politics

LDP lawmaker criticizes Nagasaki mayor's remarks on Abe's defense policy

22 Comments

A senior member of the ruling Liberal-Democratic party (LDP) has criticized the mayor of Nagasaki for remarks he made on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push toward Japan's more assertive defense policy, as the city marked the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing last Saturday.

In his "peace declaration" speech at the ceremony in Nagasaki's Peace Park, Mayor Tomihisa Taue urged Abe's government to listen to growing public concerns over Japan's commitment to its pacifist pledge.

Writing on his blog, House of Representatives member Masatada Tsuchiya criticized Taue for making comments about Japan's national defense policy in his speech, Sankei Shimbun reported Monday. He said that if Taue feels so strongly about the issue, he should resign as mayor of Nagasaki and contest a seat in the Diet.

Japan is divided over the government's decision to allow its military to defend foreign countries and play greater roles overseas by exercising what is referred to as collective self-defense. To achieve that goal, Abe's cabinet revised its interpretation of Japan's war-renouncing constitution.

Pacifism, enshrined in the constitution, is the "founding principle" of postwar Japan and Nagasaki, Taue said.

"However, the rushed debate over collective self-defense has prompted concern that this principle is shaking," he said. "I strongly request that the Japanese government take note of the situation and carefully listen to the voices of distress and concerns."

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22 Comments
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So why on earth would any mayor be criticized for voicing the idea of "listen to growing public concerns over Japan's commitment to its pacifist pledge"?! There is either freedom of speech or there is not. Either public opinion is considered or it is not.

And I don't buy the usually-unvoiced but sometimes invoked artificial walls between National, Prefectural and Municipal governments. By Japanese law, unless it has changed in the last few years, although there are very clearly delineated distinctions of roles of the three different types, there is no vertical relationship between these three categories of government. Municipal governments are "equal" to Prefectural and National, in the context of their defined roles. But I'm not familiar with any bylaw that says these people are not allowed to have an opinion on the policies of the other types.

And just to deflect any off-the-point comments, I'm not positing an opinion about any national policy, the defense policy or anything else. Whatever policy has been commented on doesn't matter. What I'm saying is that expressing a political opinion should not prompt "...he should resign as mayor and contest a seat in the Diet". That doesn't sound right. Any policy that affects the city over which a mayor presides gives that mayor a right to have and express an opinion about it. Am I wrong here?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Taue criticized Abe, Tsuchiya can also criticize Taue.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Very true turbotsat. Criticism is the foundation of checks and balances. So Tsuchiya can and should criticize Taue. I should have made that point in my comment above. My bad.

But the opinion "...he should resign as mayor and contest a seat in the Diet" is an opinion that is unbecoming of a senior member of the ruling party because it suggests a vertical relationship that does exist in reality and is not in line with established policy. That's all I meant.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

There were 6 lawsuits against him. Some kind of briberies/ Sued by people. Supreme Court gave judgements against him. His appealings were denied. 5 out pf 6 lawsuit cases, Supreme Court declared illegal. (Heisei Year 18). Abe and Suga must be embarassed of comment by this kind of half criminal politician.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

OK, understood. Although Tsuchiya may still have a point. Apparently he used to be mayor of Musashino, resigned to go after his seat, so maybe he's saying "do what I did, if you want to make national decisions".

On the other hand, presumably Nagasaki already has members in the Diet making those kinds of decisions. No need for the mayor to change jobs.

Kind of surprising Tsuchiya can stay in office after the incidents toshiko mentioned.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"He said that if Taue feels so strongly about the issue, he should resign as mayor of Nagasaki and contest a seat in the Diet. "

The blue blood oyaji twit Tsuchiya should resign instead ( no doubt his seat was inherited from daddy anyway ) - for critisizing the mayor whose remarks about rushing the defense policy debate were just common sense.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@marcelito: He became a candidate and elected. He is not only one who is a half criminal politician in Japan. Some big shot politicians resigned when scandals were revealed in past. Not only money scandals but mekake scandals often.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan needs to build up a better National defense system, which includes helping to protect other Asian countries from international attacks by China. For example, if China builds lighthouses on Vietnamese islands, then Vietnam can call on Japan to blow them up.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Abe, who supports the nuclear umbrella, should not even be invited to Hiroshima or Nagasaki. He, as well as most LDP politicians, is in violation of the 3 non nuclear peinciples. Years ago, Dr. Joseph Gerson, a member of the American Friends Service Committee (Quaker Peace Group), verbally and vocally protested the presence of Koizumi at the peace ceremony. Japanese peace groups tend to be less confrontational on these official days of remembrance, and were taken by surpise. But Gerson was right. And so is the mayor of Nagasaki. Abe's policies are guaranteed to being about the involvement of Japanese in US wars, and these will mean death for Japanese. Nagasaki and Hiroshima are now symbols of Japan's Article 9, which Abe intends to destroy but has initially circumvent. The mayor understand this and rightly warns Abe on this important day that he is descrating the hibakusha with his policies.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

