sports

Tokyo governor apologizes to Muslim world for gaffe

127 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2013 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

127 Comments
Login to comment

"Unlike many other developed countries, largely mono-ethnic Japan does not have a significant Muslim population, and there is little emphasis in the educational curriculum on cultural sensitivity. "

LOL

39 ( +41 / -4 )

“So now I clearly apologize. If there are remarks that can be misunderstood, it is the inadequacy of my expression. I said people are fighting in some Islamic countries, but I think it was inappropriate. I want to correct it.”

Not good enough! Your ignorance is a reflection on the country! Time to resign.

The story made it seem as if Tokyo was criticizing the other bid cities, but my intention was not stated correctly,” the author-turned politician said on his official Facebook page.

You still don't get it do you! Damn fool. It isnt the bid city that's the problem, your (ignorant) comments were about Islam and Muslims in general and while I doubt the Japanese media will pick up on the nuance, it still shows your lack of education (again a reflection of the country in general) understanding and acceptance of beliefs and cultures other than Japan.

Japan doesn't deserve the bid!

17 ( +27 / -11 )

While what he said is basically true, telling the truth in politics is often damaging for oneself. He should know that. He seems still a little bit green behind the ears.

19 ( +33 / -11 )

It crystal clear - Abe about to touch down in Saudi Arabia to talk oil business, Japanese French consortium on the verge of securing a contract to build a Turkish nuclear power plant, potential lucrative Olympic infrastructure contracts for J construction giants in jeopardy if Tokyo looses = Inose has no choice but to apologize. Money talks. No misunderstanding. How "extremely regrettable" that the media did not understand his "intention".

7 ( +8 / -1 )

He spoke the truth and now has to deal w/the down stream political fallout...every one on the planet has to treat Islam like some kind of 'special' religion which it is not!

4 ( +25 / -20 )

LOL

@bgaudry

That was a perfect way to describe this unintentionally humorous editorial twist by the AFP at the end of the article.

I guess the reader is to construe the commentary to mean that Inose wouldn't have made the awkward remark if there had been more "emphasis in the educational curriculum on cultural sensitivity."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Unlike many other developed countries, largely mono-ethnic Japan does not have a significant Muslim population, and there is little emphasis in the educational curriculum on cultural sensitivity.

Japan does not allow Muslims to hold visas. That is why there is no education because they keep Muslims out of Japan. Those few that are allowed visas have either lied to obtain it or are in essential services.

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

And what is going on between Japan, China, North and South Korea? These Japanese politicians are complete idiots! Truly!

Moderator: Please do not post rubbish like this. Of course, Muslims can obtain visa for Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

LOL. Not a real apology. He blames the NYT for allegedly not getting the context right.

"It was extremely regrettable that such an article whose context differs from that of the interview was published."

So the NYT should aplogize to him, I guess.

If there are remarks that can be misunderstood...

And it's our fault for "misunderstanding" his comments, eh?

5 ( +10 / -5 )

bgaudry:

" Unlike many other developed countries, largely mono-ethnic Japan does not have a significant Muslim population "

And Japan should count its blessing that it is spared this cultural enrichment.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

“The story made it seem as if Tokyo was criticizing the other bid cities, but my intention was not stated correctly,” the author-turned politician said on his official Facebook page.

It must be a sincere apology, he did it via his Facebook page.

“I had no intention of criticizing the other candidate cities at all,” Inose said. “It was extremely regrettable that such an article whose context differs from that of the interview was published.”

No. What you said was pretty much what was written.

If the context is wrong, I wonder if he's going to explain what context he meant it to be in?

I hope the damage has already been done and Tokyo won't get the games. The only people who want it here, only exist on polls done by the JOC.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If this were a polititian in any other country, the next news we'd hear about was his resignation, but no, not here it's just apologies and 'most regeretable' and back to business as usual. Japan's bid should be disqualified.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

His original remarks sounded more like sour grapes than a concerted attempt to weaken the Istanbul bid in the eyes of the IOC. Tokyo knew its bid chances were slim (again) and he must have come out of those New York meetings with that impression confirmed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Unlike many other developed countries, largely mono-ethnic Japan does not have a significant Muslim population, and there is little emphasis in the educational curriculum on cultural sensitivity. "

It isn't just about Islam either! The list of "cultural IN sensitivity" is long and it's just one more strike against Tokyo and it's bid!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The representatives really must not want the games in Tokyo, because no one will consider Tokyo when these ignorant and insensitive remarks continue to be thrown out. The values and spirit of the games are antithetical to what Tokyo is currently displaying.

These politicians should really take a 101 in manners and cultural understanding.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

a true buffon..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

oh god, i hope this will not make japan a target for terrorist now. Really bad choice of words.. I have lots of japanese friends and they are very respectful to muslim needs and go all the trouble to make sure that during parties seafood are served instead of non halal meat or pork, so everybody can enjoy regardless of religion.

0 ( +3 / -4 )

Oh well, maybe 2024...

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Unlike many other developed countries, largely mono-ethnic Japan does not have a significant Muslim population, and there is little emphasis in the educational curriculum on cultural sensitivity.

