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Inose under fire for comments on Istanbul Olympic bid, Islam

65 Comments
By Jim Armstrong

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You would think after all these years there would be a cure fit foot-in-mouth disease. Most think they live in a bubble in Japan and no one hears ( ee gads and reports) their random thoughts.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

bidding in a sprit based on the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship.”

Yeh, right.

“Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes.”

Tragic display of Japan's inward focus and total lack of real understanding of the international community, including other countries and religions, even among top officials.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

" Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes. "

Either that sentence got mangled in translation, or he is confused. If he had correctly stated that a country run by an islamist party which is gradually dismantling the Turkish secular kemalist state and seeking to introduce primitive Shariah law is not something that the world should support. Now that would have been a bulls eye. Instead of that, we get this nonsensical phrase.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

now if Tokyo gets 2020 Olympics, people will take it as IOC's endorsement to Inose's comments.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The Modern Olympics was created, as a forum, for the world to come together peacefully in the mutual enjoyment of universal sport. It is, a forum to endorse, peace, prosperity, and posterity, through the notion of a common good. Regardless of politics, religion or.. for that matter ideology.

If the Governor of a city, as international as Tokyo, as the chairman of the bidding committee, I simply ask, does he even understand, the purpose of the Olympics? Nations across the world, join hands, as the 5 rings symbolizes the Continents, to tell the world, its people, all peoples that live under the one blue sky, that we are capable of cooperation and co-existence. .. perhaps I am been selfish, but the Olympics is a symbol of an individuals prowess, and an entire nations hope, the individual represents.

Put simply, I hope Istanbul, for the term Istanbul is actually Greek, Is tan Poli, and Poli means the city of all. A city that joins the peoples of the east and west.

And surely, the people of the middle east, require hope.. a hope, that peace, through mutual understanding can be gained from it... after so much suffering, for over a century, of colonization, of sectarian violence..

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Inose also said that “Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes.”

Inside Japan there is no way he would feel so free to talk about Japanese people and their culture so openly, but since it's about a foreign country and gaijin, he is just saying what many people are thinking.

Stupid, arse, the Olympic committee should take these comments into consideration when making their decision about the venue for the games. This guy is just representative of what many in Japan are like when it comes to foreigners, they don't think before they talk, and they don't care if it offends, why should they? They aren't Japanese.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Inose also said that “Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes.”

I really hope Tokyo gets the 2020 Olympic Games, and think Japan would be a good host. Given that, I am all-the-more shocked at Inose's imprudence in making this offensive and thus counterproductive remark. It erodes the attractiveness of Tokyo's bid. Now with this as a backdrop, what sort of an impact will this have on Muslim participants should Tokyo end up hosting the games?

I would hope that Inose would refrain from repeating the recklessness, xenophobia and immaturity of former governor Ishihara to help Tokyo win the games, as well as for the good of the people of Tokyo and Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ah, I believe the flame has just gone out on Tokyo's Olympic bid. Not only did we have Masato Mizuno's insensitive comment after the Boston marathon bombings (the chief executive officer of the bid committee), we now have the chairman of the bid committee making the kind of statements that are more suited to a smoky izakaya whilst sharing a beer with his committee pals. For me, the public reprimand from the IOC has sealed Japan's fate and underlined a lack of trust in Japan.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Now with this as a backdrop, what sort of an impact will this have on Muslim participants should Tokyo end up hosting the games?

Don't worry, Tokyo won't win, or at least shouldnt, yet if by some chance they did, Muslim participants should boycott the games based upon the fact that the host city's leader is racist and discriminatory against those who are not Japanese. He is just following in his predecessors footsteps.

I would hope that Inose would refrain from repeating the recklessness, xenophobia and immaturity of former governor Ishihara to help Tokyo win the games, as well as for the good of the people of Tokyo and Japan.

