Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori Photo: AP file
politics

Ex-PM Mori casts doubt on Japan's excessive support for Ukraine

81 Comments

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, known as a gaffe-prone veteran politician, on Wednesday urged the government against excessive support for Ukraine, saying Russia will not lose its ongoing war in the Eastern European nation.

"I wonder why" Japan has put in "such a big effort to support Ukraine," the 85-year-old member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said in a speech at a reception, adding that Tokyo "had built relations" with Moscow, which invaded its neighbor in February 2022.

"It is unthinkable that Russia would lose the war. If that happened, something harder would happen," said Mori, who was active in strengthening bilateral ties with Russia through talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mori served as Japanese prime minister only for about one year from April 2000, as the approval ratings for his cabinet struggled against the backdrop of his repeated gaffs.

After he retired as a lower house lawmaker about a decade ago, Mori met with Putin as a special envoy of then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated during an election campaign speech in early July last year.

In November, Mori also said at a political gathering in Tokyo that he could not "quite understand why only President Putin has been criticized," while saying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been "making many Ukrainian people suffer."

Mori was the chief organizer of the Tokyo Olympics, which was postponed one year from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but resigned in February 2021 before the games began after coming under fire over his remark that meetings involving women tend to drag on.

On Tuesday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, the government's top spokesman, said Japan will "continue to offer assistance" to people in Ukraine, who have been facing a "national crisis."

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81 Comments
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For some reason I like Mr. Mori. He is entitled to his onion.

-45 ( +18 / -63 )

The only thing he has any right to comment on is answering the question, “where did the money go?” Answer that then I might listen. With this man’s history of corruption I would not be surprised if the Russian are paying him, under the table of course.

6 ( +42 / -36 )

"It is unthinkable that Russia would lose the war. If that happened, something harder would happen," said Mori

... maybe if Mori san actually did some thinking he would understand that Russia is on the path of losing the war that Russia started against Ukraine about one year ago.

Put on your thinking cap Mori san. ;-))

2 ( +29 / -27 )

Japan has put in "such a big effort to support Ukraine," 

What planet do these old boys live on? It can't be Earth.

I think Mori has more than likely received more 'Support' than the Ukraine ever will from Japan.

But I'm sure Japan and Mori will join any victory celebrations, with whomsoever may be holding them.

3 ( +18 / -15 )

Of course, you can make comments, Mr Mori. But I don't think that many people want to hear them.

14 ( +26 / -12 )

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, known as a gaffe-prone veteran politician

Might as well add this one to the list

It is unthinkable that Russia would lose the war. If that happened, something harder would happen,"

Like what? Invading another country? That'd be bad...

10 ( +22 / -12 )

No one listens to this senile buffoon seriously.

Japan WILL continue support for independent, free Ukraine.

20 ( +38 / -18 )

Hats off to Mori. Finally he said something that makes sense.

-27 ( +19 / -46 )

I think Mr. Mori should only open his mouth to change feet.

18 ( +30 / -12 )

Mori met with Putin as a special envoy of then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated during an election campaign speech in early July last year.

Let me guess, every single article that contains the name "Shinzo Abe" has to contain the word "assassinated" before it will be allowed to be published?

While I was no fan of Abe, he deserves to rest in peace, and folks dont need to be reminded every time his name is used, that he was assassinated. It's a poor writer that has to keep repeating themselves when they can't find enough words to fill out an article, without having to repeat something time and time again!

22 ( +32 / -10 )

His opinion means nothing

17 ( +31 / -14 )

The Ukrainian war must continue so that the US and European weapons industries can make huge profits out of it. When Zelensky tried to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia, the U.S. and UK intervened and aborted it. The biggest loser is people of Ukraine.

-18 ( +19 / -37 )

The Ukrainian war must continue so that the US and European weapons industries can make huge profits out of it. When Zelensky tried to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia, the U.S. and UK intervened and aborted it. The biggest loser is people of Ukraine.

Exactly.

-18 ( +18 / -36 )

Where is the money Mori?

18 ( +22 / -4 )

.*.. maybe if Mori san actually did some thinking he would understand that Russia is on the path of losing the war that Russia started against Ukraine about one year ago. *

Incorrect. Russia is not losing and will not lose this war. This isnt a partisan opinion, simply reality.

-24 ( +9 / -33 )

You know things are going bad for the Russians when Mori starts taking sides with them.

13 ( +26 / -13 )

A logical take from a Japanese politician? While Kishida plays as washingtons lapdog in the region and he prioritizes the US agenda over his own people.

-17 ( +10 / -27 )

Of course he wouldn't understand. A morally corrupt person like him who only understand money and has no soul, would never understand why we are standing with Ukraine and not with Russia.

14 ( +26 / -12 )

I fail to understand why this man's opinion is even news. He had not been PM for over 20 years.