And it was a long time ago since he went to school as well. Joking aside he made a mistake and was made to realize it. He has now apologized, so time to move on. And to be fair it is up to Istanbul whether or not they want to accept his apology, not for us to judge.

oh god, i hope this will not make japan a target for terrorist now.

That's a slight leap of the imagination isn't it?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"He is expected to hold a summit with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara Friday, amid speculation that a Japanese-French consortium is on the verge of signing a multi-billion dollar deal to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant."

Absolutely classic! The usual, "What I said was misinterpreted!" followed by the tail between legs apology the next day, but STILL using the passive voice and suggesting something was misinterpreted! And the guy says this clearly towards the Istanbul bid just before going to hold a summit with Turkey about a multi-billion dollar deal?? :)

You really do gotta love a guy like this who things he can get away with so arrogantly calling other nations arrogant.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

and go all the trouble to make sure that during parties seafood are served instead of non halal meat or pork, so everybody can enjoy regardless of religion.

I hate seafood, so this would count me out. Can't they just prepare both?

Back on topic, it will be interesting to see if this comment will cause Tokyo the Olympics.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

therougou: "Back on topic, it will be interesting to see if this comment will cause Tokyo the Olympics."

Well, I doubt it'll work in Tokyo's favor, even if they are favored, but if and when they lose the bid to Istanbul any reference to this moron's statement will be the usual, "The foreign media misinterpreted my remarks! When I said, "All Islamic nations have in common is Allah and fighting", I meant, "All they have in common is Allah and fighting". There is a difference! And only Japanese can understand!".

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Compared to some of the gems Ishihara gave us, this doesn't even make honorable mention.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

He has now apologized, so time to move on.

So "just" apologizing is enough? Wow if that's the case, nope better not go there.........

When you get to the position in politics he is in, he is the leader of a city that is larger than many countries, he HAS to know better, and yet you'll give him a free pass because he apologizes?

Imagine if the same thing was said let's say in Iran? or Afghanistan? Can you imagine the "response"? Because he is insulated in Japan and he is JAPANESE he comes across as an insensitive and ignorant (blank), and the deeper problem is that there are plenty of Japanese (and Inose himself) who REALLY don't understand what the problem is.

And THAT's the problem.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

They don't even have Allah properly in common. It's the different interpretations of Islam that have their fundamentalists leaving bombs all over the place. Meanwhile, the rest of the world has to bend over backwards to try and understand the religion of peace, and make allowances for its mass brainwashings. There is every chance that Islamic fundamentalists will target an Istanbul Olympics. They just went after the Boston Marathon after all. Mind you, I say this as an anonymous poster on a Japanese website, I don't infer this as head of the Olympic Bid Committee, from a country still covered in radiation, representing a city that could disappear in an earthquake sometime soon, in contravention of the rules of engagement. Madrid anyone? Could be the bust Olympics ever.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Well, there you go, Mr Inose.

Seen one gaijin, you've seen them all.

They're all the same, aren’t they?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apparently ignorance is not bliss. What a dufus.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So he's sorry that "we" misunderstood his comments? How else am I suppose to understand "Islamic countries, the only thing they have in common is Allah and they are fighting with each other, and they have classes”???!!

This is the worst case of damage control ever. YOU CAN'T backpeddle on such a quote when clearly there is no other way to understand him comment. Obviously crap hit the fan and he was demanded to make an apology. "Misunderstanding" is the only thing they could think of. Pathetic.

I think the misunderstanding here is that some old gits in Japan really don't get that the rest of the world isn't as racist as Japan is. They don't get that making such comments is NOT okay and that things like this don't go way with a "It's regretable" comment like they do in Japan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If this were a polititian in any other country, the next news we'd hear about was his resignation, but no, not here it's just apologies and 'most regeretable' and back to business as usual. Japan's bid should be disqualified.

Inose is not a politician or a representative of the Japanese government, he is the governor of Tokyo and, the bid for the games is from Tokyo, not from the government of Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Inose is not a politician or a representative of the Japanese government, he is the governor of Tokyo

If being the Gov of Tokyo doesn't make him a politician I REALLY want to know what your definition of a politik is?

and, the bid for the games is from Tokyo, not from the government of Japan.

Quite so, which makes it even worse. I am surprised you dont get it AND surprised you dont consider him a politician either.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

So "just" apologizing is enough?

In this case yes. What else do you suggest him to do? And don't extrapolate the comment he made to the entire Japanese population. Some people might get the impression that you are displaying the same sort of insensitivity and making the same sort of generalizations that you are accusing him of. Can we expect an apology from you for suggesting that they (whoever they are) of not knowing what the problem is and that he is representative of many in Japan who don't think before they talk? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Don't worry we'll be quick to forgive you for your little faux-pas, after all you're not the governor of Tokyo.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

old gits in Japan really don't get that the rest of the world isn't as racist as Japan is.

That is a really low thing to say. There is enough racism in the whole world if we want to start pointing fingers. I think some people here in their need to condemn this man have crossed the same line that they are accusing him of crossing. Yes what he said was clearly a wrong thing to say but that doesn't mean that every single person in Japan shares his views. Please don't point to all Japanese people as all having the exact same mindset towards non Japanese it isn't fair. And like I said before it isn't for us to forgive him or not but for those he made the comments about.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

paulJ.