It's Ishihara that start the bit, Inose is just being the mouth piece of Ishihara. Hope all you want, but sadly nothing will change, particularly in the current political climate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“It is not entirely clear from the translation what exactly the governor was trying to say, but we would remind all candidates of the rules pertaining to the bidding process,” the IOC said in a statement Monday to The Associated Press.

I hope they release what he said in Japanese. Because it's pretty hard to mess up translating what he said.

I hope this means that Tokyo won't get the Olympics now.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

And with this, I hope the final nail has been put on the coffin of Tokyo's Olympic bid.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

JT Moderators must be working for Inose! They the delete and censor pertinent ON TOPIC comments, and leave the chaff.

Moderator: You're not the best judge of what is or isn't on topic. Please lift the level of your contributions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Tokyo 2020 fully respects and adheres to the IOC guidelines for the candidate cities,", organisers said in a statement

But Inose is breaking the rules. You can't say "we are following the rules" at the same time you are breaking them.

Inose also said that "Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes."

Which Islamic countries are fighting with each other? None of them. All the fighting is internal. Japan also has classes, but Mr Inose appears not to have noticed.

9 ( +8 / -0 )

Good old Japan, racism, Xenophobic and pathetic as always... And THIS is the guy they picked for it all.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Tokyo is already creating a "Tokyo2024" committee...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

And the winner is ..... ISTANBUL!

Turkey definitely deserve to host the Olympics to prove once and for all an Islamic country can be as capable as any other country. If Athen can do it, why not Turkey? Tokyo will be awarded a 'Standby Status' should an earthquake or big terrorism occurs in Turkey, fair enough? One more thing, this will help prove that not all Muslims are bad people.

The Tokyo governor's comment have already proven Japanese 'self anoited superiority' complex and I hope the IOC reward Tokyo with a 'Try Again' button!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Tony Ew: depends on how heavy suit cases of cash are...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Naoki blew it!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

and they have classes.

What kind of classes?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To Ben Yoshida,

"Put simply, I hope Istanbul, for the term Istanbul is actually Greek, Is tan Poli, and Poli means the city of all. A city that joins the peoples of the east and west. "

Where have you heard this? There is no truth to it what so ever. When Turks took the city from Greeks, it was called Constantinopole. They changed the name to Istanbul about 150 years later, which actually diviated from Islambol. So please don't make things up if all that possible.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

To be fair, people is Myslim countries all share a belief in Allah, there are several Islamic majority countries in which the civilians are killing each other, and some of these societies are stratified by different sects of Islam.

Still has nothing to do with Japan hosting the Olympics though....

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Inose is now in the footsteps of Shintaro Ishihara.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Regardless of whether yet another Tokyo governor puts his foot in his mouth, Tokyo already had its day in the sun with the Olympics. Yes, it was in 1964, but there are are plenty of other cities in the world that would be just as capable. Honestly, I think there should be a rule limiting it to one Olympic Games per city per century. I was so disappointed that Fukuoka didn't get to be the official representative for Japan for the selection process for the 2012 Summer Games.

Since there hasn't been an Olympic Games anywhere in the Middle-East ever, it might be a good time to stifle this underlying current of racism that seems to plague the IOC in all of its decision making.

Spread the love. Let Istanbul host the Games. If nothing else, it's an opportunity for the world to demonstrate the original and wholly worthwhile intent of the Games in a city and culture where so many others cynically expect the worst.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What kind of classes?

Flower arrangement and Tea ceremony classes. You can also take classes in how to wear a Kimono and a few other things.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan already has the Russians, Chinese & Koreans to worry about. Let's just hope that Japan won't be another target for Islamic extremists.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I was so disappointed that Fukuoka didn't get to be the official representative for Japan for the selection process for the 2012 Summer Games.

