politics

Hashimoto says he will no longer answer questions from Asahi reporters

80 Comments

Controversial Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto says he will give no more interviews to the Asahi Shimbun, its affiliated publications, or Asahi Broadcasting Corp, after a magazine published a critical article about his ancestry.

Hashimoto, who heads the new Japan Restoration Party, has been in the news all year for one thing or another. He said public servants do not have rights; he once forced all Osaka city employees to declare whether or not they had tattoos and to resign if they did, and riled South Korea by disputing the so-called comfort women issue, among others.

The latest trouble came in an article by Shukan Asahi this month, calling his tattoo decree a "terrible throwback to a caste system mentality." The story also mentioned Hashimoto's father, referring to him as a "burakumin" with yakuza connections. Furthermore, the story made comparisons between Hashimoto and German dictator Adolf Hitler's rise to power.

Speaking at a news conference, Hashimoto said it was extremely offensive to compare him to the Nazis and he blasted the magazine for insulting his relatives, Sports Nippon reported. "As a public figure, I might be fair game, but to dig up my family's past is going over the line. It will have an effect on my children and grandchildren."

He demanded an explanation of the "thinking" behind the article and went on to state that he would no longer answer questions fielded by reporters from Asahi Shimbun, its affiliated publications or Asahi Broadcasting Corporation.

Shukan Asahi issued a statement late Thursday, apologizing for comments about Hashimoto's father. A Shukan Asahi spokesperson commented, "The article was aimed at painting a picture of a rising political figure. The Asahi Shimbun and Asahi Broadcasting are different companies. The Asahi is willing to take responsibility for the article published in Shukan Asahi."

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80 Comments
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I'm sure if he had been compared to Tojo that he would have been fine with that.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

The truth is out and it hurts. This guy will ultimately be quieted by his own actions so let's just wait and see. If anything this made him into a worst person than before because bitter can only become even more bitter, never sweet. It's good that the truth is out, it has always been out but no one really listens. Sad about all those people who lost their jobs due to a cosmetic application. The Yaks should take him out to play. If he came to Kanto he would have to deal with others that don't play nice. Stay in Kansai Hashimoto and stay there for good.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

BTW Tojo was a general of the Imperial Army not a blood sucking lawyer. There is difference, different ammo and different lives. It is best to leave Tojo alone, he was hung and cremated. Hashimoto still breaths which makes him a parasite.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The article was aimed at painting a picture of a rising political figure.

Hitler...yakuza...that's quite a picture for a legitimate (?) national paper.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

he once forced all Osaka city employees to declare whether or not they had tattoos and to resign if they did

Yes, because the ONLY people in Osaka who have tatoos are yakuza, and he had promised, in his campaign, to lessen the control of the yakuza in government offices. There are lots of things to criticize about this guy, but I don't think that criticism is fair, since it is never reported in context.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

This guy is a nut, simple as that.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

This time he has a point, but the reason why he's been this grumpy and cantankerous is the upcoming election. He knows being so works well, as many voters fall for this, saying, "Wow, he's honest and right!" Cheap trick.

Being so pissed off with this, he wouldn't survive the far more inquisitive English tabloids, I guess.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Hashimoto says he will no longer answer questions from Asahi reporters"

A bit childish even for a politician.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"can dish it out but can't take it" comes to mind. Cambridge Dictionary: "Said when someone often criticizes other people but does not like it when people do the same to them."

5 ( +6 / -1 )

JoeBigs Oct. 19, 2012 - 08:28AM JST paulinusa Oct. 19, 2012 - 08:34AM JST

whatever you think of it, the effectiveness of this strategy/tantrum will be determined by the voters. I am excited by this challenge. it sure beats the standard media-determined elections aand who knows, it may lead to more honest and probing journalists who actually act as protectors of the public instead of the status quo.

the press club in japan needs a little kick in the butt. whether hajimoto is the right guy to stir the pot is unknown but i'm pretty sure no one else is going to do it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nivce to see newspapers showing a bit of bite.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"Japan needs a bit of dictatorship", as Hashimoto says.