" That is a really low thing to say. There is enough racism in the whole world if we want to start pointing fingers "

And where, pray tell, do you see "racism" in his remarks? Thoughtless, politically incorrect, diplomatically unwise, I can think of all sorts of description. But do we really have to bandy the much-overused "racism" label around all the time?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@333333 'Western'? Mr Inose seems to have a similarly wide brush when talking about the Islamic world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

WilliB

I think you have to go back and read what I was responding to

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

PaulJ: "He has now apologized, so time to move on."

No, not at all, and especially given that it's not a sincere apology after the fact the he DENIED what he said in the first place, and still claims he was misinterpreted. But, if you're so insistent on moving on, let's do so, first by asking Tokyo to bow out of the race for the Olympics given the obvious racism. Then we can move on in choosing a nation that does not engage in such tactics.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

What he said in Japanese was apparently,

「イスラム諸国で人々が共有しているのは唯一、アラーだけで、互いにけんかばかりしていて、階級もある」

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

The translation is accurate enough. How he can claim he was misinterpreted is beyond me...

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The idiot forgot he wasn't talking to one of the sheep from the Japanese press club.

Now his true character, or lack of, comes out by denying what he said. Thats not a man, and hopefully this will put an end to the Tokyo bid. The Japanese overlords didn't deserve them before and they certainly don't now.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

first by asking Tokyo to bow out of the race for the Olympics given the obvious racism.

Are you serious? They've given the Olympics to countries with far worse problems than Japan. What this guy said was a minor blip, hardly something for all of us to get righteously indignant about. It showed him to be culturally insensitive and lacking in understanding but since when is that a qualification for holding the Olympic games. It must be a high place you are looking down on him from.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

And why are so many of you hoping that Tokyo doesn't host the Olympic games? What pleasure is there to get out of other people's failure? I don't get it

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

In this case yes. What else do you suggest him to do? And don't extrapolate the comment he made to the entire Japanese population.

Withdraw Tokyo's name from consideration. Resign his position. But since he is the elected leader of Tokyo and a politician to boot, it's very easy to take his comments as a sample of what Japan is like as a whole. Particularly Tokyo's elected leaders, who often times seem to stick their foot in it and suffer no consequences for what they said.

And don't extrapolate the comment he made to the entire Japanese population.

I will do as I choose, and I know plenty of people who think nothing of what he said. Oh and so far on tonights "wide-show news there has been ZERO mention of it. Keeping the Japanese in the dark makes it even worse on so many levels.

Some people might get the impression that you are displaying the same sort of insensitivity and making the same sort of generalizations that you are accusing him

I ain't a politician and whatever I say can be taken with a grain of salt. So dont EVEN try to go there. (See I can tell you what to do to! lol!)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@hoserfella Don't blame it on the Japanese ciitizens. It's not their fault that Tokyo has a dummie governor.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@yubaru

OK apologies if the way I expressed myself seemed abrupt, sometimes the tone of what we are saying gets lost in writing. However, I do think that a few of you are over reacting to what happened here. What he said was wrong but it is hardly something he should have to fall on his sword for. I am in no way condoning what he said but I hardly think that it is unforgivable. Whether he resigns his position or not is for the people of Tokyo to decide.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Just shows how racism goes on here, any other country he would be out of a job.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

CGB Spender - I wasn't blaming the citizens in general, but those in Tokyo certainly deserve blame for the clowns they vote for.

PaulJ - about 2 thirds of Tokyoites are either against or ambivalent towards the Olympics. As usual its being imposed on them by the ruling elite and their partners in construction. Whats worse, they are being lower than low in invoking Tohoku sympathy.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

As usual its being imposed on them by the ruling elite and their partners in construction.

I agree with you, but it is for them to decide to throw these elites out, they do have the power to do it.

Just shows how racism goes on here, any other country he would be out of a job

Do you really believe that?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This story did appear on the Japanese news show I watched last night. It reported this as a potentially damaging blow to the bid, citing Chirac's comment about English cuisine as an example of making disparaging comments about rival bids. I suppose for some in Japan insulting cuisine could be seen as more offensive than Inose's breathtakingly idiotic statement.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

PaulJ: "What pleasure is there to get out of other people's failure?"

Ask Inose about that -- he seems to think his perceived failures of an entire culture should result in Tokyo's pleasure.

"Do you really believe that?"

It's pretty clearly fact. The only thing that makes it worse is when you point out the fact and people like Inose say, "It was misinterpreted (despite being translated verbatim)" or, when they realize they've messed up, "I was not understood, but heck.... I'll apologize" as though taking the high road when it's his or her own fault, resorting to the passive tense, etc. The guy messed up -- he is a prime example of why Japan is not ready for and does not deserve the Olympics. I mean, berating 1/4 of the world's population in order to try and curry favor to get the greatest of the world's games?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Does Tokyo have a monopoly on Jack-ass Governors?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He shouldnt have apologised, there is nothing false or wrong about what he said.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@techall I'm not sure about the rest of Japan but the London Mayor once mentioned 'Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing'. Some are even tipping this clown as a future Prime Minister of my country of birth. Japan is not alone in its share of idiot politicians.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

belligerent and overly hierarchical? That will be the Japanese then.......something must have been lost in translation!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why do you have to apologize for something that is true. There has been wars and tribal battles going on for thousands of years now. The US has left Iraq and it is still going on. We just got in the middle of their own war. No apology necessary.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Gaffe = Politically inconvenient truth released into the wild for public consumption

5 ( +5 / -0 )

he is a prime example of why Japan is not ready for and does not deserve the Olympics.

