According to a Japanese translation of a Korean news article, a few ultra-nationalists in South Korea don’t like Valentine’s Day:
At a protest held on February 12th in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, Korean ultra-nationalists threw chocolate bars at photos of Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe and Ito Hirobumi.
It turns out that February 14th is the anniversary of the 1910 Japanese court decision to sentence An Jung-geun(Ahn Jung-geun) to death. An Jung-geun assassinated Ito Hirobumi in 1909, an accomplishment that made him a national hero in postwar Korea.
Because he killed one of modern Japan’s founding fathers, An Jung-geun is often considered a “terrorist” in Japan. An’s image is often paraded around when Koreans want to display their anti-Japanese nationalism. For example, at a 2013 soccer match between Japan and Korea, Korean fans unveiled a gigantic An banner to taunt the Japanese (Korea lost the match anyway).
South Korean ultra-nationalists see Valentine’s Day as a holiday that was imported from Japan, and they want it replaced with a national day of remembrance for their country’s most famous assassin.
Last night, two trains collided on one of Tokyo and Yokohama’s major train lines:
At around 12:30 a.m., a train on the Tokyu Toyoko line linking Tokyo and Yokohama bumped into another train that was standing at Motosumiyoshi Station after overrunning the stop line by about 30 meters.
Here are some photos of the aftermath (via 2channel and twitter):
And a photo of the bent floor inside the train car, posted by an Instragram user
The cause of the accident is still being investigated. Luckily, nobody was seriously injured.
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 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’s successor, Yoshihiko Noda, drank like that too:
And former Prime Minister Hatoyama!
Katsumasa Suzuki (formerly of the DPJ) is one too:
And, anti-nuclear actor-turned-politician Taro Yamamoto is a “Korean” drinker too:
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.
New stories are popping up about the Japanese authorities detaining Martyn Stewart, an animal rights activist and filmmaker who has campaigned against Japan’s dolphin hunts. For the past few years, he has visited the town of Taiji and shot footage, often working alongside Sea Shepherd members.
On February 13th, Stewart posted a photo of himself in a holding cell, informing Facebook followers that he had been detained in horrible conditions:
“I am Locked in a cell room at Osaka airport waiting on an appeal to the high minister regarding my entry into Japan. I’m accused of being sea shepherd and an Eco terrorist, my footage is not liked in Japan apparently and have been accused of assaulting members of the public. In 4 years of being here for the dolphins I have maintained the law and abided by their rules. My words and pictures did the rest. The government of Japan will do anything to protect the rights of the fishermen of Taiji and the barbaric treatment of the animals involved.
Please share far and wide to bring awareness to this corrupt government and those that want to continue to brutally treat these amazing animals. The condition I’m in and the treatment I have received is nothing short of criminal”.
Stewart later updated to say that he will be deported for “unreasonable behavior” in Japan:
“Japan has chosen to deport me for my unreasonable behavior in Taiji!
This is based on a reporter that voiced his dissatisfaction to me being in Taiji and instigating problems involving Sea shepherd the group they say I belonged to. The fact that I have been to Taiji on 3 other occasions shows no logic in these false claims. They are using me as a scapegoat. They do not want westerners in Taiji. I was also told that the Japanese would rather eat glass than give into Sea Shepherd. The fate of the dolphins is Not in our hands anymore, they will kill as many as there are left. I am deeply saddened by all of this and the arrogance and corruption that the Japanese government bring to the table. This is a police/military state becoming dominated by bullying and pride.”
After seeing the English language media reports about Stewart’s detention/deportation, I did some searching about him. It turns out he was featured in an Asahi TV documentary about Sea Shepherd that I posted on this blog two years ago.
Stewart is one of the people who aggressively harasses the Japanese journalists who have come to cover the controversy in Taiji. By acting like a tremendous prick on Japanese television, he no doubt helped build sympathy in this country towards the Taiji fishermen.
A Japanese person has set up a website that chronicles Stewart’s rude and potentially illegal activities in Japan. The information gathered makes it very clear that Stewart was not following the “rules” when he was in Taiji.
It shows that he has repeatedly posted photos of the fishermen and Japanese journalists who he encountered in Taiji, often with blood-red letters spelling out “DOLPHIN KILLER” next to their faces, an act that would be considered a major violation of privacy in Japan. He has posted numerous videos to YouTube where he follows around or covertly films people in Taiji. One video he shared, which has since been removed from YouTube, allegedly showed Taiji fishermen urinating. A Japanese site translated a comment about the small penis size of the fishermen motivating their dolphin slaughter, along with encouraging comments from Facebook users who supported Stewart.
Stewart can whine all he wants about how Japan values the privacy of people over the lives of dolphins, but it is established practice for Japanese TV networks and websites to blur out faces of individuals when a violation of privacy may be taking place. If some of his victims actually filed complaints with the police about harassment, trespassing, or violation of privacy, it may have been enough to justify a decision by authorities to not let him back into Japan. (Or, as Eido has pointed out in the comment section of this post, Stewart’s activism could be interpreted as “work,” and thus a violation of his tourist visa status.)