a racist freak online who claimed Japanese aren't racist, because "racism" was an invention of white people that had nothing to do with the Japanese ...

Yamamoto's "clarification" was that 「アフリカが『黒い大陸』『暗黒大陸』と表現されたことが念頭にあっての発言で、黒人を指して言ったわけではない」—basically, that "black" meant the continent, not the people, so the SJWs can all, like, shut the heck up already.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

this makes me think of how japan seeked and got "honorary white status in south africa.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Do you even know where your ancestors long time ago originated from?

this one always cracks me up when i hear these conservative rightist old men hating china. over 80% of Japanese came from China, and not so long ago either.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

So, this shows clearly the education standard and :worldliness of the Stone-faced fool’s running this country.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Interesting, that I can't seem to locate the whole text before this reference to "black". That would support or debunk his explanation.

I found this on the JP version Huffpost:

"山本氏の事務所や関係者らによると、山本氏はあいさつで三原氏の国内視察に同行したことを話した後、「三原氏はアフリカが好きで、何であんな黒いのが好きなのか、と思っていた」と述べた。山本氏は取材には「『黒いところのとこ(場所)が好きなのか』と。三原氏とは、ほかの色々なところに一緒に行ったが、アフリカ大陸だけはついていけない。遠いところだし".

"I was thinking, Mr Mihara loves Africa, why does he loves such a black". Because of the tendency to leave out so much specific information in spoken Japanese, you really can't tell if he was talking about black "people" or actually thinking "black" as in dark continent. Either way it's a rather un-thought-out thing to say and if he meant no racism he should have taken more care of his words so as not to create that impression.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yamamoto is truly a soldier of the ldp.

In the past year or so, just from what I can recall -

He was the creep that said "All museum curators are a cancer that must be got rid of".

And he was the one who tried to influence an investigation by Securuties into insider trading to protect a buddy.

And he was the one who lied about when the govt agreed to ok the Kake Gakuen sham. (he said Jan. but Vet school minutes said Nov)

And that is surely just the tip of a man of questionable character.

So when I heard of his motor-mouth going off again saying "...why does he love blacks...", I thought it's par for the course.

Indefensible!

10 ( +12 / -2 )

He said Saturday he would retract the remarks if they had caused misunderstanding.

So quaint. If only life were so simple.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Politician has the job to use the mouth and in this sensitive world of information the "words" can be interpreted in many ways. So, if I say this politician expressed his feeling that, it means inappropriate behavior. I have some African friends who are "blacks" or "Arabs" and they accept the word as it is. On the other hand USA uses words like Afro-Americans or natives, but it's there. I heard some years ago African people expressed Japanese as "bananas" meaning yellow outside /white inside, that can be sensitive expression today. Well, when we can find a right expression where we human-being never be perfect. For example: there's an expression to say dark skin in Japanese 黒い肌(kuroi hada) and it is black skin, actually should be 暗い肌 (kurai hada) direct translated from English dark skin. Well, we are on the way to find better expressions and it could be endlessly going.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I wonder what's the fuss about being black! The former Governor of Tokyo despised foreigners terming them intruders to the culture. Accept it or not, racial discrimination is rife in Japan!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

actually should be 暗い肌 (kurai hada) direct translated from English dark skin

暗い (kurai) refers to a level of light, not to the color/shade of something (in this case skin). I think that 濃い肌 (koi hada) would be how one would/could say 'dark skin', though someone may have a better word than 濃い.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

OssanAmericaToday  10:00 am JST

"I was thinking, Mr Mihara loves Africa, why does he loves such a black". Because of the tendency to leave out so much specific information in spoken Japanese, you really can't tell if he was talking about black "people" or actually thinking "black" as in dark continent.

Is referring to the continent of Africa as "black" something that happens in Japanese? 'Cause when I get out my trusty Google Earth app, it always looks mostly green with a bit of yellow and spots of blue and white.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Strangerland

His inentions aside, 暗いis a perfectly acceptable way of referring to a shade of colour.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nothing surprises me about the LDP. Anti-women. Anti-gay. Anti-African. Anti-foreign. Anti-change.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

To Strangerland:

What I wanted to explain is that you don't use 暗い or 濃いfor skin color in Japanese, and it is 黒い肌 that means "black skin". Go to dictionary or ask any Japanese if there are other expression for that. Let's see one day it will be 濃い肌. We are still going to find better words, right?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Having lived in Japan for around 20 years and worked as an interpreter, I can tell you all reliably that this sounds even worse in Japanese than most of you seem to think it does.

何であんな黒いの好きなのか

...could be translated as 'why does he like these black ones?'