Smith- they gave the Olympics to Nazi Germany and a couple of other places with rather questionable politics. I think it is a bit much to say that Tokyo doesn't deserve the Olympics because the governor made an idiotic remark, the sort of remarks that is made by some politician in western countries just about every other day.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

However, I do think that a few of you are over reacting to what happened here. What he said was wrong but it is hardly something he should have to fall on his sword for. I am in no way condoning what he said but I hardly think that it is unforgivable. Whether he resigns his position or not is for the people of Tokyo to decide.

See part of it is that if it were someone like an entertainer who made comments like he did, they would disappear from the public eye for 6 months to a year, and come back all contrite and lighter in the wallet because of lack of work.

Politicians resign for making idiotic comments, and the bigger problem is the people in Tokyo probably don't care. I heard about this on the radio tonight driving home, but there was nothing on the news on TV.

Which means that it isn't news to the networks, or they paid someone off not to have it reported, which is an even bigger problem here.

Does Tokyo have a monopoly on Jack-ass Governors?

No, remember who used to be the one in Osaka?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

PaulJ:

What this guy said was a minor blip...

No, it unfortunately was not.

As a politician, a governor of one of the biggest cities in the world, he should have known (much) better. His city wants to arrange the olympic games, an event allegedly bringing people together, across religions, creeds and races, yet what he says (no matter how true or how he actually feels about this issue) sounds incredibly ignorant for a man in his position. Add to this the other clown, Mizuno, who directly after the Boston bombings spat out something about Tokyo being much safer than Boston and the Japanese olympic hopefuls already sound like they lack fundamental understanding of international relations. It also is pretty tactless. Hopefully this will be noted by the IOC and they will take this into consideration when deciding who gets the Games 2020.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Let the comment stand and have the Islamic world prove him wrong!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

gogogo

Just shows how racism goes on here, any other country he would be out of a job.

I don't think so at all. What would happen, though is that the functioning media would question this joker about what he said and would probably keep pushing him harder than here. Here, they just bow and say thank you, kind Governor, itsumo osewa ni natte orimasu.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

PaulJ: "Smith- they gave the Olympics to Nazi Germany and a couple of other places"

And when was that, pres tel?

"I think it is a bit much to say that Tokyo doesn't deserve the Olympics because the governor made an idiotic remark, the sort of remarks that is made by some politician in western countries just about every other day."

What Western countries make this comment every other day, as you say, when vying for the Olympics? It's not that it's just ONE idiotic remark, it's that it's the prevailing attitude. Whose footsteps is this guy following in? none other than Ishihara -- one of the biggest bigoted politicians in Japan, who also claims Japan is ready for the world games while asking even Japanese interviewers if they're 'gaijin' when they don't immediately support him. When you are willing to insult a quarter of the world's population to insist you are ready for international games, wouldn't you call that a bit of a paradox?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

gogogo

Just shows how racism goes on here, any other country he would be out of a job.

I don't think so at all. What would happen, though is that the functioning media would question this joker about what he said and would probably keep pushing him harder than here. Here, they just bow and say thank you, kind Governor, itsumo osewa ni natte orimasu

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There is absolutely no anti muslim sentiment in the west and no politician or person in the public eye ever makes any prejudice comments about islam. This happens all the time. What world are you people living in? I think that what this guy said was wrong but some of you are telling him his house is dirty and failing to see the mess around you.

Please tell me that there is no institutional discrimination against muslims in western Europe, America, Australia etc. This is the point I am trying to make. Some of the posters here are acting as if Japan is the only place in the world with discrimination. It must be lonely looking down on everyone from a morally superior position.

I think that is all I have to say now, I mustn't be getting my point across very well.

And yes this was a very minor blip compared to some of the truly horrible things that are said about Islam again and again in the western media and often by western politicians.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Not a very smart thing for him to say, even if he privately thinks it. Japan wanting contracts and to win bids, has to be PC to avoid any self-sabotage or seeming ignorant. I really don't think all Japanese think this way, in fact as an Asian nation I've found them arguably more sympathetic to the state Islamic countries are in than a lot of Westerners, having relatively recently climbed out of a misguided theocracy themselves. Of course, not all these countries are in such an extreme state, but please look into the situation faced by minorities in many Islamic countries to see what I mean.

I do think this comes from Japan's insulation from the outside world. This reminds me a bit of the former governor of Tokyo messing up relations with China over threatening to buy the Senkaku Islands. It really doesn't make sense allowing such people to speak on the world stage, they seem to be pretty much ignorant of the outside world and have no idea the affect their words can have.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is absolutely no anti muslim sentiment in the west and no politician or person in the public eye ever makes any prejudice comments about islam. This happens all the time. What world are you people living in? I think that what this guy said was wrong but some of you are telling him his house is dirty and failing to see the mess around you.

