politics

Abe slammed for revealing operator of document shredder was disabled

55 Comments

Japan erupted with online anger Wednesday after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who won't reveal the names of guests at a controversial party due to "respect for privacy," told the Diet that the operator of a shredder that destroyed the guest list was disabled.

Opposition lawmakers allege Abe favored supporters with invites to an annual state-funded cherry blossom viewing party and may have broken campaign laws by subsidising backers’ attendance at a reception the night before, a scandal that has eaten away at support for his administration.

Questions have also arisen over why this year's guest list was shredded the same day opposition lawmakers asked for it. Abe has denied wrongdoing, saying the timing was a coincidence and revealing the names of guests would infringe on their privacy.

Under questioning, Abe repeated this explanation, adding the shredding took place when it did "because of the work schedule of the disabled contractor in charge".

Abe's comment set off a social media firestorm and was one of the top trending topics on Japanese Twitter on Wednesday.

"Hey, doesn't this comment reveal personal information? Even though it doesn't give a name?" wrote user Tonas Reigetsuin.

Others slammed Abe for using the disabled worker as a shield. "He's the worst, he could have just referred to the worker's schedule - why did he have to insert the word disabled?" one added.

Asked why Abe had mentioned that the worker was disabled, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference it was in response to repeated questions in parliament about the timing of the shredding.

"There was a need to make sure there was enough time to work easily," he added, without giving further details.

Some people said the comments were emblematic of attitudes in Japan, where just a year ago the government was found to have inflated the number of disabled employees they had and three years ago a man stabbed 19 disabled people to death in their beds, saying they had no right to live.

"Saying that a disabled person did it implies it couldn't be helped, it happened because they were disabled," wrote a Twitter user by the name of Mia Doi.

"This comment is bigoted and looks down on people. It also shows the prime minister thinks the disabled are people who make mistakes."

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

55 Comments
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Wtf does the shredder operators abilities have to do with Shin-chan’s corruption?

22 ( +27 / -5 )

It seems that the PM of Japan is experiencing a decline in his mental faculties- early onset dementia?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Disabled means disabled.

Is there another “woke” word we should be using?

-22 ( +6 / -28 )

I guess there wasn't a copy of the guest list on a PC, either.

24 ( +24 / -0 )

Burning BushToday  07:03 am JST

“Disabled means disabled. 

Is there another “woke” word we should be using?”

Aside from the fact that Abe was speaking in Japanese, the issue wasn’t the term he used but the fact that he included that but of information. It was irrelevant and unnecessary.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

It was irrelevant and unnecessary.

Sure, but online firestorm-inducing? Seems people are more upset that he said a person was disabled than they are that the guest list was suspiciously destroyed... Pick your battles people.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Abe is above laws, what can you do ?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Abe has denied wrongdoing, saying the timing was a coincidence and revealing the names of guests would infringe on their privacy

It’s just coincidental that shredding the guest list also destroyed any evidence of wrongdoing, right Mr. Abe? And, his scapegoat is a handicapped person who cannot be questioned. What a winner this joker is!

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Online bashing here doesnt get the same level of acceptance here as it does in other places, yet there times I believe it should! (And this is one of them!)

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Burning Bush

The issue isn't the word being used. The issue is that it was completely irrelevant to anything. Whether the contractor was disabled or fully abled person, their schedule to work and do the job is just the schedule they operate on. Mentioning that it was a disabled person was completely irrelevant and in no way necessary.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Rather overly sensitive people reacting.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Thats a bloody new low even for Abe and his mouthpiece Suga ( epitome of how to lie with a straight face ) ....trying to use a disabled person as a cover for this. He is so concerned about ' privacy' of the cronies and yakuza connected ' businessmen ' that attended his overblown taxpayer funded parties but has no issue with revealing this irrelevant info. Guess by implication , since the worker supposedly was a special needs person, the shredding cover up should not be questioned anymore ne....Shinchan,s PR time crisis managment 101. Learn something new everyday. Anyway since this issue is hurting Abe,s ratings I,m making a bold prediction.....if it doesnt go away, media will be plastered with headlines about NK in time for Christmas / NY....rockets, abductees...the lot. Tried and proven Kim boogeyman diversion never fails.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Its a beauty watching the endemic corruption coming to the surface. Time for the Japanese populace to make a choice.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

So many lies, so much corruption and still, he is here. Serving as one of the longest PM in the history of Japan. I don't know how we can put Japan on track again but the sooner the better.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Yes it is, because the issue is why the operator was behind schedule. A fully abled person would have been able to work faster and thus keep to the schedule.

