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Suga stunned at Hatoyama's Senkaku remarks on Hong Kong TV

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This is a consequence of the Japanese approach of always trying to say what you think the other person wants to hear, and not really having any fixed beliefs yourself.

The Japanese, like an onion... many layers, but no core.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Hatoyama may have put his foot in his mouth, but Suga's over-the-top reaction gets the whole leg. He's acting like Yukio whizzed on his bento, when he should have just downplayed this as a misunderstood, nervous statement. It's rarely a smart idea to declare yourself "dumbfounded."

13 ( +15 / -2 )

He's said nothing wrong. He has said what many Chinese feel - that China feels that Japan stole the islands. He did not say that Japan stole the islands, he did not say that Japan needs to "give the islands backs". He's actually being smart about this and suggesting that he can relate to what others thing - imagine that!! Understanding what others think but not agreeing with it and demanding the other is wrong. The whole incident in nothing but pure propaganda by the current government to stay in powers and pretend to be tough when it comes to China, islands and security. If jaws are dropping it should be over how poorly the current government is doing with regards to international relations, Fukushima, gender issues, the population decline...

12 ( +19 / -7 )

Japan says it brought previously unclaimed islands under its control in 1895. China says they were illegally snatched and should have been returned alongside other occupied territories after World War II.

China admitted to the UN China signed away the islands to Japan in 1895. End of story.

8 ( +20 / -12 )

Storm in a teacup?

So to paraphrase, all he said was, "given the disinformation in the Chinese media about the islands history, it isn't surprising that Chinese people believe that the islands should be part of China"

That sounds reasonable, but easily misconstrued if you just read the bold text above

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Never ever put a microphone in front of a Japanese politician, they do not ever engage their brain before flapping at the gums.

More documented proof right here !

4 ( +11 / -7 )

He really is a space cadet. How he was ever PM is a mystery.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Does Japan have some sort of "Idiot of the Year" award? J Foreign Ministry needs to revoke his passport.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

China says they were illegally snatched and should have been returned alongside other occupied territories after World War II.

Well, if China says that, it's gotta be right. Look at all of their recent justifiable occupations.

Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895, well before WW2. So China should return it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

And don't forget, Hatoyama has a PhD in engineering from Stanford. So he may have something up his sleeve. Maybe he is setting himself up as a go-between. The Japanese establishment will dislike him just enough to give him street cred in China.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

reformedbasher:

Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895, well before WW2. So China should return it.

Can idiots not realize that Taiwan did not belong to Japan before 1895?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Stunned that what Hatoyama said is 100%??? He's not implying China is right, but just reflecting what every Chinese person is thinking. What's so shocking about that?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The whole incident in nothing but pure propaganda by the current government to stay in powers and pretend to be tough

Thumb up! Every news cycle that Shigeru Ishiba and the others can hijack with BS about being tougher than the other guy regarding China/Korea etc is a news cycle not spent discussing things that really matter to people's lives (but that politicians of all stripes are unable to improve), be it food prices, radiation, employment conditions. Will the national ownership of a few abandoned rocks in the middle of sea make any difference to the lives of Tokyo or Beijing residents?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Taiwan is not owned by China.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Heir to Bridgestone tires. When you have that much money behind you, you can pretty much do and say what you please. No matter how dumb you are.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A Froydian slip perhaps.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

truth be damned, national interests above all

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good on him. He's injecting an element of reason and humility into the dispute; trying to get a grasp on the other side's point of view.

Too intelligent, obviously, to make it in politics.

I wonder what would happen to a Chinese politburo member, though, who came out with a similar statement regarding Japan's claims ....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yukio Hatoyama the guy who's mother illegally funded money to his campain. That guy? The same guy who obviously has business ties to China. Yeah like we are going to believe anything out of his mouth.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I agree that it's unavoidable - the Chinese government wants to expand it's territory and whipping up a batch of nationalism is one way to do it. Hatoyama brought the point up, time for Abe to expand on it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I want to wipe out the past that he was Japan's premier. He must be mad.

First of all, he must have said that he would be retired ! Why is he still member of an assembly ? What he says is always very different from what he does. Nobody trust such a bloody liar !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Such a foolish person was the prime minister of Japan! I am really dumbfounded.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@rickyvee i thought "foot and mouth" disease was only in the UK?

for J politicians its a everyday occurrence, for the J livestock last outbreak was in 2010.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Here's the unedited version.