You know what, you water-down your argument by making comparisons here. It doesn't matter one tiny little bit what "other" countries do or don't do. This is about HERE and now, in Japan.

Two or three or a million wrongs don't make what he did right.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

he made the worst mistake of his life.... Japan might be flooded with terrorists anytime soon. tsk3x

bang bang bang!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

When will Japanese politics be ridden of these stupid gaffe prone fools! And you all thought Ishihara was bad. Good lord!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Unlike many other developed countries, largely mono-ethnic Japan does not have a significant Muslim population, and there is little emphasis in the educational curriculum on cultural sensitivity.

All too true and one of Japan's biggest weaknesses. Very difficult to be a leader in a global world when you still view it as Japan and everyone else. Insularity and arrogance are not great traits to have in the 21st century.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Gonna get himself a fatwa on his @ss talking like that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oops and sorry.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This "slip" of comments basically reflects the mentality of this politicians and his like-minded compatriots (Abe et al) - superiority feeling. True statesmen lead by humility, not superiority.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The problem with the J-elite or politicians is that they talk to the gaijin world like they talk to their own blind populace. It does not work like that if you want to play on the international scene. It needs a bit more openness to different cultures. But I admit the chances to train in Japan are close to zero.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Open mouth, insert foot.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree, let the na Sayers prove him wrong.. Sometimes the truth seams hard to understand

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You know what, you water-down your argument by making comparisons here. It doesn't matter one tiny little bit what "other" countries do or don't do. This is about HERE and now, in Japan.

Yes it does when people are using this incident to rather disingenuously state that all Japanese are racist. That is also what I am disagreeing with here.

I don't think that we disagree with each other about the content of what he said being wrong but rather the gravity of what he said relative to his position as Tokyo governor. I can see your point but I just think that a few of you are blowing this out of proportion. Then again it could be I am wrong, there certainly seems to be a fair number of you who think so. Fair play

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What Western countries make this comment every other day

That was meant to be taken absolutely literally, it was an expression. Fair enough I see your point but like I have just addressed to another poster I just can't agree that prejudice against muslims is a phenomena isolated to Japan and it is only Japanese politicians who make these kind of remarks without being held accountable. But like I said I might be completely wrong in this line of reasoning. At any rate I think we both have a different point of view here and that is no bad thing. Thanks for discussion it has really made me think about things anyway. Good night

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I think the the leaders of the rest of the world don't care too much about what Japanese politicians say anyways. I think they are used to J-politicians saying stupid things. So long as Japan brings the money, no body will care.

Their people however, a much different thing. You wouldn't want some extremists paying attention to a crowded Tokyo. If you see an influx of muslim students after this comment into Japan, I would pay a little more attention to that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

oh god, i hope this will not make japan a target for terrorist now.

Well he has rather stupidly made himself a target of derision globally, but lets hope there isn't a fat "わ” issued against him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Inose should resign immediately from the Olympic Committee and allow a real leader to lead Tokyo 2020.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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

Firstly they have much more in common with each other than a common religion - totally ignorant of him to state this. Secondly, fighting is not just with each other, but with lots of other countries and cultures. And plenty of other countries have classes, even those that pretend they do not (like Japan).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

PaulJ

Smith- they gave the Olympics to Nazi Germany and a couple of other places with rather questionable politics.

And mostly notably to China in Beijing. While China isn't know for political gaffes, they are well known for a multitude of other political negativities. No need to mention any of these here. Inose might be a greenhorn in how to articulate himself in international matters but at least he will not force-evict any residents and have their houses demolished to make space for an Olympic stadium.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes it does when people are using this incident to rather disingenuously state that all Japanese are racist. That is also what I am disagreeing with here.

Disingenuously? Let's just say there is more than a kernel of truth behind this. Of course it's not overt, but inside many Japanese are racist to a degree, like it or not.

Much of that, if not all, comes from a lack of education about other people's, countries and cultures. It's little things, the comments, the innuendos that many if not all long term residents here have experienced. We brush the comments off as ignorance, but behind it is a layer of racism.

I don't think that we disagree with each other about the content of what he said being wrong but rather the gravity of what he said relative to his position as Tokyo governor. I can see your point but I just think that a few of you are blowing this out of proportion.

We probably do agree, however I do believe that it truly is a sign of a deeper problem, one that shouldn't be ignored either. Many people in government here have lost their positions for talking out of turn and saying something idiotic and stupid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Tokyo Gov Naoki Inose on Tuesday apologized to the Muslim world after saying Islamic countries have nothing in common but Allah and “fighting with each other.”"

How could be have possibly said such a crazy thing? How inept!

He forgot to mention oppression of civil rights, anti-semitism, beating up people of other religions, and blowing people up all over the world.

He needs to think before he speaks!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

He only said what most people are thinking, lol

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Unlike many other developed countries, largely mono-ethnic Japan does not have a significant Muslim population, and there is little emphasis in the educational curriculum on cultural sensitivity.

What a lame excuse! Don't try to justify this kind of behavior in 2013. Being "mono-ethnic" doesn't give you a free pass to act bigoted.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Gentle reminder: this is Istanbul, which is applying for the Olympics, not the muslims!

