Odd / Strange

Crazy internet conspiracy theory: Japanese politicians who drink “Korean-style”

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    korean drinking style

    While randomly surfing through Japanese blogs the other day, I came across a post that was telling readers that the new mayor of Tokyo, Yoichi Masuzoe, drinks like he is a Korean. Apparently covering ones drink with a hand and turning to the side whole drinking is the polite way to drink in front of one’s elders in Korea, and Masuzoe was showing this “Korean-style” politeness when taking a drink from a glass of water during a speech at the National Diet in 2011.

    Masuzoe drinking

    Masuzoe is disliked by many right-leaning people because he supports granting voting rights to non-citizens, a move that would give political power to Korean residents of Japan who refuse to naturalize. According to the blog post, Masuzoe also allegedly admitted on TV that his parents were Zainichi Koreans. (Is there any actual video clip of this?)

    But wait, there’s more! The conspiracy deepens! It turns out that Masuzoe isn’t the only major politician who drinks in a “non-Japanese” manner.

    Naoto Kan (Prime Minister 2011-2012) is also one of them:


    Kan drinking

    Kan’s successor, Yoshihiko Noda, drank like that too:

    Noda drinks

    Noda drinking 2

    And former Prime Minister Hatoyama!

    Hatoyama Korean drinking

    Katsumasa Suzuki (formerly of the DPJ) is one too:

    Korean drinking Katsumasa

    And, anti-nuclear actor-turned-politician Taro Yamamoto is a “Korean” drinker too:

    Taro Yamamoto

    The photos document that on at least one occasion, each of the politicians drank in a manner that sort of resembles a Korean custom. In the mind of crazy conspiracy theorists, this “non-Japanese” drinking style, combined with the fact that their policy views are seen as “anti-Japanese,” is evidence that these politicians must be secret Koreans, or at least under the influence of Korea.

    9 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - February 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Categories: Odd / Strange, Politics

    Photos: Snow Hachiko in Tokyo

    For the second time in one week, Tokyo has been hit by a “big” snow storm. Yesterday, somebody built a snowy companion for Shibuya’s famous Hachiko statue. Here are some photos uploaded by twitter users:

    Snow Hachiko

    More Snow Hachiko

    Snowy dog statue in Tokyo

    Hachiko Snow

    Snow Hachiko

    (Click on images for the original tweets.)

    Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by James - at 10:11 am

    Categories: Odd / Strange

    NYT reporter to ‘Globalite’ Christopher Johnson: “Please stop harassing my friends.”

    Remember Christopher Johnson, the freelance reporter/photographer who became infamous in early 2012 after he threatened bloggers and journalists who were critical of his poorly-written account of being detained and expelled from Japan?

    Well folks, it looks like the Japanese government somehow allowed him back into the country. According to some tweets he made this morning, Johnson apparently attended last weekend’s Tokyo International Literary Festival.

    Also in attendance was Hiroko Tabuchi of the New York Times. It is not clear if they actually talked to each other at the event, but Tabuchi posted the following public Tweets today:

    christopher johnson journalist in japan from canada

    Christopher Johnson replied to her first Tweet by claiming total ignorance of any harassment. He then stated that he was being “framed.”

    cyber hater chris johnson

    (Despite acknowledging that his tweets were public and thus would be fair game for bloggers to quote, Johnson continued to post tweets directed at Tabuchi.)

    It didn’t take long for Johnson to shift towards what some might read as physical threats. He called on Tabuchi to meet him tonight, promising that he would stop his partner from tearing Tabuchi’s hair out. Woah.

    christopher johnson will stop his partner from tearing your hair out

    Johnson described the information from Tabuchi’s friends as “false accusations from dubious sources,” and questioned her integrity as a journalist.

    It’s an interesting turn of events because Johnson has frequently praised Tabuchi’s articles. This drama feels like a repeat of Johnson’s falling out with Jake Adelstein. In that case, Johnson’s public meltdown on Twitter led to a long-winded “investigative” blog post that viciously attacked Adelstein. Should we now expect an article attacking Tabuchi?

    Update: Johnson is now complaining about this blog post.

    deal with this in public

    His call for settling the matter in private is supremely ridiculous, as responded to Tabuchi’s post with public Twitter messages and continues to make more public posts, many of which could appear crazy or threatening to third-party observers.

    Today, he has spewed out Tweets denying that he threatened Tabuchi. Johnson has also condemned Tabuchi’s “patho liar” friends.

    christopher johnson globalite

    Despite the fact that Tabuchi made a public twitter post stating that she would no longer directly communication with Johnson, he has continued to direct his Tweets at her, demanding an apology for her “false accusations.”

    cj continues to rant against tabuchi

    Johnson chooses to make public tweets to the NYT instead of contacting them privately via e-mail. Hilariously, he thinks he is so important that the NYT will read his tweets and then send him an e-mail!

    There were also tweets directed at me, demanding that I edit this post to reflect “reality.”

    christopher johnson whining about japan probe

    It’s odd that Johnson feels the need to describe Hiroko Tabuchi as a “junior reporter” who is “unknown.” Regularly writing major articles for one of the world’s most well-known newspapers, she is is hardly unknown, and not exactly “junior” either. But, I suppose almost any reporter is “junior” compared to the illustrious Christopher Johnson…

    Update 2: Somebody else noticed Johnson’s emphasis on Tabuchi’s lack of importance. Johnson claims that he is not “belittling” her, but is instead pointing out the truth. And making a public spectacle of his disagreement with Tabuchi’s supposedly untruthful accusations is “showing respect” for her. Um, okay. Whatever you say, man.

    christopher johnson journalist japan

    77 comments - What do you think?  Posted by James - March 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Categories: General Japan, Odd / Strange

    Tokyo police create purse snatcher dummy

    When Japanese police summon reporters to give a press conference about the arrest of a criminal, they often display stolen goods on a table. In other countries, this kind of display is often associated with photo ops following major drug busts, but here it is used to show off police achievements in cracking down on various other crimes, such as underwear theft.

    japan purse snatching

    This week, cops in Tokyo announced the arrest of serial purse snatcher. For their photo op, they actually dressed a dummy in the man’s clothing and placed him on the motor bike that was used for the crime!

    Somebody had a lot of free time on their hands.

    Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by James - December 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Categories: Odd / Strange

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