If a person with special needs is employed their ability is factored in when it comes to their work schedule ( which would then possibly be ' different' ) from the very beginning of their employment . So there are no " unexpected" delays, unless this worker was suddenly " transferred " to the shredder duty in time for the " coincidental " destruction of those documents. Which of course is entirely possible in the parallel world of ridiculously lame excuses Abe govt is comically expecting the public to believe.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Just how long does it take to shred a guest list? A couple of minutes?

The PM has learned the lesson from the Nagano Winter Olympics; the first thing to do after winning a bid is to buy a good sized document shredder!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

How does the person being disabled possibly even come into play?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Yes it is, because the issue is why the operator was behind schedule. A fully abled person would have been able to work faster and thus keep to the schedule.”

There is no indication that the worker was behind schedule.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

And the BS continues...Mainichi news headline today

TOKYO -- The Cabinet Office was apparently in possession of backup data for guest lists to a controversial cherry blossom-viewing party hosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this spring despite it claiming in the Diet that it had "already discarded" the documents, it has emerged.

The lies never end...How could this be in " honesty" Japan?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Use of the disabled term was entirely a strategy by Abe to shut down criticism by playing the "poor disabled person (pdp)card".

We didn't want to change the pdp's schedule because - well they're disabled.

And by announcing he/she is disabled lessens the chance of direct questioning by others of the person because - well they're disabled. Just imagine if opposition party members dared to stress out the pdp by asking him/her details. Fake cries of "harrassment" would fill the ldp halls and flow out into the sponge-like minds of those who bleat.

Abe is as sly as they come - aided by a fully charged PR machine.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

"There is no indication that the worker was behind schedule."

There were news reports on both NHK and ANN detailing the schedule and the worker was behind schedule.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Yes it is, because the issue is why the operator was behind schedule. A fully abled person would have been able to work faster and thus keep to the schedule.

If a person with special needs is employed their ability is factored in when it comes to their work schedule ( which would then possibly be ' different' ) from the very beginning of their employment . So there are no " unexpected" delays, unless this worker was suddenly " transferred " to the shredder duty in time for the " coincidental " destruction of those documents. Which of course is entirely possible in the parallel world of ridiculously lame excuses Abe govt is comically expecting the public to believe.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Vote this joker out at the next opportunity please Japan.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

There were news reports on both NHK and ANN detailing the schedule and the worker was behind schedule.

Yeah right,  no dobt  the "schedule " was conveniently provided by an "honest " bureaucrat aparatchik that was put in charge of trying to cover govt,s ass on this one....this whole BS sure brings back memories of  the  Kake / Kagoike / Ministry of Finance whitewash saga.

Btw, still waiting for your usual " but in country X " much worse happens diversionary comparison...lol.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Why can't you say that someone is handicapped? Saying that is "personal information" and shouldn't be told to others is like sharing someone's name, or what they like to eat for lunch. That person being handicapped is as much a part of their identity as any other. Trying to hide it is silly. Criticizing someone for mentioning it is ridiculous.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Not interested who actually shredded the list, more interested as to why it was done on the day the opposition asked for it. And why there is is not a back up? For a beauracractic run country that requires inordinate reeks of paperwork. This administration does seems less than capable of keeping any record that might reflect poorly on them?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

JonathanJoToday  07:10 am JST

I guess there wasn't a copy of the guest list on a PC, either.

I'd be surprised if any of those old men knew how to use excel. They probably had it written out in a scroll.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Learning from his master in the States, I guess.

And as always: deny it, blame it on others, refuse, and do all this over and over again.

What a disgrace, besides using tax-payers money for something like this!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why can't you say that someone is handicapped?