I was dancing in the streets and hugging strangers. It would have been a complete nightmare, judging by what went on during the football world cup.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thus ends Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympics. What a relief. That will be the greatest achievement of Inose's reign as Tokyo's governor. There is nothing else on his plate anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Chirac ( another clown who opened his mouth before engaging his brain ) landed himself in trouble for his unflattering remarks about English cuisine when London and Paris were battling it out for the 2012 games. This is a little more insulting than that. Nice to see the Governor of Japan's most diverse population has diplomatic skills that contribute to the view of Japan as a country which respects, tolerates and welcomes people of all colours and creeds.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If he had correctly stated that a country run by an islamist party which is gradually dismantling the Turkish secular kemalist state and seeking to introduce primitive Shariah law is not something that the world should support. Now that would have been a bulls eye. Instead of that, we get this nonsensical phrase.

This is also another very nice example of orientalism... Turkey is a country which will never become like Iran or alike, it has well-founded democracy, in which any thought or political view can be elected government even if they are mildly Islamic. Furthermore "Shariah" is never talked about in Turkey for which I wonder how you can make so biased comments. I really wonder why people act like they know everything, while they can't grasp some simple facts about a country they talk about...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

And THIS is the guy they picked for it all.

Actually no, he is number two, the number one guy is even worse!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@dilbert14, Constantinople was named for the Roman Emperor Constantine and is Latin, not Greek. The Greek word for city is Delphia. Polis is a Latin word. I do not understand why so many people are against Japan hosting the Olympics. I think it would be a major mistake having them in Turkey unless they can get those countries under control. At least in Japan you do not have the threat of terrorists reaping havoc on the games.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Inose comment's have nothing to do with the games---- He is in New York Representing Japan In it's Attempt To Host The Games. This basically means he is representational of the Japanese mind as far as foreign media is concerned.

It's a catch 22, if Inose apologizes then he confirms with what the media is saying, Tokyo broke a rule in the IOC rule book and Japan likely loses it's bid.

If doesn't apologize, while not getting reprimanded by the IOC, the committee has to consider the ramifications of selecting Tokyo. If they were to select Tokyo, it would be an endorsement of the IOC saying that Islamic countries are dangerous and that Inose's comments are valid.

Then comes the long term effect. Whether or not Inose apologizes, he is likely not going to resign as Governor of Tokyo. As long as he is a representation of Tokyo, the crown Jewel of Japan, the city will have a hard time to secure international sporting events after these comments. The knock on effect is that this can be used against other cities.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes.”

The translation seems to be fairly accurate. Vernacular news sites report Inose as having said 「イスラム諸国が共有しているのはアラー(神)だけで、お互いにけんかばかりしている。そして、階級がある」(Isuramu shokoku ga kyuyu shite iru no wa araa (kami) dake de, otagai ni kenka bakari shite iru. Soshite kaikyu ga aru.)

I would just change "and they are fighting with each other" to "and all they do is squabble with one another," since bakari seems to have been left out.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

At least in Japan you do not have the threat of terrorists reaping havoc on the games.

I think Turkey would be a much safer place considering the police force's attentiveness to any potential threat. I wonder if all you can imagine is a third-world country as Hollywood portrayed (e.g. recent James Bond - Skyfall movie). If so please try to learn about Turkey a bit before sounding your prejudices.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yet he is the leader of the host city attempting to win the games. He shot himself in the foot, and to take responsibility should resign as Gov of Tokyo.

In a manner of speaking I am kind of glad that this happened, and here is why; Inose is Ishihara Shintaro's clone, he's stepped no only on his pecker, but Ishihara's too because it was Ishihara's push that led to Tokyo attempting with their bid after losing out the last time.

Ishihara has to be seething, not at what Inose said, because from the past Ishihara is very xenophobic and seems to hate all foreigners that come to Tokyo and Japan and probably agrees with Inose, but because he said what he probably thinks is the obvious publicly.

Now he is either forced (hopefully) to cut ties with Inose, do nothing and say nothing, and be seen as in the same boat. Or lie through his teeth and try to explain away the "misunderstanding", only if the media asks. But odds are they won't even ask, nor make a big deal about it because they dont want the wrath of Ishihara on them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A couple of possibly politically incorrect points here: First, Tokyo has by far the best plan and infrastructure. I bet they will still win. Second, while insensitive he is spot-on, both in terms of infrastructure and fundamental tolerance. That said, he should have kept his mouth shut. This appears to be nearly impossible for Japanese politicians who seem to believe that Japanese is some type of in breakable code...

