Minister yells at press after he criticizes remaining Fukushima evacuees


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He is 70 but can still work, is rich, has a house(s) in safe environments, and his family does not live in the disaster hit areas. Yet he has no compassion.

39 ( +45 / -6 )

A 70 years old pointing finger politician, that thinks this is the 70's and nobody is going to question him.

32 ( +38 / -6 )

He got angry as a reporter had the nerve to ask a non-scripted question. We need more reporters like this to push these peoples buttons and make them show their true colours.

31 ( +35 / -4 )

Just another example of the cabinet of this PM being totally out of touch with reality. Sad, but even sadder for the people.

30 ( +36 / -6 )

Here is the video of this idiot in action. It brings back memories of the time the Japanese UN ambassador got angry and told everyone to shut up. These politicians live in their own little bubble and they lash out whenever people try to pop it.


24 ( +28 / -4 )

And I wonder what qualifications and expertise this 70 year-old has for such a sensitive and important post?

Wikipedia is your friend!

"On August 11, 2016, one week after joining Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's cabinet as reconstruction minister for disaster-hit regions, Masahiro Imamura visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine.

In late 2016, hours after Abe and Defense Minister Tomomi Inada met President Barack Obama in Hawaii and Abe expressed 'everlasting condolences' for the casualties of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Imamura again visited the shrine. The visit garnered "a sharp rebuke from Beijing". Imamura said his visit had “nothing to do with” Abe’s trip and the timing was “a coincidence”, saying he "wished to express gratitude and prayed for Japan’s peace and prosperity".

Imamura is a member of key right-wing Diet groups:

Nippon Kaigi (revisionist lobby) Pro-Yasukuni Alliance Conference of young parliamentarians supporting the idea that the Yasukuni Shrine is a true national interest and desire for peace Japan Rebirth (Sosei Nippon) Shinto Seiji Renmei Kokkai Giin Kondankai (Sinseiren, Shinto Political League - Shinto fundamentalism)

Ahead of the 2012 elections, Imamura positioned himself in favor of:

changing the Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan, which prohibits the exercise of the right of collective self-defense considering the nuclear armament of Japan re-operating the nuclear power plants that meet the new standards of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Note that Imamura, who holds rather radical positions about nuclear issues, is now the minister in charge of coping with the aftermath of the Fukushima".

I think that tells you everything you need to know about this man and why he has this job.....

18 ( +21 / -3 )

The video is on You Tube, though apparently Suga hasn't seen it. At yesterday's meeting with the press he said, '私はそばにいたわけではないし、どんなやり取りがあったかのは分からない。今村大臣本人が反省し、『記者会見で感情的になってしまい、一部、冷静なやり取りができなかった』との報告があった' (I wasn't there and I don't know what words were exchanged. Minister Imamura is very sorry, and reported to me 'I became emotional at the press conference and at one point lost my cool''.) Suga also said, '報告を受け、私からは『適切に対応してほしい』ということを申し上げた。いずれにしろ、今村大臣が適切に対応するだろう' (On hearing from Mr. Imamura, I told him I'd like him to respond in an appropriate manner. I think he will.')


translation - *It's nothing to do with me, I can't be bothered to ascertain the facts, no problem here, move along, aren't the cherry blossoms pretty?'.

What the reporter was saying was right on the button. Imamura was clearly out of his depth, and his claim that 'the national government is taking responsibility' while at the same time stating the predicament of the displaced people is 'their own personal responsibility' would, in a normal world, get him the sack. But I won't hold my breath waiting.

I love this country, but its politics stinks.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

The Typical bully's mentality.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Politicians who don't like being challenged are unfit to hold office.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Disgusting he needs to go...

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Yubaru, I'm not sure if this will make it any clearer, but in the news clip that M3M3M3 provided, it stated he was a 'Free-journalist'. I guess that could mean anyone outside of the 'kisha club' (or kiss-arse club, as I like to call them).

16 ( +20 / -4 )

This guy needs to be replaced.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

As many have already indicated, for me, after watching on the news last night, was the sheeer inability of Imamura to process the question and discuss / debate.

Such a lack of skill and insight is ubiquitous amongst many political leaders iin Japan. They shrug off un-rehearsed questions as "rude", and often give the "How dare you question me" look and answer.

Society must bear some of the blame for this, where challenging / questioning authority in most walks is deemed inappropriate, allowing the "superiors" to rule at will.

I'd love to see a BBC style "Hard Talk" program here, but the chances are probably between nil and buckleys.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

@MsD Yet he has no compassion.

Which seems to be a characteristic of Nippon Kaigi members. Kudos to those in the press willing to ask questions.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

What an arrogant SOB! He is also not very good at his job. He should be ashamed of himself

13 ( +17 / -4 )

“The minister has informed me that he became emotional and was unable to remain calm for part of today’s press conference,”

Get out of here (or better there)!!

If you can't control your temper you shouldn't be in this position.

Hope the press keeps on going asking undesired and/or disliked questions!