You really refuse to get it dont you? It's not about handicapped or disabled, but Abe laying the blame on them for his cover up!

THAT is lower than a snake's belly!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Why can't you say that someone is handicapped?

Actually, we prefer the word "disabled", rather than "handicapped". And yes, it's not about Abe using a word, it's about revealing personal information about that person and laying the blame on anyone else but himself.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Actually, we prefer the word "disabled", rather than "handicapped". And yes, it's not about Abe using a word, it's about revealing personal information about that person and laying the blame on anyone else but himself.

Just curious, are you disabled? As my brother, who happens to be so, prefers the term, "handicapable" to either of them, IF in fact it is even necessary to use it at all!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What are the chances that any of his supporters will not vote for him again as a result? Zero. One party "democracy" inaction.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As my brother, who happens to be so, prefers the term, "handicapable" to either of them

@Yubaru....Love that one, my best to him mate.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Jeez- Just when you think Abe couldn't sink any lower, the man surprises you. What a scumbag.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You really refuse to get it dont you? It's not about handicapped or disabled, but Abe laying the blame on them for his cover up!

But what if Abe’s statement is factually true? There is no evidence brought forth that he was being untruthful. After all, is in not just as possible for a disabled person to inadvertently make a mistake as a fully physically abled person? Are factual statements a bad thing now?

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

revealing the names of guests would infringe on their privacy.

They were at a public event, being entertained from the public use.

What privacy?

I guess there wasn't a copy of the guest list on a PC, either.

There was.

Suga was on the news last night trying to defend the premise that:

a) being digital, the copy on the PC (and the back-up on the server) was not 'a public document' and therefore the govmint was under no obligation to disclose it, in fact they were not allowed to disclose it

b) it was a total coincidence that the digital copy and its back-up have also apparently been scrubbed and no longer exist.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20191204/k10012201771000.html?utm_int=news-politics_contents_list-items_018

菅官房長官は、電子データの廃棄後もバックアップデータは最大8週間は保存されていたと明らかにする一方、情報公開の対象となる行政文書に該当しないことから、開示する必要はないという認識を示しました。

(While disclosing that back-up data was retained for up to 8 weeks after disposal of the digital data, Cabinet Sectretary Suga expressed the view that as this did not call under the category of administrative documentation subject to freedom of information, there was no obligation to disclose it.)

Smug, scheming little skunk.

Apologies to all the clean-living, decent skunks in the world.

After all, is in not just as possible for a disabled person to inadvertently make a mistake as a fully physically abled person? 

In which case the fact that the operator was disabled has no bearing at all on the matter.

The operator made no mistake; he did as he was told, and shredded the list before the Opposition could get their hands on it.

Invalid CSRF

10 ( +10 / -0 )

If there's one thing about South Korea is that they'll throw the president in gaol if he/she gets up to no good.Abe can act with an impunity that only a Putin or Xi could match.Japanese people,in truth, should be ashamed of themselves for accepting this kind of behavior.But when your catchphrase is "Shoganai" that explains the indifference.I refuse to accept he can't be replaced because the graves of indispensable people are filled with them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Time for the Japanese populace to make a choice.

They have by repeatedly voting him and his party back in.You got more chance of Abe resigning than

the flock doing something about his outrageous arrogance in actions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

alwaysspeakingwisdomToday  09:27 am JST

"There is no indication that the worker was behind schedule."

“There were news reports on both NHK and ANN detailing the schedule and the worker was behind schedule.”

Thanks for the correction/information. I had missed that.

But it doesn’t change my opinion. If they are going to contract operating the shredding machine serving multiple agencies to an individual or even small company, disabled or not, I would thinks delays must be expected. All kinds of things can happen, natural disasters, influenza, death in the family, heart attack, etc. It’s got nothing to do with the person having a disability and it would have been sufficient to say there was a scheduling problem on the part of the shredder operator and the original appointment was postponed for two weeks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did Abe mean the person with disabilities was incompetent and so the documents are unavailable because they got shredded?Its still in the computer. Abe.

Throws the worker under the bus.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Bugle Boy of Company B

First “ret**ded” was a no-no.