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Such a shame that these comments were made. It would have been fantastic to see the Games in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

LOL -- talk about being politically incorrect!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

TheDevilsAssistant:

" What kind of classes? "

Under Shariah law, people are not equal. Muslims get preferrential treatment over non-muslims, and men over women. That is reflected in all aspects of Shariah. And if Erdogan´s party is left in power for enough years, it will succeed in gradually replacing Turkey`s current secular Kemalist legal system with the medieval Shariah law and its class system.

However, I doubt that is what Inose was thinking about, if he was thinking at all. I do not give him enough credit to have informed himself about the topic before mouthing off.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

WilliB, Thanks for the explanation. I was thinking 'inside the box' and thought "Classes" were referring to educational/learning classes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Kent: where have you studied Latin? The word for "city" in Latin is urbis, not "polis" which is correctly from Greek.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Under Shariah law, people are not equal. Muslims get preferrential treatment over non-muslims, and men over women. That is reflected in all aspects of Shariah.

Yes because religion causes that, right? Let's see....

Under Japanese law, people are not equal. Japanese get preferrential treatment over non-Japanese, and men over women. That is reflected in all aspects of Japanese society.

Add in the Japanese "caste" system with the Burakumin at the bottom and I don't think Japan really should be talking about tolerance and mouthing off about others. Shall we even mention the lack of racism/discrimination laws to minorities here? Nah. Let's make it about religion, right? Easier that way.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Shariah Law is not for non Muslims.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

“We have the utmost respect for all candidate cities and have always taken pride in bidding in a sprit based on the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship.”

Umm, except obviously you don't. Yet another reason why Japan does not deserve the games.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In Malaysia, for example, a "moderate" Islamic society, all ethnic Malays are born Muslim under the law, and are thus granted constitutional privileges, which grant them, among other things, access to good jobs in gov't.

If they convert, however, they automatically lose these privileges. So Inose, being from Asia, maybe had this state-sponsored discrimination in mind when he mentioned "classes."

1 ( +3 / -2 )

At least you'll find the good folks in Istanbul know how to speak English. Think about THAT Mr Inose!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Insular Japanese is very insular.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Seems like the quote is real - in that it is being "quoted" in the Japanese media.

"Isuramukyou kuni ga kyouyuu suru no wa araa (kami) dake de, tagaini kenka shite ori, kaikyuu ga aru"

But today, Inose is (of course) saying that the quotes are taken out of context and that the "true meaning" (shin'i) was not understood correctly by those translating his words.

My take on this is that Tokyo has seen which way the wind is blowing again (first time in the middle east, etc, etc.) and is beginning to look and act desperate. Sadly, this is precisely when Japan's leaders show their true colors, with their absolute inability to keep their mouth shut.

Still, honesty is the best policy, and the world is better off knowing just how condescendingly Japanese leaders view the rest of the world that is usually hidden behind the shimmering, tatamae veneer of internationalization.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Mr Naoki Inose;your speech show what kind of man you are.I wish IOC choose your country and you cannot say any bad thing about my country and religion.what you said has broken our hearths

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Dilbert14

Etymologically, the name İstanbul (Turkish pronunciation: [isˈtanbuɫ], colloquially [ɯsˈtambuɫ]) derives from the Medieval Greek phrase "εἰς τὴν Πόλιν" (pronounced [is tin ˈpolin]), which means "to the city". - Wiki

Islambol (lots of Islam) or Islambul (find Islam) were folk-etymological adaptations of Istanbul created after the Ottoman conquest of 1453 to express the city's new role as the capital of the Islamic Ottoman Empire. - Wiki

If the information above does not clarify, please contact Wiki and change it.