It is unavoidable that when the Chinese government whips up the propaganda that they end up thinking that Japan stole the islands

"when he said he felt “responsibility” for the outrage"

What does that even mean? typo maybe?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There is no such thing as a private citizen of a former PM. Ever.

As a PM, however long that he reigned power, he must have enough info or access to whatever files kept in a vault or behind the scenes. Could it be that he is telling the truth? Who knows. Or he could be trying to curry favors from China to secure his retirement. Who knows.

But whatever he says, still carries weights. That's what Japanese don't understand. They think everything resets after a new cabinet takes power. This revolving door thinking just never stops with the Japanese gov't. When has any regime taken any type of responsibility in the past 20 years in Japan other than bowing and stepping down? How about resolve the problem for once? Even Abe is a total idiot, at least he's trying.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"As a media storm gathered, he told Japanese reporters later in the day that he had meant to say there was “a possibility” that China might think that way."

Ah, the usual, "I MEANT to say this," or, "I was misinterpreted/mistranslated", etc.

“It is outrageous and unforgivable that a former prime minister before has said things that hurt our national interests.”

Tough. He is free to say what he wants, especially as it's clear that's how he honestly feels about the islands, and he has expressed how he felt at the Nanjing Memorial. Of COURSE wingers back home don't want to hear it, but they're not upset because of any truths or untruths, they're simply upset because it makes them look bad in their little political game of chess.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Hatoyama at it again! Every now and then he slams his boundless stupidity into politics. First the messup with Okinawa. Then his visit to Iran. Now Senkaku. This guy needs to be seriously removed from politics!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"It is unavoidable that the Chinese side thinks Japan "stole" the islands"

Or, for sure the Chinese think Japan stole the islands. Well, that be true!

"Japan's stated position is that there is no dispute over the archipelago"

That's like the Russians stating there is no dispute over the islands they stole. Sure there is. The Japanese are disputing them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“I was completely at a loss for words when I heard about his remarks. It was literally jaw-dropping,” he told a news conference on Tuesday. “It is outrageous and unforgivable that a former prime minister before has said things that hurt our national interests.”

Suga should have had his jaw wired shut and left the incident to fade away in the news cycle. Another idiot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another non-news made into a scandal used against Hatoyama.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He really is a space cadet. How he was ever PM is a mystery.

Maybe that's what his wife first saw in him?

However you feel about these two, they are pretty watchable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sentiments: "There is a possibility that H nowadays has become more relaxed about national interests and thus invites "journalists" to "feed" him words. "

I'm not disagreeing with you, but I think it more likely that as he is more relaxed he can speak his mind more freely instead of literally being pushed one way or the other to say what that party wants to hear (hence the constant flip-flops depending on whom he's talking to).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm not really seeing the problem. I, too, can understand how China would feel that Japan stole the islands. After all, China feels ALL lands not currently under their control have been stolen from them by the current landholders. I'm awaiting the charge that North America is a former Chinese territory that was stolen from them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Fadamor

At least the railroads in the west...since they built them. (sarc)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I mean can you really say he was a Prime Minister? I think you should finish your term before you take the title.

More like a "Temp Minister".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

18 years, when I first went to Shanghai, Isetan was the only big department store along the West Nanjing Road. Today, it is an old building in the middle of many other newer and brighter and bigger non Japanese stores. Similarly, Yaohan was the only huge department store in Shanghai Pudong. Well it is still there, but I think it is no longer Japanese and definitely sells non Japanese products! Maybe Hatoyama is just trying to rebuild business in China. But it is a lost cause for the moment!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"It is outrageous and unforgivable that a former prime minister before has said things that hurt our national interests."

Hatoyama has not hurt Japan at all with his statement. However, the actions of Ishihara in causing the Senkaku islands to be nationalised have caused great economic harm to Japan, through the ensuing loss of business in China. His big-mouthed Osaka mate's undiplomatic rantings have also been bad for Japan. What does Mr Suga have to say about that? Outrageous and unforgivable? Not at all.

It seems the LDP welcome loudmouths who antagonise and strain relationships with neighbouring countries. Trying to calm things down won't do as it takes away their excuse for building up the armed forces and militarising Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan says it brought previously unclaimed islands under its control in 1895. China says they were illegally snatched and should have been returned alongside other occupied territories after World War II.

Japan brought previously unclaimed islands under its control in 1895 ... as a result of sinking the Beiyang fleet in the battle of Yalu river on September 17, 1894. He who controls the sea controls the small islands in the sea, unclaimed or otherwise. To mention the islands were unclaimed without mentioning the war, it is an omission of truth.

