Life on the side in Tokyo



Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Japan's Pauline Hanson?

If you don't live in Japan, you probably won't have heard the name Taro Aso, but he could be considered Japan's equivalent of Pauline Hanson, the founder of the One Nation party in Australia, know for her racist world-view. Aso in now the Japanese foreign minister! and here are a few of his more notable statements.

1) At a meeting of the LDP Kono study group in 2001, Aso said "those burakumin can't become prime minister," in reference to a burakumin legislator. Burakumin are considered Japan's 'untouchables'.

2) In a speech given at the new Kyushu National Museum in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, Then Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Aso said, "There is not other country like Japan with one culture, one civilization, one ethnic group, and one language." 「一文化、一文明、一民族、一言語の国は日本のほかにはない」He went on to say that unlike in Europe, where the cultures have been altered by migration, in the history of the Japanese nation, that has almost never occurred.He went on to say that unlike in Europe, where the cultures have been altered by migration, in the history of the Japanese nation such change has almost never occurred.
For his erudite observations, he was given the post of foreign minister and has continued to chew on his own leather.

3) On January 29th, he urged the Emperor to visit the Yasukuni Shrine, where Japan's war dead are enshrined. Visits by PM Koizumi in the past several years have sparked a strong reaction from South Korea and China. The last visit by an Emperor was in 1975, according to the Mainichi news site.

4) Yesterday, Feb 3rd, he and a fellow conservative, Sadakazu Tanigaki have called for "caution" on that passing of a bill that would revise the Imperial House Law to allow a female to ascend to the throne.

Aso has his eye on the Prime Minister's job with Koizumi set to steps aside within a year. I can only hope that the Japanese public know who they might be getting.

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