13 ( +17 / -4 )

That was a pretty innocuous question! The fact he lost it so quickly is the result of decades of entitlement and a massive -rarely challenged- ego. I know a few non J journos who would have ripped into him.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

The minister has informed me that he became emotional

I think the full phrase is "tired and emotional" (as a lord, that is).

12 ( +17 / -5 )

If its so awesome the politicians can all move to one of the newly designed safe areas..

12 ( +16 / -4 )

We need more reporters like this to push these peoples buttons and make them show their true colours.

Not with "gotcha" questions, but with real substantive questions like the ones this reporter asked.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Disgusting behaviour. I hope the whole world sees this.

And I wonder what qualifications and expertise this 70 year-old has for such a sensitive and important post?

12 ( +17 / -5 )

And cue in a few days time a full on the floor, hands down apology from him! Followed by a swift cabinet reshuffle!

10 ( +16 / -6 )

I hate these types of people, you see them constantly in business here as well. Pure arrogance, dubious competence, and way too old to be in any position of responsibility

9 ( +12 / -3 )

He has a stock of Tokyo Electric Power and Kyushu Electric Power. He's working for Tokyo Electric Power.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

.....Why would anybody believe anyone from the govt telling them it was safe to return when radiation is spilling at uncontrollable rates into the ocean. They still can't even get robots near the melted down reactor.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

The central government should relocate there.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Reconstruction Minster Masahiro Imamura was literally shaking, wide eyed and overwhelmed like a chicken catching sight of Colonel Sanders approaching. It reveals a unique upper level of haughty conceited superiority, how dare you very much complex. A mixture of vanity and self importance. I bet there is not a stick of furniture that didn't get a right good seeing to when he returned to his office

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I would love to know who or what service the reporter worked for? Typically Japanese reporters who cover ministerial level press conferences are puppets of the state and also do not ask tough or uncomfortable questions.

I wonder if he was in the foreign press club?

7 ( +14 / -7 )

His Mum is going to so upset that her son was asked such a question.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Spoiled LDP brat. I hope people remember what party he belongs to when the elections come up

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I am very impressed with the reporter who stood his ground and immediately replied to the minister's intimidating "Tekkai shinasai! ("Take that back!") with an immediate "Tekkai shimasen!" ("I will not!") without a shred of fear in his voice. I can't imagine a typical salaryman having that much courage in the corporate world. The reporter may have risked his career with such a statement. I hope nothing bad happens to him.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It’s their own responsibility, their own choice

So much for that world renowned omotenashi

It's tough maintaining the tatamae as one ages. This was just the honmae shinning through!! Scary!!

6 ( +12 / -6 )

He has been watching the US news conferences with Spicer. Spicer is the new model.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Just another example of the cabinet of this PM being totally out of touch with reality. Sad, but even sadder for the people.

The saddest part is that the people don't care, they are content with the very many doses of food programs on T.V. so sad indeed.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Disgusting Nice freedom of press... And I imagine the general response from the typical zjaoanese is to say "sho ga nai"

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Abe sans Cabinet is bloated with Minsters totally incapable of managing portfolios essential for Japan future prosperity.

Areas and sectors including security, financial strategy to implement reform and restructuring programs, proves beyond any doubt these minsters are totally out of their depth in a fast moving modern world.

Japan’s disaster reconstruction minister, Masahiro Imamura, 70 embarrassing loss of face is a result of his role requiring expertise and capabilities only gained through proven merit and experience, not birthright, privilege and entitlement.

This level of inept incompetence is ubiquitous throughout Corporate Japan boardrooms and senior management.

This LDP Government is pinning its hopes that the amendments to security bills and legislation threatening broadcasters licenses will some how make all the pertinent awkward challenging questions go away. The so called Conspiracy bill, is just another means to an end to hurry this process along.

2017, and we have a disaster reconstruction minister blaming the victims for doubting, and losing confidence in his governments promises and pledges.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

browny1 - exactly. Japanese politicians have nothing but contempt for average Japanese citizens.

But as the old adage goes, you get the government you deserve.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Hope the press keeps on going asking undesired and/or disliked questions!

It takes more independent journalists like this one to do this. Someone with guts to push the limits like TMZ or heck, even CNN for that matter. Japanese network reporters just go with the flow generally.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Yubaru, I'm not sure if this will make it any clearer, but in the news clip that M3M3M3 provided, it stated he was a 'Free-journalist'. I guess that could mean anyone outside of the 'kisha club' (or kiss-arse club, as I like to call them).

Which probably explains his attitude as well. The reporter isnt a member of the "establishment".

I'll bet he never gets into another press conference with this guy again.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I think that some one should buy hin a dictionary and point out a few words like, Sympathetic, understanding, compassion, rude and offensive. I think its about time the government had another Reshuffle, lets make him play ground monitor, where he can be at home with children, as he seems to be as childish as them.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I'd like to buy the reporter a beer!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This guy and then the guy that was carried over a puddle, and the guy that said evacuees should hurry up and leave the shelters etc etc, the government is full with these nitwits. Disgusting to have nitwits like these in important positions.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

He's been watching too much Spicer and Trump and thinking he wants to play the same game. Sorry, but "getting emotional" -- aka. abusing his power and screaming at interviewers -- isn't something that warrants a "Moushiwakenai... I got emotional", or SUga the apologist saying, "Come on, guys... he got emotional. It's something he needs to investigate internally and deal with in his own manner".