I would not say Japan is more racist than the rest of the world, but xenophobe - literally the fear of different culture/religion/... - definitely yes! The lack of exposure is the plain and simple reason for that. And then you get these very stupid comments from politicians!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

May I ask what the governot of Tokyo is doing in New York in the first place? As he was being interviewed I take it this wasnt a private holiday, but I am not seeing the benefit to the Tokyo taxpayer of their governor jollying it up in NYC.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What this xenophobic old buffoon obviously now needs to do is bow down to the floor, break down in (crocodile) tears and plead - "What I said was regrettable - but we are doing this to give hope to the people of Tohoku. Please, think of the kids of Tohoku." Anyway, he is guaranteed re-election - the dopey people of Tokyo always get the leaders they deserve!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"“I had no intention of criticizing the other candidate cities at all,” Inose said. “It was extremely regrettable that such an article whose context differs from that of the interview was published.”

But on Tuesday, a chastened Inose appeared before television cameras to say sorry."

Let's banish the word 'regrettable' from Japanese politician's mouth. Sorry is the right word to use if there is any real feeling of guilt for offending the other party!

Too late, the winner is .... Istanbul!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Wow, people still can't identify the difference between race (ethnicity based on your GENES) and religious beliefs still when it comes to muslims and Islam?

What is a muslim? The simple fact is a muslim is a person that follows the religion (political-religious imho) of Islam. Racism means someone is against people because of their race NOT their religion.

I know that Turkey is trying to join the EU but due to the fact that they're still quite close to troublesome ME countries as well as there are more fundamentalists trying to edge they're way into power to convert Turkey into a more heavily repressive Islamic society. Turkey is one of the best model countries in regards to being a modern Islamic oriented societies. Unfortunately as long as it remains based on running a country but religion as a main base for developing how the government is run its never going to be approved on an international stage for the Olympics.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

First Mizuno tactfully points out that Tokyo is much safer than Boston; then Inose insults, and has to apologize to, the "Muslim World" (quite a lot of 'culturally sensitive' people, I hear) 2 plus 2 = ??? Is this some kind of well thought-out, co-ordinated plan? Time to train up a few more sniffer dogs at Narita?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What he has said is pretty offensive, but surprisingly a level of truth in it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He's right. He apologized, get over it. I certainly don't see tourists scrambling to visit the mideast. For at least the last thirty years there's been nothing over there but turmoil, chaos...take your pick.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Telling truth and later apologize. What he afraid of?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I saw his so-called apology on last night's news. I my kid apologized to me for something like he did I'd tell him he was full of shite.

He wasn't apologizing for what he said, he only apologized because someone told him to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LOL - Oooops!

Inose-san should just take a sound bite from our American Politicians and just say "Uh, I mis-spoke..."

Here Inose, let Saketown go into Damage Control Mode for ya:

Ladies & Gentlemen of Turkey, I mis-spoke. First of all, I had a little bit too much Sake before that press conference. What mis-spoke was the fact that my good classy friends in Turkey who just happen to pray to Allah are just like us in Japan who just happen to pray to Buddha. Secondly, my good friends in Turkey prefer Shiraz - we prefer Sake. Just like Russell Crow, everybody likes to fight once in a while...So, no hard feelings Turkey. Finally, Best of Luck but we hope Japan wins the bid....we hope.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

PaulJ: "I think that what this guy said was wrong but some of you are telling him his house is dirty and failing to see the mess around you."

So if the house is a mess, we are not prepared for guests, are we? By guests, of course, since you can't seem to see the point, is the Olympics. This isn't about racism in general, it's specifically about one of the heads of the Olympic bid committee making racist remarks. Comparing it to Nazi-Germany or even comments made today in the US or otherwise is ludicrous. It's something akin to you complaining that: "Why do you say Tokyo doesn't deserve the Olympics for their bid leader's racist remarks? Do you think GM deserved a bailout?"

Paul, no one here has said or indicated that anti-Muslim sentiment is a thing isolated to Japan at all, and I'm not sure why you have taken on that assumption. What people have said is that it's pretty stupid for a person claiming to want the world in its living room to bash a quarter of its population.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@hoserfella Don't blame it on the Japanese ciitizens. It's not their fault that Tokyo has a dummie governor.

Last time I checked, that was an elected position...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There goes the Arab vote. Tokyo Governors are really good at this type opf offensive statement (although has to be said that the Arab worls had had its challenges over the last couple years).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He had no reason to appologize for that he was being honest and he was right.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

By guests, of course, since you can't seem to see the point, is the Olympics.

Please show a little but more respect than writing in this offensive tone.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Smith

I think if you go back to my original post you will see that I am calling some people out for making the leap from what this particular guy said to Japan is racist, that is what I am objecting to. I have since brought in the other examples to show that perhaps Japan is likely no more racist than other places, at least in respect to muslims (although here I really don't thin that racism is the right word). You can't seem to get my point though can you?

It is offensive and just plain wrong to make those sort of statements. Yes Japan has problems with discrimination but it is hardly unique in that.

Just shows how racism goes on here, any other country he would be out of a job.

some old gits in Japan really don't get that the rest of the world isn't as racist as Japan is.