Being associated with the Nazis should be honorable then.

He's the comparison he would like:

He's too talkative to be a Putin or a Stalin. He's too simple to be a Hitler. He's not too belligerent to be an Assad or a Qaddafi.

He bashes and bashes out at people he doesn't like and promises to be radical and racial, so...he would be fairly compared to a younger version of Bob Mugabe???

3 ( +4 / -1 )

taro67: You've got the right idea but I think you've got your signals crossed. The example in this article isn't why the press club needs a kick in the butt. You might disagree with muckraking journalism but it's accomodating the corporate/government status quo that's the problem. Hajimoto wants to maintain that on his own terms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

paulinusaOct. 19, 2012 - 08:56AM JST

No...i get it. I'm just counting on this escalating to a point where other politicians/independent journalists get involved. really, this could stir up a lot of things. we should all add fuel to the fire to make sure it does.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As much as we foreigners may think of Hashimoto as a joke, a growing number of Japanese people see him as a refreshing leader. The followers are tired of seeing the government always kowtowing to other governments

Despite the problems it has caused, there are still a large number of people who support Ishihara for his actions with the Senkaku islands. It wouldn't surprise me if Abe wins the next election, and with the support of Hashimoto and others, starts changing article 9. Once that starts, it will open up a whole can of worms that Japan isn't prepared to deal with.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Asahi Shinbun has apoligised, hasn't it? It worried about its own circulation, I believe.

It could have taken it to the limit though. Outright confrontation with the mayor would have sold. As for news reports, it could buy them from freelance journos...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

American Devil Oct. 19, 2012 - 09:19AM JST

You nailed it about Abe. but, it should be said that Noda has been a failure and should be removed. truthfully, Japan is mostly screwed regardless who winds up as PM.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In actuality the majority will probably sympathize with Hash on this one as evidenced by Asahi's rare and unusually prompt apology statement. May ironically have been just what he needed to reinforce public support amid his new political party undergoing some chaos and not necessarily viewed as the nation's hot new pick he was hoping for it to become.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Exactly, paulinusa. How would Hashimoto react on the world scene when Japan gets criticized? He would embarrass himself.

Asahi Shinbun shouldn't give in! Somebody call the Whaaaaaaa-mbulance!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

i hope that every Japanese publisher and TV station does a similar expose, then he will be soon forgotten

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hey hey hey! Isn't this the guy who said civil servants should have no human rights? He's a civil servant, right? So, why is he complaining??

5 ( +8 / -3 )

He's WORSE than Ishihara!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Maybe you guys should read the actual Asahi article in Japanese before you criticize him.

Asahi criticized him based on his father, who was a burakumin and yakuza, the father who Hashimoto doesn't even remember anything about.

So are you guys agreeing with Asahi ? that you can't be a politician or hold any position if your father is/was a criminal ?

If you don't like him for what he does as a mayor then that's fine but saying he is a failure as a mayor because his estranged father was a yakuza is plain wrong.

If anything this article made me admire him more, that some people have successful career as a lawyer and mayor even if they come from a broken family.

1 ( +8 / -8 )

But wait a minute, isn't this the bloke who said that public servants have no right to a private life?

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/osaka-mayor-hashimoto-you-have-no-fundamental-human-rights

Which one is it? You serve the people absolutely, or you don't have to answer questions you don't like? Another masterpiece of DoubleThink from the japanese political class.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

@hide

Maybe you guys should read the actual Asahi article in Japanese before you criticize him.

I have.

Asahi criticized him based on his father, who was a burakumin and yakuza, the father who Hashimoto doesn't even remember anything about.

So? He has issues. Why else would he go all over the top about tattoos?

So are you guys agreeing with Asahi ? that you can't be a politician or hold any position if your father is/was a criminal ?

Not because your father was a criminal, but if you get on a weird moral high-horse because your father was a criminal and try to enforce your "my-daddy-never-hugged-me" rage on people, then yeah, shouldn't be a politician or hold any position.

If you don't like him for what he does as a mayor then that's fine but saying he is a failure as a mayor because his estranged father was a yakuza is plain wrong.

No. He's a failure as a mayor because of his fascist ideas. He's a failure as a mayor because he said civil servants should have no human rights. He's a failure as a mayor because of his asinine views on tattoos. He's a failure as a mayor because he said that the country needs a dictatorship. Need I go on?

If anything this article made me admire him more, that some people have successful career as a lawyer and mayor even if they come from a broken family.

It's a shame that he can't get over all the emotional baggage, and stop forcing his own insecurities on other people.

2 ( +10 / -9 )

Asahi went too far outing him on his Burakumin roots. This will affect his children and grandchildren as he says. Japan still has strong hidden discrimination against Burakumin. No apology will be able to erase the aspersion they have cast. This is underhand and unfair.

If you want to declare your burakumin roots, that's fine, but it should be your own decision. As far as I know there is no "Buraku and I'm proud of it" movement here yet.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Bring on the dirt, I say. Most political reports are too lily-livered anyway. Private Eye/Huffington Post et al wouldn't give him an inch...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hashimoto is dangerous, his thinking backwards and his ideas a threat to liberty and common sense in Japan. I think every reporter out there should go after this guy with extreme prejudice and help assure that his rise to power is stopped.

I agree with the similarities to Hitler. If the shoe fits Hashimoto, you had better just shut up and wear it. We see through you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Believe Hide Suzuki's comments above should pretty much sum up the general response in Japan, to the possible displeasure of many of the other posters here.

Ivan Coughanoffalot, note he is already carefully addressing your point through his "Yeah I can personally take it as a public figure but isn't digging into my family's past a little over the line? Imagine how this will affect the lives of my children and grandchildren" remark which the majority of the J-people will probably sympathize and agree with. In terms of one phrase PR skills believe he is as pro as Koizumi senior.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sorry Hashimoto, but you're a public servant -- you have no right to complain.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

zenkanOct. 19, 2012 - 10:00AM JST

tkoind2Oct. 19, 2012 - 10:03AM JST

why don't we have journalists who report facts without adding their personal or political bias and allow the voters to decide for themselves. you seem to be advocating for restrictions on freedom of political speech. that probably is not a good idea. you would hate to be on the other side of that arrangement if your favorite politician was not the media darling. doesn't the media do enough damage by "press club" bias already?

And, really....you want to put HuffPo on the same level as the generation's-old PE?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Probie

"So? He has issues. Why else would he go all over the top about tattoos?"

So ? I clearly said if you don't like him for what he has done as a mayor, then that's fine.

"try to enforce your "my-daddy-never-hugged-me" rage on people, then yeah, shouldn't be a politician or hold any position."

He doesnt' ask for people's empathy due to his father. He says very little about his father, it's people around him who bring it up.

"He's a failure "

That's your opinion, not a fact. Good luck with typical J politicians who try to please everyone and end up doing nothing, if that's your cup of tea, that's fine, I happen to disagree with you 100%

"It's a shame that he can't get over all the emotional baggage"

You know you are on JapanToday when everyone is an expert on psychology, economy, politics, criminology and 50 other fields LOL

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto seems to want to have everything his own way. Being tough minded isn't detrimental in and of itself. The problem is a deliberately caustic tenor isn't a sign of mental stability.

Mayor Hashimoto goes off the rails with his dictatorial emphasis.

"after a magazine published a critical article about his ancestry" would seem the least of Mayor Hashimoto's concerns.

What the media owes its audience is a close up view of where Mayor Hashimoto's policies and pronouncements make the ordinary citizens lives better or improve the quality of life in Osaka.

How many Japanese feel comfortable with Mayor Hashimoto's dictatorial style, how many approve of his job performance and how many will vote for Mayor Hashimoto when so many issues seem wrapped up in an unfriendly and abrasive Hashimoto packaging.

The bombast wears on the nerves and it can't be beneficial to the disciplined professionals in Government and Education. Burning his bridges before he crosses them may leave Mayor Hashimoto down the river in the next election.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Now if all the other newspapers would piss off the delusional goofball maybe we wouldn't have to hear about his psycho-chest pounding.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There are lots of buraku-related people in Japan's political and entertainment circles and it's no big deal in this day and age.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is like the Japanese equivalent of an American conservative walking out at the middle of a Larry King interview (coughCarrie Prejeancough)

Seriously, the fact that this guy might be the next PM is either hilarious or terrifying. How can you deal with other nations when you can't even deal with your own reporters? Even Sarah Palin dealt better with the media than this guy.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Leave Hashimoto alone, The People of Osaka always love a good comedy, and Hashimoto provides them with a real-life comedy of errors. Hashimoto will fail in epic proportions, and it seems everyone knows this, but Hashimoto.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@hide

He doesnt' ask for people's empathy due to his father. He says very little about his father, it's people around him who bring it up.

He doesn't bring it up because he has emotional baggage because of it. He shows that by his actions.

That's your opinion, not a fact. Good luck with typical J politicians who try to please everyone and end up doing nothing, if that's your cup of tea, that's fine, I happen to disagree with you 100%

Jeez, I'd rather have my-tum-tums-hurts Abe, or just about anyone else in power than a weirdo like Hashimoto, who is unbalanced and a fascist.

You know you are on JapanToday when everyone is an expert on psychology, economy, politics, criminology and 50 other fields LOL

And you point is? Anyway, I'm pretty sure quite a few people on here are experts in something or another. What about you?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“As a public figure, I might be fair game, but to dig up my family’s past is going over the line. It will have an effect on my children and grandchildren.”

He makes an important point here, Asahi need to raise their standards

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Although Hitler is overused for hyperbolic comparisons- the rise of Hashimoto bears some interesting food for thought in this sense. (the quasi-fascist demonisation of select groups for right-wing political gain amongst others). Direct comparisons should be treated with healthy skepticism, but we should also be very vigilant in regards to politicians who might take us down a slippery slope to repeating awful histories.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

so he doesn't think his affair with a hostess will also affect or influence his children and grandchildren? what a hypocritical wanker.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If Hashimoto believes that being associated with burakumin is disadvantageous to his children it's strange that he cut the budget to help similarly disadvantaged people, claiming at the time that "they don't need special treatment". If he believes that such people don't need help he shouldn't be worried about his children.

The real issue is that despite having a big mouth and freely insulting all and sundry to gain attention, Hashimoto has a thin skin when it comes to people criticising him. I suggest that Hashimoto take a break from politics to deal with his insecurities.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hide Suzuki Oct. 19, 2012 - 10:34AM JST

You should write more. the issue is greater than hashimoto but few here can get past their problems with him to see that. Reform will never come to Japan until people begin to question everything about the status quo. holding biases will never allow those questions to be asked.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Probie

"He doesn't bring it up because he has emotional baggage because of it. He shows that by his actions."

So ? Are you waiting for a politician with a pure innocent mind with no emotional baggage like a 5 year old ? Good luck with that, I'm sure you will them soon

" I'd rather have my-tum-tums-hurts Abe, or just about anyone else in power than a weirdo like Hashimoto."

I'd rather have Hashimoto who already cut sooooo many unnecessary expenses from the city of Osaka. There is not even enough space here to list unnecessary expenses that he stopped.

You have not mentioned one single specific thing why Hashimoto is a failure, except saying he is a "weirdo", "fascisto" etc. I explained why I like Hashimoto just now.

Japanese government and any local government are full of special interest groups and unions who try to squeeze every yen out of them.

Hashimoto is one of the very few politicians who are not afraid of such parasites

But I'm sure you would rather keep those parasites and waste your tax money

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You have not mentioned one single specific thing why Hashimoto is a failure, except saying he is a "weirdo", "fascisto" etc. I explained why I like Hashimoto just now.

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought that someone being a fascist weirdo would be reason enough to classed as a failure politician. Sorry for thinking we should like in a place with democracy and human rights and all those other frivolous silly little things.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japanese people have to get off the "CLASS" mentality. ...............They can't have it two ways : be regarded as a democratic nation on one hand AND, AT THE SAME TIME, be steeped in feudal class consciousnes and prejudices. . . .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That being said, ---------------------Ancestry aside , Hashimoto is an opprotunistic twit - - - -------------------- How he became "Governor of Osaka" is worrying

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Probie

Hitler killed millions of jewish people for no good reason. Exactly how many people has Hashimoto murdered or imprisoned for no good reason ? what ? zero ?

And you call him a fascist because he told his employees not to have tattoo LOL ?

Yes I agree with you for once , you should be sorry for calling him something he is not

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Burakumin roots and his father a mafia figure came out in an article last year or something like that.

I do not like the guy personally, but he wanted his servants exposed so why the double standard?

The guy needs to chill with a few cold Asahi Dry Beers!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just look at his name, it literally means under the bridge - I dont think anybody is surprised that he is Burakumin, but who cares if he is or not? Oh, yeah, this racist and xenophobic country we live in. I couldn't care less if he is a Burakumin, Ainu, or whatever, it's how he conducts himself and acts as governor that is most important; the antics he pulled with tattoos in the workplace pissed me off, and truly showed how narrow minded and ignorant he is. He really tried to run from his Yakuza family on that one didn't he?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree with Hide mostly.... Despite the fact the overwhelming majority of JT posters seem to dislike him passionately most people in Osaka seem to support him and think he is doing a great job balancing the city finances and cutting the unnecessary waste. I would say that definately makes him a successful mayor and not a failure. National stage might be a different story and he might go pretty high or he might bomb out but in the absence of anyone else I reckon it is good to have him pushing an anti-bureaucracy , anti -waste message and I support that particular policy platform ( his right wing remarks about the WW2 & comfort women are a different story - and I disagree with those completely ) However, it also seems most Japanese care a lot less about his "dictatorial" streak than about his willingness to take on the establishment and the current crop of useless, do nothing , protect status quo politicians.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I am with Hide Suzuki! I also admire him more now too! Go Hashimoto san! Go! Ganbare!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@hide

I never equated Hitler with Hashimoto. Also, I'm not the only one commenting on his fascist intentions. Google "Hashimoto fascist".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

...and btw equating Hashimoto with fascism is way overboard...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“As a public figure, I might be fair game, but to dig up my family’s past is going over the line. It will have an effect on my children and grandchildren.”

Coming from a guy who didn't seem to care about the children of those he wanted to fire because they had tattoos or didn't sign the national anthem. Coming from a guy who has done more to embarrasses his kids than this story - cos play hostess he admitted to sleeping with anyone?

Live by the sword, die by the sword Hashi. You had no issues with digging into public employees personal lives so deal with the same when it happens to you.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“As a public figure, I might be fair game, but to dig up my family’s past is going over the line. It will have an effect on my children and grandchildren.”

The biggest laugh I got today!!!!

As if cheating on his wife and then joking about it won't.

How about his comments about not being able to stand being around his children for more than 30 minutes.

Give me a break! This guy is a child.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

oh wow tmarie: We must be on the same wavelength!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Farmboy writes above: ... the ONLY people in Osaka who have tattoos are yakuza. I disagree with this. I went to a public bathhouse near Namba in Osaka last year and met a heavily tattooed guy who said he is a small-time rakugo talker and the tattoos were part of his show. I also saw a lot of tattooed women strolling the streets there and they surely weren't gangsters ... just young ladies caught up in the young-people's modern trend of tattoo fashions.

As for Hashimoto being touchy with the press, then he had better stay out of politics. The press can get nastier than comparing him to Hitler and calling his father a “burakumin” with yakuza connections.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Plenty of folks in Osaka with tats. Head down to Shinsaibashi and Namba and they're all over the place on younger folks. The younger generation doesn't see tats as a yak thing. They see it is a "yanki" thing - which also seems to be a group Hashi doesn't care for.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hashimoto is pathetic, he throws a hissy fit the moment somebody criticizes him. He criticizes others but can not tolerate being criticized himself. He discriminates against those with tattoos, those who refuse to sing the national anthem, yet if somebody discriminates against him then he plays the victim. He has said that public servants have no human rights yet he is pleading for his inherent rights and respect the moment he is discriminated against himself.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I can't believe I am saying this, but I agree with Hashimoto on this one. There are so many areas that the press could legitimately attack him on, but the Ashahi going after his buraku heritage has done nothing but turn him into a legitimate victim of caste discrimination. I would have expected much better from a traditionally left-leaning new organization. Isn't the left supposed to be whole heartedly against discrimination of any kind?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

He states flat out that because he was insulted (caught red-handed) he is no longer going to EVER answer questions fielded by anything to do with Asahi news, then says it was wrong to be compared to a Nazi?

The analogy may be insulting, but it's not terribly inaccurate. And his family history -- well, is it right or not? If his father did indeed have ties to the yakuza that's a pretty big deal.

I agree with other posters: this guy used to seem decent, with a good head on his shoulders when it came to law and politics. Now I see he's just a fascist with no clue as to what the general public wants, needs, and suffers; he's merely concerned with his rise to the top -- and when that gets questioned he throws a fit and 'eliminates' the source of the problem. Some Germans were like that a long time ago... what were they called again?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Have a cry Hashimoto!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Deru kui wa utareru"

...when you stand up you are going to take some hate in any world, but this guy seems to be asking people to bring it on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Patrick, indeed it IS poor form to go digging up people's past and whatnot but isn't that exactly what he's done with regards to demanding people fill in forms about their union interests, their tats... all those could have been done in a "former" life. He's getting exactly what he's done to others and is now being a crybaby about it.

If Hashi would just come out and admit what he's from, I don't think it would be an issue. The thing is, instead of coming out and saying 'Yes, my dad had yak connections and I grew up poor, so what" he's throwing a hissy fit. Which is laughable considering all the things he's done and what a bully he's been and continues to be.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why is he popular? Too many people equate being opinionated with being a good leader.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If he were a wiser man, he could have turned this into a teachable moment about discrimination and prejudice. He could have confirmed his background and gone on to say why it doesn't matter in the least, and, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., a person should be judged by the content of their character not by their background. If he is as popular with the people of Osaka as many here claim, it could have been a powerful

0 ( +1 / -1 )

(Previous post got cut off) If he is a popular with the people of Osaka as many here claim, it could have been a powerful moment and a chance to get people to think about discrimination in this country. But, he's not a wise man, he turned it into a simple whine about "poor me". A lost opportunity to start a larger discussion, I think.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This issue should be discussed separately from many controversial remarks he has made. I don't like him and I hate lots of his remarks, but I have to side with him on this one. Someone said that you should read articles in Japanese but that's not enough. You should watch regular press conference. (http://www.pref.osaka.jp/gikai_giji/teireikaiken/teireikisyakaiken.html)

Asahi and Mainich are especially disgusting for its way of information manipulation. By the way, he didn't say that he will give no more interview to Asahi. What he said was they can come to the conference but he won't answer their question. Anyway, they have apologized and I hope they will start reporting based on the real story.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The one thing that has me flummoxed about this is that Japan still creates a stigma regarding someone having Burakumin ancestors. What possible bearing could it have on you if your great-grandfather worked as a tanner? What someone did to earn a living 100 years ago does not get passed down genetically. Even more so than their general xenophobia, Japanese people need to get over this silly stigma.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"This guy is a nut, simple as that."

Can't argue with that.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Be careful about Hashimoto, guard your hearts - hungry for dictatorship or that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap and disaster.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Like father... like son.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Like father... like son.

His father died when Hashimoto was in the 2nd grade, and was out of his life before that. He was raised by his mother.

The one thing that has me flummoxed about this is that Japan still creates a stigma regarding someone having Burakumin ancestors.

Yes, that puzzles me, too, and I'm surprised to see so much of that feeling showing up here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't like him and I hate lots of his remarks, but I have to side with him on this one.

Not so fast. He's merely using his "discrimination" against him to get a free pass on any criticism that may land on him. He's a stereotypical dictator.

It's ironic how all the right-wingers who were saying there's nothing wrong with discrimination (in fact they still discriminate against minorities) are crying about discrimination against Hashimoto.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Indeed Patrick.

If he were a wiser man, he could have turned this into a teachable moment about discrimination and prejudice.

He couldn't do that as he's guilty of discrimination and prejudice which is why I'm laughing my butt off at him crying about it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Asahi Shimbun is a pro-American leftist newspaper whose stance has been against violation of human rights such as discrimination and prejudice based on personal origin and birth. And in this case the Asahi betrayed itself and tried to defame Hashimoto by digging up his origin and calling him "Hashi-shita" only to end up succumbing to the moral upper hand of Hashimoto. He is a lawyer fortified with basics of democracy and reason. I am not sure who is behind Hashimoto, but if the Asahi et all want to defeat him, they need brash up tactics. Self-contradictory cheap logic doesn't hold good with him.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seiharinokaze - the Asahi is pro-US?!

Since when?

The entire Japanese left is founded upon opposition to the security treaty with the US, and the Asahi is the flagbearer of that.

The biggest problem with the Asahi Shukan article was that it was willing to stoop to pulling up mistrust and discriminatory stereotypes towards Burakumin - whose emancipation is another flagship issue of the left and the Asahi - in order to score points against Hashimoto. Which is in itself a sign of the complete hysteria whipped up in the left wing political press in Kansai against him. There's plenty of stuff to poke at with Hashimoto without needing to bring up his lower caste background. That was classless, and counter to Asahi values, and that is why they had to retract.

Dumbasses handed Hashimoto a victory in their stupidity trying to score points on him.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And you call him a fascist because he told his employees not to have tattoo LOL ?

Okay Hide, clearly you need a lesson on the meaning of the word fascism:

fas•cism |ˈfaSHˌizəm|(also Fascism ) noun an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. • (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice. The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43), and the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.

Look at the sentences emphasized. A belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, that definitely describes Hashimoto's policies. And insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, also fits. And a strong demagogic approach? That definitely fits.

Fascism typically starts by stripping certain groups of people of rights. Remember when Hashimoto said that public servants shouldn't expect either personal privacy rights or even fundamental human rights? How does that NOT raise a massive red flag? Do you realize the implications of stripping a group of people of their fundamental human rights just because they earn a government paycheck as opposed to a private paycheck? How can that possibly sit well with you? Hell, Hashimoto himself said in 2011 that what Japan needs now is dictatorship.

The crux of your entire support for Hashimoto is "he's different from other politicians." That may be so, but different isn't always good. Bush was different from Clinton and the results have been disastrous for America. But hey, what should you care, it's not like you're a public servant, or have tattoos, or are part of any other group Hashimoto is opposed to. And it's not like these kinds of attacks on specific groups don't lead to a slippery slope to broader attacks. That's never happened in human history, has it?

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Hikozaemon,

Since when?

Since Funabashi Yoichi became the chief editor, should I reply? The Asahi newspaper is pro-American as all the major newspapers of Japan are. When the US-Japan relation was strained a few years ago over the transfer of the Futenma air base, Hashimoto suggested transferring the air base to Osaka. His ideas sounded rather unconventional and outasite but it did seem to try to find a way out. Whereas what the Asahi argued was that the relocation plan to Henoko should be sticked to so as not to damage the US-Japan relationship even at the expense of the sentiments of Okinawan people. The Asahi is a liberal looking establishment press, not so different from official bulletins circulated in Kasumigaseki.

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