If Istanbul is chosen, then it will be the first Islamic city to host the olympics. .. hmm, historically, 1940 was supposed to be the Tokyo olympic games..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If Istanbul is chosen, then it will be the first Islamic city to host the olympics

And isn't Qatar going to be the first Muslim country to host the football world cup. I would hope that being an islamic country or not would have absolutely no bearing on the decision.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It might have been a stupid comment to make given the situation, but what he said is true. I'm sure many of you would agree.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Altruist777 - true or not, the idiot is bound by the laws of the Olympic committee. He broke a rule and now HE looks the idiot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It might have been a stupid comment to make given the situation, but what he said is true. I'm sure many of you would agree.

Actually I DON'T.

And here is why:

Islamic countries, the only thing they share in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes.

The only common thing is not Allah. We believe in the same prophet, same Quran and every thing depicted in it. You can write many more similarities between Sunni and Shia, which are the major denominations of Islam, not only "Allah". Although on the news nothing but conflict seems to be happening in Islam world, to see what kind of unity there is, all you need to do is to take a look at people visiting Makkah which is the holy city of Muslims. Over there Muslim people from many countries of all colors and nationalities pray together shoulder to shoulder. I think there is no better answer than this. There is always more to meet the eyes than the bad things shown on news.

Are we really fighting with each other? Currently when I think about the fights in Islamic countries what I see is fights generally evoked by some other countries (which I wouldn't like to name) in the first place. Please name all the political problems and fights associated with Islamic countries and search for the "real" root of it for your own confirmation.

This part is the one I laughed the most. I don't know what the heck is the "Classes" he refer to, but any kind of classes I can think of or mentioned in the previous posts don't originate from Islam itself. As people and governments are free to do what they do even if they are bound by the religious laws, I can say for sure that any discrimination towards humans is prohibited by the Prophet and Quran (please refer to the Prophet Mohammed's last sermon).

And lastly anything he describes in his speech is not existent in Turkey, which is not ruled by the Islamic laws and has no class or alike, and in my opinion an equally free and democratic country as Japan.

Thanks to anyone who patiently read my comment to the end ^^

0 ( +3 / -3 )

AwayFromChaos-

Thanks very much for your post. I doubt that the people making the comments which are anti islam in tone have ever spent much time in a country with a majority muslim population, if they had they wouldn't be saying such things.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

He is a very learned man, a journalist and historian by qualifications, so he's aware of what he is saying. He is expressing the sentiment of many Japanese who have hard time getting rid of their superiority complex

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I would hope that being an islamic country or not would have absolutely no bearing on the decision.

What if fans want to drink beer? What if a male fan takes a fancy to a local woman? What if gay people attend? What if a couple shows affection in public. All those things are prohibited by Islam, and Westerners have been arrested in the past in a number of "progressive" Muslim countries like Dubai for engaging in such activities we consider normal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JeffLee.

Visit turkey, it is a great destination and on both the European and Asian continents. Lots of history and many cultures.

You will be surprised, it isn't like Afghanistan, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

good post JeffLee

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@It's me

The comment was in reference to Qatar and the World Cup. Turkey is secular, which means the gov't has struggled to contain Islam. The less Islam and other religions play in a state's affairs, the better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JeffLee.

What is the connection the Istanbul bid and Qatar and the world cup?

Apart from that I agree that the government should not be influenced by religion.

Ex: 'In God we trust', etc was only added to the US Currency in 1962, the founders are rolling out in their graves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And sorry looks like I quoted you instead of another poster.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Criticizing rrival bids are forbidden under IOC rules.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

New York Times in Japan has people who are fluent in Japanese and English. These people hear in Japanese and dictate in English for Word Processors such as WorPro, Word 7 etc. No translation error. They hear in English and they can say in Japanese. No translators needed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@lost you are correct in that it polis is a Greek word, however Polis is the word for city state. delphia has several meanings and one of then is large city. I am used to no one liking my posts but you offered constructive criticism, thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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