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.)
All the polls seem to show that Yoichi Masuzoe is going to win the Tokyo gubernatorial race when the votes are counted on Sunday night. Could some scandal bring him down at the last minute? The people who are bankrolling the “The Association of Women Who Don’t Want Yoichi to Become Governor” seem to be hoping for such a result.
They’ve dug up some misogynistic quotes that apparently can be attributed to Masuzoe. And they’ve even taken the trouble of translating them into English, so Masuzoe can be easily bashed in the international press! And they’ve said they are holding a “sex strike” against men who vote for Masuzoe, a move that is sure to get them media attention.
“Women are not normal when they are on their period. They are abnormal.
You can’t possibly let them make critical decisions about the country [during their periods], such as
whether or not to go to war.” – Masuzoe in the October 1989 issue of the magazine BIGMAN
In 1989 during the so-called “Madonna Boom” when a number of women became elected officials,
Masuzoe stated, “This is an exceptional period in history, that’s why even women are able to come
out of the woodwork…but those who have been elected are all a bunch of old middle aged hags.”
Recollections of a Former Wife
“He suddenly screamed in outrage, ‘How dare you come home so late!’ He would throw whatever
was at hand at me. I once found the cover of the rice cooker broken. Another time, he laid out a
bunch of knives, including survival knives, in front of me. He liked to collect knives as a hobby.
Once he even pointed one of the knives at me. It was more than enough to be a threat.” — Interview
of Satsuki Katayama, an MP in the House of Councillors, in the May 6/13, 2010 issue of the weekly
“After three months of being married, I decided to consult a lawyer about getting a divorce. Then I
found out that he had a lover, and that she was pregnant with his child. But already I didn’t care at all.
I just wanted to get divorced as quickly as possible, I only thought about getting away from him.” —
Interview of Satsuki Katayama, an MP in the House of Councillors, in the May 6/13, 2010 issue of
the weekly Shukan Shincho
“The rate of consumption tax should be over 10%… Those guys have money… Half of Japan’s
savings is held by old men and women… If the rate of consumption tax is raised then we can extract
money from old people.” — TV interview, December 24, 2005
[If insurance premiums are not charged for those over 75 years of age] “Their children and
grandchildren will revolt, saying ‘Hey Grandpa and Grandma, my insurance payments increase
because you live so long!'” — On a NHK debate program, May 25, 2008
Masuzoe has a salary of JPY 17 million and has JPY 300 million in assets. Yet when he lost JPY 8
million betting at horse races, he asked to reduce child support payments for his severely disabled
child born out of wedlock. The case is now in court. — News Post Seven, December 2, 2013
When Masuzoe was the Minister of Health (2007-2009), he promoted a vaccine for cervical cancer,
and the vaccine was approved for use during his term. Since then, the vaccine has been causing
serious side effects among a large number of young women.
Is that last point meant to spread fear about HPV vaccines? The quotes and the gossip about his personal life are interesting, but I am no fan of anti-vaccine campaigns. If the HPV vaccine is the same as the one being used abroad, it shouldn’t be dangerous. Apparently the Japanese Health Ministry withdrew its recommendation for the HPV vaccine in 2013 because of concerns about side effects, a decision that drew criticism from science bloggers:
“…the health ministry is going to withhold recommendation of the HPV vaccination because they notice 43 cases for which they couldn’t establish a causal relationship to the vaccine. In other words, 0.0013% of cases, a number so small that it’s pretty close to impossible to affix any statistical significance to it. In fact, random background “noise” (that is that some whole body pain could be expected in any random sampling of vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals) of this type of observation is as plausible as correlation (let alone causation) to the vaccine. In fact, the Health Ministry failed to provide us with data concerning the level of these side effects in the general population. Nor how soon after vaccination. Nor anything potentially useful in a scientific analysis.
What’s worse is that, according to the same article, about 2700 women in Japan die every year from HPV related cancers. So, because of complaints from the antivaccination lunatics in Japan (didn’t know they had any, but I shouldn’t be surprised), and bad statistics (43 potential cases of “body pain” out of 3,280,000 vaccinations), the Health Ministry stops recommending the vaccine. Exactly what were these people thinking?”
So, enjoy the Masuzoe gossip, but let’s not spread anti-vaccine propaganda, folks.