That sort of thing.

And furthermore, I really don't think what he said is an offence he should have to resign for, unless of course he continues to make these offensive remarks. We can allow him one gaffe can't we? Obviously some people here have never said the wrong thing or done something which requires an apology, but I somehow doubt that.

That's my last word on this because it is obvious that we can't find any middle ground on this particular matter. Have a good day and see you on the next one.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yubaru, you are spot on, in japan the ignorance about the other cultures is common and it goes on from the layman to the top politicians. laughing or giving a strange expression about the other culture events is so often and it can be seen on the TV shows. it is very easy to criticize other culture/history, but the people do not do such things, because it is against the social norm. The rest of the world truly respect the Japanese culture and the Japanese people and politicians should do the same.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He should have just apologized sincerely in the first place! I didn't like him from beginning... I don't know why people in Tokyo voted for him!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Yubaru

"it's very easy to take his comments as a sample of what Japan is like as a whole."

"Oh and so far on tonights wide-show news there has been ZERO mention of it. Keeping the Japanese in the dark makes it even worse on so many levels. "

There are many news about this on TV, newspaper, and on the Internet. Some tell just fact of what is happening, some accuse him. Just because you didn't happened to see it, don't generalize like that. If you would have tried, you could find lots of news on this on the Internet and see people's reaction (if you understand Japanese)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Ali Khan

"The rest of the world truly respect the Japanese culture and the Japanese people and politicians should do the same."

hmmm... I'm not so sure about this. I've seen many times Japanese culture being laughed at, or in many cases people don't even know what "Japanese culture" is. Ignorance is everywhere in the world. I agree what he said was inappropriate though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gas07lisa I am sorry but you are doing the same thing here, here in japan the establishment, the media and the politicians are involved in such cases, which effects the thinking of the layman in japan.

if you say china vs Japan, Korea vs Japan, Russia vs Japan, so here is a long history and political disputes which is a different issue. but the rest of the world have no such problems with japan.

what i said that the majority of the countries or the nations admire the Japanese culture, which means respecting the Japanese culture.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The games have started, and Japan is off to a bad start: Istanbul 0 vs Tokyo -1.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BigdaddyJ | I certainly don't see tourists scrambling to visit the mideast. For at least the last thirty years there's been nothing over there but turmoil, chaos...take your pick. ...

About tourism in Turkey and some other figures.

Turkey is the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world and the 4th most popular in Europe. In 2011 there were more than 31 million visitors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Turkey). Turkey is 6th in the world for number of US$ billionares (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_the_number_of_US_dollar_billionaires). They economy is growing consistently (http://www.tradingeconomics.com/turkey/gdp-growth-annual), doing far better than Europe as a whole. The machinery industry in Turkey has been growing at a rate of nearly 20 percent per year since 1990 (http://www.turkeymachinery.com/turkish.htm).

The world is changing. Turkey is to the Middle East as Brazil is to South America. That's why they are aiming for the Olympics now. I am happy if Tokyo gets it, but if Istanbul gets it I am also happy. It's right that these up and coming countries are acknowledged as important members of the world community. It helps to avoid an ugly us vs them split.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It seems when some of you try to highlight the contrast with what "would have happened (to politicians who make gaffes like this) in any other country", by "any other country" what you really means is "a few select countries, that are probably Western and multicultural".

While it is true that gaffes like this will be front page news in countries like Britain or Canada (and rightly so IMO), if you have spent any time in SE Asia or Eastern Europe and see what politicians there spout and get away with, you will probably realise that the Western standards of cultural sensitity or media scrutiny are far from universal.

Expressing what would have happened in your home cultural sphere as what would have happened "in any other country" is sloppy, inaccurate, and is chickening out of the intellectual fight that you must fight against charges of cultural superiority that comes with comparing one culture to your own. And perhaps more importantly, it means you have fallen into the same trap as these politicians in setting forth an ignorant notion that things can be discussed in terms of two entities called "Japan" and the "rest of the world".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Apologizing is too late. "Criticizing rival bidswere forbidden under IOC rules" It is 2020 Olympic bidding/ Japan Olympic Comittee's other members are just giving up. now. I wonder if he can read Japanese written manuals. I figure he does not understand about wars in Islamic countries but now I wonder he can read Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I obtained the text of his apology. " I regrettably acknowledge however that some of my words might be considered inappropriate and consequently would like to offer my sincere apology." This kind of message is not considered and taken as an excuse by non-Japanese people. Or maybe he does not know he violated IOC r4ules?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Ali Khan

Politicians are involved in it? How so? Just so you know, Japanese TV program is not controled by government, unless it was NHK.(and there are many shows on NHK that promote understanding of foreign cultures, language, food, etc)

"what i said that the majority of the countries or the nations admire the Japanese culture, which means respecting the Japanese culture."