While not really a fair transition, it is dangerously close to 'why does he like these black things?'

As everyone knows, Japanese often drops the subject of a sentence, so English renderings are difficult.

Here we have just the adjective 'black' with no noun to attached it to, so we just have to go on his tone. Notwithstanding the tendency in Japanese to drop nouns in regular, neutral speech, it comes across as really harsh when the dropped subject is a person / group of people. If the person / people are not referred to directly and only the adjective is used, it emphasizes the adjective and can make it sound pejorative.

Sure, it is possible to make a positive sentence like 'I'm delighted to have such a talented guy join the team' (あんな素晴らしいのがチームに入って嬉しいよ)with the same adjective "no noun" construction, but it is pretty informal and only works in an explicitly positive context.

Here, the politician is questioning why someone does a certain thing (with the subtext that doing so is a bad idea) so the positive context is lacking.

The あんな also emphasizes the context, making it more positive or more negative.

なんであんなじゃまなものを持ってきたか? Why did you bring something that will only get in the way?

なんであんな高いのを買ってきたか? Why did you buy something so expensive?

In these examples, あんなamplifies the negative context.

So we can see that the questioning tone of 'why does he like these black ones?' combines with the amplifier あんな, and together with stress on the adjective and the lack of a noun, it sounds like he is saying being black is a bad thing, and helping black people is a bad thing too.

That is why, even though there is not so much racially sensitivity in Japan, this fuss is on the news. It's because it sounds totally and undeniable horrendous to the Japanese ear - lumping black people together as a group, making their blackness sound negative, and questioning why anyone would want a positive relationship with "people like that".

As for his explanation that he is talking about the 'dark continent', it is, as any of your Japanese friends will tell you, utter nonsense. I can't believe some of you are taking it seriously. Of course the reason he is scrabbling with such a nonsensical explanation is because he has realized how badly he comes across, and he is desperately trying to backpedal with no room for maneuver.

There is no logical wayあんな黒いの [that black one / those black ones] can be referring to Africa, even if it is known a the dark continent.

In some ways though, I'm not sad he said it. It is sometimes helpful to know how people really feel. The LDP's lack of a filter is a useful means of finding out how they really see the world.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Maybe he met Obama and had his perception of blacks tarnished forever.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

The Japanese have so many, many, many failings... It's no wonder they don't have the "ability" to take responsibility for them.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Only saving grace is this old generation will die out and will be replaced with the more open minded one. Nuff said.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@jpn_guy - very informative, I think your answer is the only one anyone needs to read. Unfortunately there is too much racism in Japan and it is easy for foreigors to under-play it because of the "aimai" way Japanese language is used. Japanese lusteners would clearly know what meaning was intended for the reasons you stated.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Kobe White Bar OwnerToday 09:11 am JSTthis makes me think of how japan seeked and got "honorary white status in south africa.

Japan never sought that status. It was invented by the then Apartheid South African government to enable trade with Japan, starting with the purchase of South African iron ore by Yawata Steel (now Nippon Steel) back in 1960. Both Taiwan and South Korea received the same "Honorary White" status.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I guess people say these kind of things because they don't see black people as equals, rather they regard them as "other".

It's ignorance and rank stupidity which, frankly, belongs to another era.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Hi jpn_guy, kudos for your detailed analysis, I had to refer to my Mother, as after 3/4 years I am still struggling with  Katakana , and in some ways context and interpretation.  

Kozo Yamamoto essentially is the definition of discriminatory racial intolerance. Brutally focused indifference to the mere colour of another human beings skin. 

A jarring predetermined inborn distain for the visible biological characteristics associated with African heritage.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And absolutely nothing will come of this....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My wife used to work for governmental projects dealing with developement in various African countries. The horror stories she would tell about countless millions of USD burned in projects that were completely abandoned by the locals as soon as the project originators returned to their countries.... By abandoned, she meant steal everything that can be stolen, sell it for little money, leave the rest to rot, return you your old way of living.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Prejudice and intolerance of this nature, in my own personal experience, is not  endemic in Japan, that's hand on heart honestly.  

Kozo Yamamoto, a politician for heaven sake, is a media magnet for foot in mouth cretinous foolish intolerance.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

「三原氏はアフリカが好きで、何であんな黒いのが好きなのか、と思っていた」と述べた。山本氏は取材には「『黒いところのとこ(場所)が好きなのか』と。三原氏とは、ほかの色々なところに一緒に行ったが、アフリカ大陸だけはついていけない。遠いところだし".

"I was thinking, Mr Mihara loves Africa, why does he loves such a black". Because of the tendency to leave out so much specific information in spoken Japanese, you really can't tell if he was talking about black "people" or actually thinking "black" as in dark continent. 