China, on the other hand, remembers the war, but doesn't mention that they never occupied, settled, or built upon the islands. Or if pressed, they will say it theirs anyway ... just because China was the center of the universe.

The islands are >roughly< equidistant from either country. The islands themselves are worthless, all that matters is the resources around the islands.

I am not saying anybody SHOULD act in any particular way; I just don't find what I see to be particularly intelligent behavior.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Unavoidable" because of facts or social climate in China?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i thought "foot and mouth" disease was only in the UK?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Whilst old Hatoyama is probably slightly loopy, and definitely was a dud caretaker PM - like all the rest of them - he is now a private citizen. Private citizens in democratic countries CAN say and do what they like. Not everyone has to dance to the tune of the current (temporary) regime, Mr. Suga. Maybe the Abe regime wants to start cracking down on dissent and criticism?

Very mixed feelings on this. He is a "private citizen", but also a former PM, and even a dolt like Hatoyama carries much more weight than any normal layman or even academic.

It is generally accepted that there is also something called the public welfare (in Japanese: 公共の福祉) that should restrain human rights. With great power comes great responsibility, and the relative harm of a former PM shooting his mouth off is infinitely greater than that of a normal citizen.

Frankly, it is only my fear that this will be the beginning of a sliding slope that stops me from saying without a doubt "Arrest and gag that man, NOW!"

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

A fascinating comment & quite entertaining to read!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@MrBum

Taiwan is not owned by China.

You're aware that the Chinese government consider to be a renegade province? So, if they think they own it, they can think they should return it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wasn't one meltdown enough for Hatoyama?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Pukey

Can idiots realise that the Senkakus never belonged to China ever? Taiwan at least was unquestionably Japanese territory in the past, the Senkakus have never been Chinese at any time in history.

Unfortunately comments are text only. So I can't attach a diagram that even you would understand. Maybe.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Youve got a good point Smith. Im thinking that the relaxed state of mind transfers into the quite common (automated) friendliness in dialogue, like when you try to accomodate the other in order to get a conversation going. Seems to me this is a strong component in Japanese communication. Of course it is also an open access point for anyone with bad intent. However it is still a bit odd that an experienced politician cant see whats coming from journalists.... Maybe a bad day.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

“I said yesterday that I was left open-mouthed. I still remain so,” he said.

Must have been an exhausting 24 hours. Good thing it's rainy season or else he'd have really dried out by now.

.... enter fly into room, buzzing along...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hatoyama's wife is Chinese.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

There is a possibility that H nowadays has become more relaxed about national interests and thus invites "journalists" to "feed" him words. His sentence does not look as if he has formulated his own opinion. I think he let himself get fooled by the interviewers trying to make him state something that could be made sensational. For that he should be blamed but what about the journalists? Just an idea.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hatoyama wanted the US forces out of Okinawa. He was also pro China and wanted to replace the current US to follow China. If he succeeded to execute his promises, there were probably no Japan but another Chinese controlled state with a very weak economy. Fortunately Japanese people are smart!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Mr Hatoyama please don't ever come back to Japan and also please don't say that you are Japanese. Japan doesn't need cowards like you !

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Hatoyama now says "that he had meant to say there was “a possibility” that China might think that way". Maybe he just visited Venus on a spaceship with his wife and left part of his brain there. Seriously, in a long list of bad Japanese prime ministers Hatoyama was definitely one of the worst. Why would he be any better or smarter now that he is a private citizen?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Whilst old Hatoyama is probably slightly loopy, and definitely was a dud caretaker PM - like all the rest of them - he is now a private citizen. Private citizens in democratic countries CAN say and do what they like. Not everyone has to dance to the tune of the current (temporary) regime, Mr. Suga. Maybe the Abe regime wants to start cracking down on dissent and criticism?

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

I am really disappointed at these reactions. Do you have any idea how much Japanese economy suffered because of losing their market in China? Over what? A useless piece of land that will be the center of a conflict that will totally block using any of any resources near it for decades? And what did Japan get for hardening their claim? A place they can send their jets for a check so that billions of tax money evaporate into thin air? And now that a politician is connecting to the Chinese nation, as the most important new market for the Japanese economy, everybody is angry at him? I am speechless ...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Quite entertaining - Suga's reaction to Hatoyama's comment - comedy duo (!)

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

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