How can you say so? Do you know what happens on TV in "majority of the countries"? I know a comedian in US who jokes about Aisa and Japanese and he gets laugh. I have seen many times TV program from Japan (randam "variety" shows, Sumo, festivals, etc) being laughed at or seen strange. If you search "wtf Japan" or "weird Japan" on the internet or You Tube, you will find many results and people laugh at it or give strange expressions. I don't think that is disrespecting culture but according to your logic, it is, right? The other day, there was this article on this website about J-government promotion "cool Japan". Government are trying to promote J-Pop and animations to overseas, but what other people thought was people who like those things are called nerds or geeks in their countries. and from what I experienced, in western countries, people don't even know what Japanese culture is. Many people think China, Korea, and Japan are all the same. People watch TV program about China and think it was about Japan. Just like what happens here in Japan, in other countries there are TV shows about foreign cultures and people laugh at it or give strange expressions. (One I remember the most is that in China buses are so crowded that people have to push to get in, and viewers were all like wtf!?) I don't think that is disrespecting the culture though. and about TV program in Japan, recently there are many TV shows about foreign cultures. In some of those shows, they invite guests from different countries, and among those foreign guests, different cultures are being laughed at or given strange expressions. Is this only common in Japanese? I don't think so.

Of course, there is ignorance in Japan. But what you said was Japan is only country who does such thing and rest of the world is different and Japan should be like rest of the world. That is not true. Maybe the country you've seen was different from Japan, but I've seen countries that were not. Ignorance is everywhere.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gas07lisa, look Ms/Mr, jokes and racism are two different things, racism in japan is a known fact you con not deny that, you can read the reports of Human Rights Watch, UNICEF and other related organizations or you can go to the recent history.

Despite that i condemn if somebody criticize the Japanese culture or any other culture.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Ali Khan

What? I never mentioned racism once. You never mentioned racism once. We were talking about ignorance and disrespect towards different cultures, right? Then why are you suddenly talking about racism? You said that in Japan people laugh at or give strange expression toward different culture and it is ignorant and disrespectful, and that it doesn't happen in rest of the world. So I was giving you examples that it does happen in other countries. How did it lead to racism?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He was not telling truth about Turkey/ It is not in war against any other Islam nations. Relationship with other countries? Turkey welcome all refugees from any places and place injured people in its hospitals in refugee camps. It is not even against huge American troops in everywhere in Islamic countries. JOC Chairman is Shintaro Ishihara, Former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is one of /vice Chairmen,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gas07lisa, first of all i respect you and your views and i also respect every culture and community. But I would certainly oppose any actions which is against the humanity.

1,If somebody bulling you in the school because of your color/appearance 2,if somebody refuse to rental their propriety because of your color/appearance 3,if the clubs/services house refuse you entry because of your color/appearance 4, and if you listening the inappropriate and disrespectful sentences about your appearance and culture

now i do not know where does it falls where ever it falls and where ever it happens, our responsibility is to condemn it i hope that you will take all this conversation in a good spirit and in a positive manner because we both and all the people in this page just want to condemn the bad things. thanks

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe has nothing to do with JOC. Shintaro Ishihash is the Chairma of JOC. One of Vice Chairaman is former Prime Minister, Noda.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While his comments were probably a little insensitive I do feel as though they were humorous and I think people just need to stop making more of this than it really is.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Turkey is an independent country, not territory of Saudi Arabia. Abe's visit has nothing to do eith Olympic bid by JOC and Ishihara.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

His 'apology' is considered his 'excuse of his original comment'.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Ali Khan

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Ali Khan

Again, we weren't discussing about racism, we were discussing about ignorance. and ignorance and racism is different. Im against those things you made a list too but it's not relevant to what we were discussing here. Im not condemning bad things, Im saying how you defined Japan and ”rest of the world" wasn't accurate. Read our conversations well, your previous two comments are not relevant to context. If you want to continue talking about racism then go ahead, but don't do it as reply to me, because you are changing topic.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Chuou-Kiouron has big subscribers in Japan, The magazine usually have excellent analysis essays by established scholars and e3ssayists. So, with such huge subscribers, Japanese people are not ignorant in world situations. It is not Japanese people. It is His ignorance of Turkey and middle east. There are other magazines in Japan that write about Middle East situations. He is a politician so maybe he is too busy to get tutored about middle east before he talks out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We all know many people feel like this, but why would he say it in public??

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We all know many people feel like this, but why would he say it in public??

It's good he said so it that other can tell him how ignorant he is. Turkey is fast developing country and model for the middle east. I gave figures and links in an above comment. For the governor of Tokyo to display this kind of ignorance is a great shame to Japan, which on the whole shows understanding and respect for other countries culture and religions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

gas07lisa, what the Governor said is just the continuation "what i mention previously" and you know that there are such remarks from other politicians in the past. and simply it should be stopped for the betterment of the humanity,

another thing we should explain our views to each other kindly and with respect

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Ali Khan

Sorry I don't know other politicans showing such disrespect towards other religions or culture, but maybe there are. But it is not common for politicans to do such thing and you can see how he is being accused among Japanese. and it is ignorance. Just like you mentioned jokes and racism are two different things, ignorance and racism are also two different things. and my point was that how you mentioned "rest of the world" all show respect, is wrong. I admitted already that there are such ignorant people in Japan, if you read my comment. but point is that same things can be seen in other countries, so how you said "rest of the world" is wrong. Im not saying, so Japan is alright. Im saying you are generalizing "rest of the world" in wrong way.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites