politics

Kishida tries to distance gov't from right-wing statements

33 Comments
By KEN MORITSUGU

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33 Comments
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Slap down, ouch!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“It is very regrettable if these remarks have caused misunderstanding about the Japanese government’s position,”

Here we go again. Things being 'misinterpreted' and 'regrettable' while only a couple of hours ago the lead headline was about revising apologies made in regards to sex slaves and other atrocities.

Once again, the Japanese government and people with power embarrass themselves, then say they are distancing themselves from the people who say them while the never bother to hide the fact that they espouse the same beliefs.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

I don't envy this man his job. He's got to have ulcers the size of tangerines trying to stamp out so many fires.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Regrettable? The government should say the apology stands and make it firm Japan does regret it's war crimes. The world forgave Japan for mass rape. This just opens an old wound and makes Japan look, to be frank, pathetic. All sex offenders are pathetic in war or peace. Maintain the apology, clarify your position and move into the 21st century. Let China be the one who keeps using the past as an excuse.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

@smithinjapan Cant blame Kishida for downplaying the comments, it was not him who said those things, and he is THE foreign minister and responsible for Japan having good contact with its neighbors.

I think Kishida must also be sick of some of the oyaji's making stupid comments and him having to fix it.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Actually there was a meeting between officials between South Korea and Japan to talk about a summit meeting few days ago. But after the latest Japanese gaffe, guess what? The South Koreans called off further talks until Japan shows they are serious about the talks. Don't blame South Korea for not talking to Japan. It's entirely Japan's own doing.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

It's unfortunate these recent idiotic statements have caused many to overlook what the Japanese government has officially done in the past to atone for past atrocities.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

As I pointed out the other day, this is all about some unfinished LDP factional business which stretches back many years. The two main players are Mr. Koizumi and Mr. Abe.

For all his foibles (and occasional visits to Yasakuni), Koizumi was a reformer who tried to drag the LDP into the early 21 Century. While he had the power base to do so, everything was OK. However, when Koizumi left his support base crumbled in the face of a reactionary conservative backlash (headed by Abe).

On the other hand there is Abe, who has a very interesting political pedigree. One of his grandfathers tried to get elected during WW2 on antiwar platform. The other more well-known one had a room at Sugamo Prison after WW2 as a Class A War criminal). The problem for Abe is that in addition to his own right-wing tendencies, his support base within the LDP is stronger on the right. As such, him and his ministers have to pander to this support base because if they don't it will start to flow to Shintaro Ishihara and his band of loons.

Anyway, the general consensus was that Koizumi had left the stage. However, when the Tokyo Governor's election came up, Koizumi both stuck a spanner in the works by suggesting no nukes. Worse, he decided to back Hosokawa, a sworn enemy of the LDP whose political pedigree matches or exceeds Abe's. As such, the gloves have come off.

In light of these developments, it seems that this drive to the right in Japanese politics is being driven by some very old domestic feuds.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I think the only answer is for the anti-nut job wing of the LDP (they do exist, I believe) to threaten resignation from cabinet posts if these moronically stupid "revisions" do not stop. Not only are they wrong, they are profoundly damaging to Japan's national interests.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Is this some S&M routine? Chaos addiction?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Abe skills in diplomacy are matched only by his economic prowess. (Sarcasm)

Why do politicians like Kishida have to clean up after him?

Wouldn't it be better just to get rid of the problem (Abe) and put a real politician in charge?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

it's "regrettable" that SK will never drop this issue. every PM since Kono's apology has stood by that statement. the press, as the are wont to do, has ignored the fact that when abe was installed as the latest PM, he stood by those that apology. the only thing he stated was that more research could be done to verify everything the "comfort women" said. but that's all the press reports about, and it distorts the official gov't view.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Would just like to point out that Yohei Kono is a rather nice chap. Probably too nice to be a politician. That is perhaps why the parade passed him by (he never became PM).

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is a tricky development. Who invited these two numbnuts into the debate? And why did they think that their opinions matter/or vice versa? I hope it not based on a set up by some investigative journalist. If they indeed are extreme right wing revisionists, incapable of understanding historical events, I think they should be sacked. Give them a seat in one of the right wing vans and let them declare their political position in public.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

rickyvee: it distorts the official gov't view.

