Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4 Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
On October 18, 2005 the English language Daily Yomiuri newspaper ran a domestic story that The Japan Times did not. Internal Affairs and Communication Minister Taro Aso was reported commenting in a speech in Fukuoka that Japan is “one nation, one civilization one language, one culture and one race,” (“Aso describes Japan as ‘one-race’ nation”). Just as with former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone’s obviously and patently false claim in 1986 that Japan is a“homogenous nation,” I have to wonder if Aso, a salaried public official and therefore my employee as a Japanese taxpayer, actually knows anything at all about our country. But I feel certain that politicians just make these things up without thinking about them as they go along.
We know that these ideas not true - by which I mean not factual - so, why do not better informed Japanese shout it from their doorsteps and spit it from their mouths not in a rude manner, but in a brotherly loving way of correcting the learning impaired in our midst?
In addition, contrary to Aso’s next quoted remark that Japan is “like nowhere else,” I suggest that every place in the world is pretty much like every other place, only more so. I mean, there is far more about divergent places that are shared and held in common than there are that separate them and discriminate one from the other. So, it takes a special kind of mentality to only see the separation and differences.
Japanese have an almost pathologic need to digest fantasy about themselves. But pathology, or sickness, is exactly what this menu of cant is. It’s sick. People who talk like this are sick.