The reason behind that word is because "Mental Retardation" was and still is a correct medical term. However, those outside of the medical field used the word "ret**ded" loosely and only in a negative connotation that the medical term also because unacceptable. So they changed it to intellectual disability.

Words can be very powerful weapons.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One thing people should try to keep in mind while discussing the semantics/PC use or not, of the "words" disabled/handicapped/handicapable, whatever, is that in JAPANESE the term is 障害者 (shogaisha) which is directly translated to either, a handicapped or disabled person!

You can argue the English all you want, but in Japanese the word pretty much stays the same, with the exceptions being on whether it is a mental disability or physical disability, and then a separate word is inserted before the word "shogai" to describe the disability.

There is nothing discriminatory using the word shogaisha here!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

quercetumToday  01:24 pm JST

“Did Abe mean the person with disabilities was incompetent and so the documents are unavailable because they got shredded?”

I don’t think Abe or anyone else is blaming the person who was contracted to do the shredding. As I understand it, it’s that because of a delay, they were shredded two weeks later than originally scheduled and the shredding coincided with a request for the documents in the Diet.

invalid CSRF

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What’s a “woke” word?

ive never heard that term.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

cleo, good post. Good information as well.

it seems Abe was simply trying to use the 障害者 staff and his or her 障害者 status to avoid criticism for shredding the list. It’s pretty bad to criticize a 障害者 person. It’s like holding up a human shield in a gun fight - but the human shield is alive and innocent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why can't you say that someone is handicapped? Saying that is "personal information" and shouldn't be told to others is like sharing someone's name, or what they like to eat for lunch. That person being handicapped is as much a part of their identity as any other. Trying to hide it is silly. Criticizing someone for mentioning it is ridiculous.

Come on dude. Would he have said ‘a woman did it’, or ‘a Korean did it’, or ‘a black man did it’?

Of course not, because it’s not relevant - hence the use of the descriptor sounds like an implication.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Come on dude. Would he have said ‘a woman did it’, or ‘a Korean did it’, or ‘a black man did it’?

Of course not, because it’s not relevant - hence the use of the descriptor sounds like an implication.

Sometimes, the simplest answers are the best. Well said, HBJ.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But what if Abe’s statement is factually true? There is no evidence brought forth that he was being untruthful. After all, is in not just as possible for a disabled person to inadvertently make a mistake as a fully physically abled person? Are factual statements a bad thing now?

Nobody is arguing the veracity if the statement. What is being argued is the necessity of the statement. That’s painfully obvious to anyone with the ability to read.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There is no need to hide if there is no secret.The guests can be seen in presence anyway. Where is the intelligence in this issue ??? Pictures are already taken. There is a saying, if one have the guts to do anything, have the guts to admit doing it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Horrible human being......living up to his grandfather's morals.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can’t believe the opposition can’t find someone to take this man down. Our Dear Leader is so bad and no one is good enough to topple him? Are we serious? Quo vadis, Japan?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Shogaisha or no shogaisha, someone with two inches of forehead must’ve given the shogaisha the papers to shred. Lists don’t just end up in a shogaisha’s hand so that he / she may shred a party list..and of course no one ever keeps copies of these politically important lists. Sigh.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stout denial!

Works in Japan.

This is corruption of the highest order!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh dear me. The cherry blossom list. How dare you Japan!

The anti-Japan crowd must be laughing at some of this issues which make news in Japan. In any other country this won't even show on the news. Other countries are talking about impeachment, grabbing women in a certain place, don't show or reveal their assets or private life.

In Japan, this is what makes the news, who got invited to a cherry blossom party.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

AlexBecu -

It's not about cherry blossoms.

It's about the misuse of tax payers funds (to the tune of billions over the years) for what is essentially a promo event for Abe & the LDP.

And in addition, so strictly is the "free gifts" given to supporters here controlled (recently a cabinet member was forced to step down for handing out fans and sweets), that the ridiculously low price cost to attendees can amount to nothing more than vote buying.

It cuts to the heart of political transparency (why the instanty shredding lie) and fair government for all.

If you believe it's about cherry blossoms then you you have more than missed the party.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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