The problem is that there doesn't seem to be any sort of united government view. When one person apologizes, and the next person says that there was no need to apologize, what do we make of the whole scene? If the Japanese government could clamp down on their loud-mouth idiots and properly punish them for making stupid statements - we're talking fired, disgraced, never to be heard from again in public life - then we can start talking about "the official government view."

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I don't envy this man his job. He's got to have ulcers the size of tangerines trying to stamp out so many fires.

Isn't he more likely to have burnt feet?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This guy is the Hirano of the DPG; having to apologize for everyone, all the time.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Kishida tries to distance gov't from right-wing statements

Where there's smoke, there's fire.. can anyone say there isn't a right-wing shift in Japanese politics, with a straight face?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Sounds like a game of Whac-a-mole without a mallet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Honestly I feel sorry for him having to deal with the mess LDP did.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As long as you work for Shinzo Abe you cannot not be associated with that kettle of stinky fish.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"regrettable if these remarks have caused misunderstanding" The convoluted jargon of Japanese politics.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

At the same time Suga issues a statement to rethink Japan's apology to 'comfort women'. Either this government A) doesn't know its left foot from its right, or B) is trying to play both sides and keep everyone guessing, tire out the critics, and get people slowly used to the idea that the old Japan is back. I suspect the latter.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan has never officially apologized.

It is that "the Comintern Murayama", "Korean Kono", that is "personal comments" both.

The Japanese government will deny all of them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The problem is that you did not make friends when you were bubbling As a nation on the far site of the globe relying on strengh alone Drives you into splended isolation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe really needs to go.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Here we go again. Things being 'misinterpreted' and 'regrettable' while only a couple of hours ago the lead headline was about revising apologies made in regards to sex slaves and other atrocities.

smithinjapan -- spot on. Japanese politicians still seem to think they can live in a world where they/the government can say anything it wants inside Japan, and it won't have international repercussions. Which is amazing since Japan loves the fact that it is considered one of the world's most technologically advanced countries. And then it trots out the usual non-apology -- they remarks are "regrettable". And only because other countries took offense, not because they are historically and morally offensive.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Replace "regrettable" with "sorry" and we'd start to get somewhere...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The thing I see continuously is that Japan does not have one official view , it is just random remarks made all the time by people passing off their opinion at the time with no real thought involved and mostly the brain is completely disengaged from the drive train.

If Japan took a firm stand on politicians making outlandish damaging statements and promoted the "Official Line" then perhaps its neighbours and trade partners might be able to take the place a little more seriously, this back and forward is not very professional and lets the rest of the world see just how disorganised and backward Japan really is despite its continued attempts to show the world it is sophisticated and grown up.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@theoriginalwing

you are talking about a few right wing politicians, not PMs so my statement is still true. no PM has ever publicly denied or rescinded the kono apology. so you're wrong when you say there is no official gov't view. a few religious US politicians don't believe in evolution, but that doesn't mean the gov't as a whole agrees with them.

my original point is that when abe was asked about the kono statement after assuming the PM post again, he said he stood by them. but all we hear nowadays is that he wants to review the facts regarding comfort women. it's sensational journalism at its best (or worse) and most people fall for it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

You have to wish that the Japanese government would all get on the same page and understand that WWII was a fiasco in more ways than one.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@rickyvee

We don't rely on politicians to resolve scientific or religious debates, so I'm not sure what your point is about evolution.

And while you're right about it not being PMs, the point is that the politicians who have made such comments aren't being reprimanded appropriately. If the government made strong moves to distance themselves from such right-wing garbage (as I mentioned, for example, forcing those politicians to resign), that would be the kind of strong statement we're looking for. But by giving them a light slap on the wrist, or less, and allowing them to continue business as usual, it shows that the government tolerates such comments, even if it does not officially endorse them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Getting rid of Abe will increasew power of ultra conservatives in LDP. LDP has enough membership. Best for none-urtra conservative is to get rid of ultra conservatives and invite other Diet members to join them. But it takes time. Kishida could not be only one Govt official who have been sick and tired of idiotic big mouth members. Maybe Abe is sick and tired, too. His wife might be reminding him of 1960 right wing assassination attempt on Kish's lifei.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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