One of Tsuchiya's agenda is against Supreme Court decision that was any Japanese children and people have equal right. Tsuchiya has been claiming anyone who was born out of wedlock does not have right as Japanese because they were born the result of unvirtuous relationship. (Futei na Kankei). Now he is on Nagasaki Mayor.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@oshiko Thanks for the info on the guy, I,m corrected. He is not a blue blood , just a corrupted LDP oyaji. Sounds like he is the last person who should be telling someone to resign.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As Abe visited Hiroshima, he must have observed large anti-nuclear signboards. He must be realized that many people are anti-A-bomb. Also, he went Nagasaki and heard the speech of Nagasaki Mayor. This is better than reports that his aides created. Direct communications. As for Ambassador Kennedy, this is second time. Hope she convinces American influential people to visit Japan. Good thing she knows Japanese language. She understood Mayor's plea fully, The speech is easier than her favorite hyakunin Isshu poems playing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nightshade - your post covers it well.

And in addition, as others have have stated, Tsuchiya has been slopping around the sty for far too long.

With the current paranoia about expiration dates (of food) in Japan, a little of that energy should be focussed onto the "use by" dates of politicians.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

When you consider the number of people (about 50% of the the city's workforce).employed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and its subcontractors in this city of 450,000, Nagasaki is not apt to be a center for peace protests.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Tsuchiya is a pig, and as has been pointed out by others, this isn't the first time he's thrown in his ultra-right opinions on things. How you can defend someone (Abe) on visiting a ceremony for peace whilst at the same time revising the pacifist constitution so that you can build an army to participate in war and/or wage it, and cutting a ban to sell weapons to the highest bidder, is beyond me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CrazyJoe: All of us are prisoners of the military industrial complex. One's work does not mean one has the same ideology of the corporation. Of course getting rid of a military contractor, one that already has blood on its hands due to its new partnership with Raytheon, would mean unemployment. But then the company could be retooled to make non military weapons.

in any case, finally we can see that those who oppose nuclear weapons and those who oppose Japanese militarism are one and the same.

Seeing as how a previous mayor of Nagasaki was shot for his progressive views, there is much to fear from the Japanese right wing. But Abe being put in place by the mayor is refreshing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mitsubishi Nagasaki was destroyed with A-bomb. However, it rebuilt in Nagasaki. It is a shipyard and ship building company just like it had been until A-bomb destroyed it. Mayor was not talking about shipbuilder Mitsubishi that has nothing to do with A-bomb creation or dropping. It just employ many people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The saddest part about all this is that everyone here is now talking about the mayor's speech comments, rather than Japan's imbecilic prime minister's cut-and-paste speech at the very same ceremony!

Did you know-Dear Leader Shinzo Abe cares so much about the victims at Hiroshima and Nagasaki...that he decided to give the same speeches this year that he delivered on the "solemn occasions" exactly one year before? What's more-that at Nagasaki, the ceremony in question, Abe's cut-and-pasting was so complete that the ONLY thing he changed in his ENTIRE speech was the number of years that had passed (69 instead of last year's 68.) Everything else was exactly the same!

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2014/08/ot-japanese-prime-minister-copies-and.html

The fact that everyone is NOT criticizing Abe for caring so little about such an important event in Japan's history is pathetically sad. He and his supporters ought to be ashamed embarrassed of themselves, but instead it's "let's put the Nagasaki mayor on the defensive for daring to express an original thought" over at the beloved Dear Leader's LDP. Unreal!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Paul,

I've got to agree with you. Also Abe shouldn't be going to Hiroshima and Nagasaki for these memorial events full stop.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abs should visit more places in Japan so that he will be able to listen to his opposition ideas than just LDP politicians'. smoke screened reports..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe believes in himself only. Not interested in public opinion. Always goes about doing things he wants without consulting others, and then say he wants to "explain" to the people and seek their understanding. Such a weird person for a PM.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

BNlightened AUG. 13, 2014 - 01:18PM JST The saddest part about all this is that everyone here is now talking about the mayor's speech comments, rather than Japan's imbecilic prime minister's cut-and-paste speech at the very same ceremony!

Or perhaps it is a taboo to criticise LDP in public. For a long time, LDP's power is as good as diplomatic immunity. Abuse it anyway you see fit and all you have to do is bow your head and apologise. I guess the fact that they had the audacity to represent themselves as Liberal Democratic Party disgusting and repulsive especially when they get on the high horse to preach about peace.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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