Ah, the stupidity of the J-government.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Yet another example of the true face of the ruling elite popping out in public. It's like seeing the tip of an enormous iceberg, you need to be wary of what lies beneath. Since when can a politician not be questioned by the press or general public? Is he or is he not a public servant with everything that those two words imply? Or does he feel that because he was appointed and not elected to that post that this somehow exonerates him from any media or public scrutiny or responsibility for that matter. He should resign immediately in shame!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

These geriatric old farts who lead the various ministries are mini-gods, who think that their age and position put them above reproach and beyond criticism. They are always offended when anyone asks them a question they don't want to answer (or don't know the answer to), particularly if the questioner is a younger person.

But the people will continue to sell their votes in exchange for subsidies, empty promises, and lies, and they end up with the "leaders" we have now.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Surprised he just didn't claim it was all fake news

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Indeed, the Japanese people are voting in majority for this kind of government so they must somehow trust & appreciate to be governed by such of people.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

What an incapable jackass. Get him out of here as soon as possible.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

As far as this goon is concerned, it is case closed for the people who were evacuated from those areas now deemed liveable again. The facts that there are no jobs in these areas, very little infrastructure (supermarkets, services, etc) and many areas are overrun with feral animals like, cats, pigs and rats are totally irrelevant to the government agencies. This is why this 'oyaji' got angry. He is not concerned at all with the plight of the people. He is only concerned with the money the government can save on support for these people. As I said last week, the government has given these people an ultimatum, "Go home! Or, get stuffed!"

If the government is so set on convincing these people it is safe to return to these areas, they should pack up all their crap from Kazumigaseki in Tokyo and move it all to Iwaki in Fukushima and let's see them live there first.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The number 1 responsibility of any government is to care for their people. THAT SIMPLE.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The question is, what made him lose it over that? He could have faked a response very easily. It was a soft ball question. His time has gone. And these guys want to prop up the military. Which can introduce martial law. You guys vote for this dude?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You know, all the Nippon Kaigi acolytes, whether male or female, have the same look about them. I'm not sure what it is, contempt for everything and everybody else maybe, I'm not sure but they all have it. It's in the eyes.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Just watched the video and yeah, this guy looks like a horrible excuse for a human being. Its beyond disgusting that the government has this guy in charge of the disaster reconstruction profile.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

the question doesnt sound like something to flip over about tbh. Is there no difference between voluntary and involuntary?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Do these Govt guys ever meet real people?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Classic mistake: The reporter is not the viewing audience....

2 ( +5 / -3 )

the indignities continue to pile up and never come to an end. And then to find out ministers are emotionally unstable. Great, really great :'(

2 ( +5 / -3 )

True colours.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I wonder if Imamura would consider moving there:

Extremely high radiation levels have been recorded inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, almost six years after the plant suffered a triple meltdown.

The facility’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said atmospheric readings as high as 530 sieverts an hour had been recorded inside the containment vessel of reactor No 2, one of three reactors that experienced a meltdown when the plant was crippled by a huge tsunami that struck the north-east coast of Japan in March 2011.

A single dose of one sievert is enough to cause radiation sickness and nausea; 5 sieverts would kill half those exposed to it within a month, and a single dose of 10 sieverts would prove fatal within weeks.


2 ( +5 / -3 )

Wonder if the old boy is still sucking his thumb?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As the cost burden is rocketing the poor direct victims of Fukushima - mile away from Tokyo the shining capital - will be labelled as trouble makers, not making efforts to keep harmony and blablabla. Good luck guys!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ignorant buffoon -- of course it is NOT safe to live there.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The more politicians realise they are not untouchable, the better Japan will be. I hope the press keeps this up and holds them to account.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I feel sorry for his wife after all these years.

He'll soon be bowing.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

He handled the question poorly... but he does have a point.

It has been six years, the people who reside within the safe zone should return to their homes and stop living of the taxpayers dime. If they do not want to accept the risk of living their then liquidate the assets that you can and live somewhere else.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Disgraceful. Take your hat and go.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe government who want to abandon evacuees and contaminated area.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cool necktie though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where did all the money go ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How many of the critics here of the Japanese govt are from the US where the majority electorate placed into office the most unqualified person in US history to be POTUS?

...guess you get the govt you deserve

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I hope this man experiences homeless in the future by some just result...be it for a month, months or a year or two.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Imamura San should try smiling more and follow government advice on dealing with the effects of fallout from nuclear disasters......

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

He has been watching the US news conferences with Spicer. Spicer is the new model.

Bad comparison. Imamura was asked a legitimate question by a fair, impartial, objective journalist.

As for Imamura, he should resign. I wouldn't be surprised if he did -- if not voluntarily, then under pressure.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Its stressful. I empathize with him and the evacuees.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

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