8 ( +23 / -15 )

Of course he wouldn't understand. A morally corrupt person like him who only understand money and has no soul, would never understand why we are standing with Ukraine and not with Russia.

You can add mentally inept to morally corrupt, only understands money, and has no soul.

0 ( +19 / -19 )

The Ukrainian war must continue so that the US and European weapons industries can make huge profits out of it. When Zelensky tried to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia, the U.S. and UK intervened and aborted it. The biggest loser is people of Ukraine.

The “aid” or loan to Ukraine by the opportunists is not unconditional. The terms that aid being provided to Ukraine by the United States are similar to the terms that the United States provided aid to Great Britain and the Soviet Union in World War II. The aid is being provided under the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022.

Section 2(a)(3) states: (3) CONDITION.—Any loan or lease of defense articles to the Government of Ukraine under paragraph (1) shall be subject to all applicable laws concerning the return of and reimbursement and repayment for defense articles loan or leased to foreign governments.

The Soviet Union and Britain finally repaid their Lend Lease obligations off in 2006, some 71 years after the conclusion of WWII. It’s a good deal for the US and Ukraine who otherwise would be swallowed up.

That said the Ukrainians are and should be grateful for the help from the US, NATO countries and Japan.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

"I wonder why" Japan has put in "such a big effort to support Ukraine,"

It's his double misunderstanding. First, both of Japan's military and humanitarian support have been minimal compared to those of some other countries such as NATO allies. Second, Japan's inclination in the West over the Ukraine War is still strategic and rightful.

"It is unthinkable that Russia would lose the war. If that happened, something harder would happen,"

Something much hard would happen... to Putin and Z-cult believers. It would happen to.... you, too, Mr Mori!? :)

10 ( +17 / -7 )

Mori has no authority as an individual that supports crime and corruption and the misuse of public funds

11 ( +20 / -9 )

Why do Japanese continue to make Mori relevant? Beats the hell out of me....

18 ( +26 / -8 )

Hercolobus 07:23 am JST

Hats off to Mori. Finally he said something that makes sense.

In their dotage these dinosaurs occasionally find the wherewithal to throw off the shackles and talk sense. In his autobiography a few years ago former PM Yasuhiro Nakasone freely discussed running a sex slave brothel in Borneo during the war, something he repeated at a Foreign Correspondent's event in Tokyo. Needless to say it didn't please the Abe government of the time and Nakasone was excommunicated. Given Mori's appalling history of grotesque pronouncements maybe he's trying to even the balance?

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Going by the kind of person Mori has demonstrated to be, his disapproval would clearly indicate that supporting Ukraine is the right thing to do.

8 ( +19 / -11 )

There is someone who is still listening him ? He lives in another world as many of his species.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Mori has no authority as an individual that supports crime and corruption and the misuse of public funds

Yes. However, that doesn't mean he is wrong here. Because he isn't. There is no upside for Japan in this war. The reward will be poorer international relations, higher prices on vital resources, and emptier public coffers.

-10 ( +11 / -21 )

Japans position-as peace loving country-is to be a peace negotiator,not UA regime supporter.

This guy is right.

-14 ( +12 / -26 )

He would, wouldn't he? Mori always follows the money, and that leads to Moscow, not Kyiv.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

"It is unthinkable that Russia would lose the war. If that happened, something harder would happen,"

Nukes would happen,old Mori knows that for Russia loosing is impossible.

-13 ( +9 / -22 )

Nukes would happen,old Mori knows that for Russia loosing is impossible.

Huh? Every sane person knows that if nukes are involved, Russia loses. The entire world loses.

Fascist invading Russia will not win this conflict. If they begin a strategic withdrawal they may just save a bit of face.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

This guy Mori is hilarious, pretty sure Kishda and Biden want to treat him to some sushi (laced with cyanide).

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Why do Japanese continue to make Mori relevant? Beats the hell out of me....

It's not the "Japanese", it's the writers who make these articles, looking to keep themselves relevant by stirring crap up.

If they stopped writing about what he says, no would would care! I have a number of Japanese friends who think he is senile and should be ignored.

Folks should also notice that there are plenty of former PM's running around Japan, but at least they have the dignity to keep their mouths shut!

5 ( +11 / -6 )

This is because Japan foreign policy decided by USA.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

Time to shuffle old Mori off to the Lodging Home before he embarrasses himself and his party any further...

5 ( +12 / -7 )

So no retirement age for politicians then?

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Why all reasonable and wise people are always "ex''?????

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

I didn't bother reading this story.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Mr Mori speaking an inconvenient truth.

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

Why all reasonable and wise people are always "ex''?????