I agree. The antecedents of the pronouns are unclear and can be misinterpreted.

To continue the conjecture, dark in the negative as in a “dark continent” is usually described as “kurai” or 暗い、くらい。It’s also used as “buraku” as in a “black company” that overworks and mistreats its employees or as in “black baito” to refer to a part-time job or boss “from hell.” In this sense kuroi 黒い refers to “darkness” rather than the color of the skin.

“Nande anna kuroi no ga suki nano ka” imo does not refer to black as in “Bernie Mac” black but to the “corruption” of dealing with corrupt officials of certain African nations.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's no wonder they don't have the "ability" to take responsibility for them.

Sure they have the ability, they call a press conference, bow a thousand times, apologize, and it's over!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yamamoto is one of the geniuses behind Kurodanomics, so not surprised he would be of a mind to say such daft crap.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Despite his history of spouting lies and nonsense, Yamamoto was re-elected by the people of Fukuoka only last month. Clearly, many people here share his backwards views.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

quercetumToday 06:59 pm JST「三原氏はアフリカが好きで、何であんな黒いのが好きなのか、と思っていた」と述べた。山本氏は取材には「『黒いところのとこ(場所)が好きなのか』と。三原氏とは、ほかの色々なところに一緒に行ったが、アフリカ大陸だけはついていけない。遠いところだし".

"I was thinking, Mr Mihara loves Africa, why does he loves such a black". Because of the tendency to leave out so much specific information in spoken Japanese, you really can't tell if he was talking about black "people" or actually thinking "black" as in dark continent. 

I agree. The antecedents of the pronouns are unclear and can be misinterpreted.

To continue the conjecture, dark in the negative as in a “dark continent” is usually described as “kurai” or 暗い、くらい。It’s also used as “buraku” as in a “black company” that overworks and mistreats its employees or as in “black baito” to refer to a part-time job or boss “from hell.” In this sense kuroi 黒い refers to “darkness” rather than the color of the skin.

“Nande anna kuroi no ga suki nano ka” imo does not refer to black as in “Bernie Mac” black but to the “corruption” of dealing with corrupt officials of certain African nations

Thanks for pointing that out. I hadn't though of it in terms of "burakku kigyou". That's another possibility.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How long do we have to wait for Abe to cut tie with his ex ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This man is a relic from 30 years ago.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Translation or intent aside, name any great city in sub-Saharan Africa that was conceived and built by black Africans, name any major current achievements by the same group. Have you noticed what has occurred in South Africa since transfer of rule -- has it gotten better or worse? Maybe the man is simply making an observation about facts that the rest of the overly PC world are afraid to speak about.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Kuro is color. Mural is not.

We Japanese know what he meant.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He is a Japanese. He does not speak with translated vocabulary translated from foreign language . Abe government does not need his type. Kurai is not color.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have you noticed what has occurred in South Africa since transfer of rule -- has it gotten better or worse?

Better. There's dialogue and reconciliation. Black people are no longer oppressed by a white minority. Sure, the current govt is woeful but what govt isn't?

The rest of your post doesn't deserve a detailed reply.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In USA, a majority people are mixed breeding. We had a massacre in Las Vegas. Sheriffs and local medias were criticized that they did not reveal shooters race because he is white. Nevada ID does not have race. It had years ago but computerized entry system could not handle too many varieties. So, I was white for several years. No longer race. No more argument like yellow is not color. But some organizations think Vegas hide white criminals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After Japan was defeated of WWII, Japan concentrated on industrialization. Countries in Africa know Japan is not going tomstartbwar. Saudi Arabia is modernizing noolooow One question Japan has a problem is 'hoooow to encouragévwomen to work'..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least the politician referenced them as "Black" and not "Sambo's".  I remember decades ago a Japanese company causing quite a stir with their "Little Black Sambo" product line.  And they thought it was "cute" at the time.

I'm always amazed at the Japanese people; many but not all can be most sensitive and caring yet insensitive and callous at the same time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder what's the fuss about being black! The former Governor of Tokyo despised foreigners terming them intruders to the culture. Accept it or not, racial discrimination is rife in Japan!

If this is a reference to Ishihara Shintaro, you are wrong. He was one of the first conservative politicians to come out in favour of increased immigration. I first saw his comments in a Japanese right-wing magazine but his positive take on immigration has been reported several times in English.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2011/02/04/national/ishihara-comes-out-for-more-immigration/

Further, his emphasis in this article on the Japanese as being a mix of people from many areas is not his alone. The infamous history textbooks produced by the Atarashii Rekishi Kyokasho wo Tsukuru Kai also take that line.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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