Sunday, February 12, 2006

Stupidity Reigns but Does Not Rule

This past week has been pretty stupid in Japan.

First, the man who will probably be the next PM of Japan, Aso Taro, said that the Emperor must visit Yasukuni.

Second, a black man who was shooed away from a store in Osaka Prefecture and had the gumption to sue about it had his case rejected because the judge had"doubts about the plaintiff's level of comprehension of the Japanese language".

Third, a former trade minister, Hiranuma Takeo, said that changing the current Imperial Succession law to allow females to ascend the throne was impossible because “If Aiko becomes the reigning empress and gets involved with a blue-eyed foreigner while studying abroad and marries him, their child may become emperor. We should never let that happen". Other arguments include precedent that Japan has never had an empress before, and that Aiko does not carry the 'Imperial Y Chromosome'.

Fourth, Aso went at it again, this time about Taiwan, where he said that "Thanks to the significant improvement in educational standards and literacy (during the colonization), Taiwan is now a country with a very high education level and keeps up with the current era".

Fifth, following news that Princess Kiko is pregnant, PM Koizumi has announced that he will no longer put forward a bill allowing Imperial succession to pass to Princess Aiko.

Sixth, Koizumi announced that he is reluctant to allow more foreign workers into Japan because of a possible rise in crime.

So why is this stupid?

1. The Emperors, beginning with Hirohito, have not visited Yasukuni Shrine ever since the spirits of executed war criminals were smuggled in one night in the seventies by shrine administrators.

2. The fact that a visibly non-Japanese man can be shooed away from a store and a discrimination lawsuit can be easily dismissed does not bode well for a future where Japan needs immigrants to survive.

3. Besides obviously racist, it is stupid because it is apparently OK for Aiko to marry a black-eyed Korean-American when studying abroad. We all know how the old guard would approve of that. Japan has also had plenty of empresses - Empress Suiko, for example. And as for using genetics as an excuse - sorry, but all you need for succession is descent from Amaterasu and possession of the Three Sacred Treasures. Japan, welcome to the 21st century. Where is the great spirit of Meiji and modernization? In Denmark, apparently.

4. Imagine the uproar if a British former trade minister made the same remark about India. For sixty years Taiwan has been independent of Japanese rule. Plenty of time for improvement by themselves. Just another example of the old guard's inability to let go of the past.

5. Princess Kiko's pregnancy couldn't have happened at a *coughcoughcough* more convenient time. I wonder how much pressure she came under to produce a boy as Koizumi tried to introduce a revised Imperial Succession bill. Artificial insemination and sex selection, anyone?

6. More immigrants and foreign workers does not mean more crime. Seeming as Japan desperately needs immigrants to pay taxes for the pensions of the upcoming retirees, if the government is that concerned about foreign-related crime, perhaps they should crack down on the Japanese agents who import workers and force them to work in the "body" related industries.

And that's the roundup for this week. Support the True Heir - Princess Aiko for Empress!

5 Comments 論評:

  • Such disappointing news, especially when you've wanted to work there and spend a few years there.
    It's insane actually. Every ethnicity has its bigots, especially ones where they have the view that another race is somehow "stealing their females", like they owned them in the first place. The insane part is that these people hold positions as representatives of the COUNTRY.

    Every time I hear more and more of the racism going in a country that was supposed to have redesigned and redeveloped itself after WW2, it makes me so frustrated.

    I wonder when they'll dissolve their monarchy? Maybe in 70 years? They need a "god save the emperor" song to be released over there to open some eyes.

    My favourite comment is the "blue-eyed foreigner" while studying abroad one. I laughed fairly hard at that. It brings to mind my situation, and the criticism received.
    It also highlights how senile the administration and majority of Japan are/will be. To get votes the leaders have to appeal to these fossilized geriatrics with heads stuck in the 1950s.
    I would not want to live there when the population peak begins, as moves towards civil and social reform will be pretty much static.

    By Anonymous Chris, at 2/13/2006 12:00 PM  

  • thourough, very thourough. is there nothing that that black guy can do at all??!!

    By Blogger Running Man, at 2/13/2006 3:41 PM  

  • Chris: Yeah. Japan is going to get worse before it gets better. At least I can't get arrested/deported for criticizing society/politics here, like I would in China (which is still my next long-term destination). The sad thing is that the monarchy is useless - even I, Monarchist Supreme, can admit that - but they are making it more irrelevant by denying the crown to Aiko, plus the general statement to women in general. Chris, what colour are your eyes? I don't remember. Heh, imagine if she met a Zainichi Korean with blue contact lenses! Populations's already peaked, actually - this year more Japanese died than were born.

    Paul: I believe he's going to appeal. If he loses the appeal, say hello to a new legal precedent that basically legalizes discrimination.

    By Blogger 羽之助, at 2/13/2006 6:33 PM  

  • My eyes are blue/green. Hooray!

    And good LORD I hope she marries a half zainichi korean half mainlander. Take THAT.

    By Anonymous Chris, at 2/17/2006 1:33 AM  

  • Guess what. I told some kids today that my father's ancestors came from France, and my mom's from Scotland.
    Response: "Are you a half? (readハーフ)"

    By Blogger 羽之助, at 2/17/2006 9:56 PM  

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