With the exception of your "Dear Leader" in the Kremlin, of course.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

If the Russian bear was at his door, would he expect little red riding hood to arrive with assistance? This is the same Russia that stole Nihon territory post WW2. No doubt they would do it again. Ukraine is just a latter-day example of post-Soviet era intentions. Please keep an eye on them along with the dual Sino North Korea threat

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori is a proven toady and sympathiser of war criminal dictator President Putin. A shameless colaborator.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

He’s an experienced politician, no doubt. On other fields he sometimes says things a bit strange or easy to be misunderstood, but as it is about international politics, he’s surely wise enough to estimate the probable developments.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Why does this old man still get press ?

I understand respect for the aged is a good thing but there are limits.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

This is a case of "Even a broken clock shows the time correctly twice a day".

To say that Mori is a buffoon is redundant. But he's not wrong on this one point.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

Yes Wellington agreed, you may well ask how Yoshiro Mori a gaffe-prone political fossil is afforded, time and again a media platform, recognition, Mori never deserves.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Of course he does. What a complete tool. The big news will be if he ever says something right, for a change.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

When the war finally ends, and Russia has been expelled from Ukraine, you can bet Mr Mori will be grabbing a piece of the money for Japan's role in the rebuilding of Ukraine, and calling for more aid to enrich his wrinkly old suit pockets.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Very well said Mori San..

At least there is a politician with a brain and common sense in Japan..

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

Mori has no authority as an individual that supports crime and corruption and the misuse of public funds

Yes. However, that doesn't mean he is wrong here. Because he isn't. There is no upside for Japan in this war. The reward will be poorer international relations, higher prices on vital resources, and emptier public coffers.

I agree with that view in the short term but in the long term,no.

The reason is that Japan Inc is going to benefit of the huge rewards in the rebuilding of Ukraine and other benefits such as access to land, possible preferential treatment on contracts etc.

Looking at Japan’s morder post industrial history we see the financial returns for Japan Inc.

Japan is not a country to give something without a return.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Let me guess, every single article that contains the name "Shinzo Abe" has to contain the word "assassinated" before it will be allowed to be published?

Indeed. And not the only part of the article that is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Another question worth asking is what happened to the bribes Mori was accused of accepting from Aoki to guarantee his support for their slice of the Olympics pork?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

indeed the goal of the US, JP and EU puppets is to create a nuclear WAR to reduce the population.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

indeed the goal of the US, JP and EU puppets is to create a nuclear WAR to reduce the population

Couldn’t be a truer statement today.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Mori support for Putin directly opposes and contradicts his own party, his own government.

Mori support of Putin regime is tantamount to turning a blind eye to the appallying war crimes committed against Ukraine families, genocide

Mori is a stain on modern day Japan, its people

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Very well said Mori San..

At least there is a politician with a brain and common sense in Japan..

It says a lot that you are impressed with the intellectual acumen of Yoshiro Mori.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I agree with Mori. The US alone has already given the Ukraine about 100 billion USD and just announced another 400 million USD package that includes another 31 Abrams tanks.

I thought the Democrats were anti-war? Like Trump or not, he was on good terms with Putin and likely the war could have been avoided.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori must be challenged directly and yes harshly, and be held accountable for his continued support of Russian President Vladimir Putin committing atrocities daily in Ukraine civilian population

"I wonder why" Japan has put in "such a big effort to support Ukraine," the 85-year-old member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said in a speech at a reception, adding that Tokyo "had built relations" with Moscow, which invaded its neighbor in February 2022.

"It is unthinkable that Russia would lose the war. If that happened, something harder would happen," said Mori, who was active in strengthening bilateral ties with Russia through talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori  must be challenged directly in reference to his public

Are the media suggesting Mori be afforded a free pass to shamefully support a hostile regime against his own people.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

First thing he's ever gotten right.

Thing is, if Japan was actually helping Ukraine in a genuine way, rather than just to appear supportive to the rest of the world, I'd condemn Mori

But they aren't, so I won't.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

Ex-PM Mori casts doubt 

Did anyone get past this part of the article? I stopped after seeing this and Mori's mug in the picture.

The year 2000 and his sanity, both went by a very long time ago.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

He makes valid points. Russian won't loose the war they have already taken less casualties and expended less resources and control the ground. Any one who claims otherwise is either regurgitating propaganda or is a fool.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Wise advice. Russia is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons. If it decides to use them, Armageddon will come to bid Mother Earth goodbye.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Mori, oh Mori - what are you up to this time again?

First the Olympics (was it really first)?

Now cozying up to PUTAin.

It's time for you to retire and enjoy all that money you got paid.

In other words: get the .... out of here!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Russia lost to France and Britain in the Crimean War in the 19th century.

Russia lost to Japan in 1905.

Russia lost to Germany in WW I.

Why is it unthinkable that Russia will lose to Ukraine today?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

You should be in bed, Mori-san. And don't forget to take your meds! You know how cranky you get without them.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Going by the kind of person Mori has demonstrated to be, his disapproval would clearly indicate that supporting Ukraine is the right thing to do.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let it be known this character, using his own reasoning, has nothing but love and admiration for George W Bush.

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/10/politics/bush-zelensky-public-conversation/index.html

Gotta admit, I was a bit surprised...

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Russia lost to France and Britain in the Crimean War in the 19th century.

Russia lost to Japan in 1905.

Russia lost to Germany in WW I.

Why is it unthinkable that Russia will lose to Ukraine today?

ask yourself that question again when Eastern Europe is living through nuclear winter

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

There’s a reason that Moro was (is) widely considered a buffoon.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt

thanks for the confirmation Mori

6 ( +7 / -1 )

One can argue that everyone is entitled to an opinion, but one should definitely question which facts they use to come to their opinion. When Mr. Mori says that President Zelenskyy has made many Ukrainians suffer by resisting aggression, how does he come to that conclusion? Does he mean that it is the duty of a people, when attacked by a homicidal maniac, to surrender and accept being conquered?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The US alone has already given the Ukraine about 100 billion USD

they're not just giving it to Ukraine per say - it’s lend lease.

the same as the allies did for Russia in WW2

0 ( +3 / -3 )

they're not just giving it to Ukraine per say - it’s lend lease.

https://www.economist.com/europe/2023/01/25/a-minister-is-sacked-in-ukraine-as-corruption-allegations-swirl

NO. Its Lend Lose.

Ukraine is a bottomless pit of corruption where our tax dollars do nothing but prolong a war with no end in sight.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Ukraine is a bottomless pit of corruption where our tax dollars do nothing but prolong a war with no end in sight.

'prolong a war' is rightwing speak for, 'prevent Ukraine from being obliterated'. Far right Godsquad Americans like @master like to pretend that they want peace, but what they really want is Putin to be victorious. After all, like them he hates gays, ethnic groups, anyone who isn't in his group. Apparently God approves.

@master doesn't have the imagination to understand that defeating Putin is the only way to not 'prolong the war'.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Never forget: Mori had the lowest approval rating ever for a Japanese prime minister (8%) and he also has a section of his Wikipedia page dedicated solely to gaffes made during the single year he was in the position.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshir%C5%8D_Mori

4 ( +4 / -0 )

old geezer has a serious case of foot-in-mouth disease.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

'prolong a war' is rightwing speak for, 'prevent Ukraine from being obliterated'.

wanting a peaceful, negotiated settlement for 2 countries is now "rightwing"!

but what they really want is Putin to be victorious

whether Russia or Ukraine "win" will not matter to Japan or anywhere else outside the region.

Isn't in interesting that people who couldn't spell "Crimea", let alone find in on a map 11 months ago are now so rabid about sending young men to die there. (Just not them, of course)

After all, like them he hates gays, ethnic groups, anyone who isn't in his group. Apparently God approves.

and what of the Azov Battalian?

Well, godspeed to the Mrs Zalensky, who I'm sure needed that R&R shopping trip to Paris last month.

Sometimes blowing $40000 and private jets are just what the Dr orders after a long day at the front lines.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

wanting a peaceful, negotiated settlement for 2 countries is now "rightwing"!

You want Ukraine to be in a position where it can't defend itself and thus ensure its destruction, but you aren't brave enough to proclaim your support for Russia. This is very a 'rightwing' thing.

whether Russia or Ukraine "win" will not matter to Japan or anywhere else outside the region.

It really will, you just aren't imaginative enough to see why. And it will really matter to Ukranians, who will be stateless and evicted from their own nation.

Isn't in interesting that people who couldn't spell "Crimea", let alone find in on a map 11 months ago are now so rabid about sending young men to die there. (Just not them, of course)

Who is 'rabid' about sending young men to Crimea to die? It's not a warzone as of now. You need to read a map instead of not reading a bible.

and what of the Azov Battalian?

A blast from the past, cute. They were surrounded and captured, then traded back. Apparently it wasn't about 'Nazis' after all.

Sometimes blowing $40000 and private jets are just what the Dr orders after a long day at the front lines.

Sometimes blowing up entire nations are just what the Dr orders after a long day at the front lines.

You are on the side of wrong, He Will Be Displeased.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In November, Mori also said at a political gathering in Tokyo that he could not "quite understand why only President Putin has been criticized," while saying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been "making many Ukrainian people suffer."

I could be wrong, but I think it has to do with Russian tanks entering Ukraine, and not the other way around.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think it has to do with Russian tanks entering Ukraine, and not the other way around.

Bingo. Mori is a Moron.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This Mori was and continues to be a complete idiot. Why hasn't he been put out to pasture yet?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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