AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

BBC: Inciting racial hatred of the Japanese?

Posted by ampontan on Thursday, December 27, 2007

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent.
– Epictetus

THE UNITED KINGDOM HAS A LAW known as the Public Order Act of 1986. This website describes the intent of the law as follows:

The law covering criminally racist material makes it an offence to stir up racial hatred against a group of persons in Great Britain defined by reference to colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins.
This act makes it an offence for a person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if –
(a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or
(b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby.

The website notes that the government has not put the text of the law online, though it does sell hard copies.

The British Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as the BBC, is based in the United Kingdom and is the largest broadcast organization in the world. The BBC motto is, “Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation”.

They operate BBC News, which is the world’s largest broadcast news organization. They present news stories on television and radio, and place the text and audio of some of these stories on their website.

One such story is “Can Whaling Be Justified”. For this story, BBC correspondent Jonah Fisher—an appropriate name for a journalist covering a whaling story–will report on the Japanese whaling expedition from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza.

The BBC allows its audience to comment on the stories it places on the website in a feature called Have Your Say. This feature has been activated for Jonah Fisher’s reports on whaling.

Posters must follow certain rules when commenting in the Have Your Say area. Some of them are as follows:

No defamatory comments. A defamatory comment is one that is capable of damaging the reputation of a person or organisation.
Do not incite people to commit any crime, including incitement of racial hatred.
Do not post messages that are unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, homophobic or racially offensive.

When they refer to the crime of racial hatred, they are referring in part to the activities prohibited by the Public Order Act of 1986, as explained above.

To make sure that posters abide by the rules, the BBC moderates this message board. There are two types of moderation. The type of moderation in force for the whaling story is “Fully Moderated”.

Here the BBC defines Fully Moderated:

This is also known as pre-moderation. Every comment submitted to a fully moderated discussion has to be checked by a BBC moderator before it is published on the site.

The readers of the website can complain about comments the moderators have allowed. The BBC explains the purpose of this option as follows:

It is only for serious complaints about comments, namely that they are obscene, abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, defamatory, harmful, profane, racially offensive, or otherwise strongly objectionable.
The Have Your Say moderators will decide whether the comment breaks the House Rules. If it does, they will remove it. If it doesn’t, it will be allowed to remain on the site.

The following comments were posted on the Have Your Say area of the BBC website in regard to the whaling story. Because this is a Fully Moderated topic, the BBC moderators read each one first and thought that racial hatred is not “likely to be stirred up thereby”. Also, if any of the posters complained, their complaints were rejected.

I leave it to the readers’ judgment to determine whether the following comments comply with the law of the United Kingdom and BBC standards.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

  1. The names and countries of origin of the posters have been removed. However, the posts here were sent not only from Great Britain, but also continental Europe, North America, and Asia.
  2. The posts are copied exactly as they appeared, including punctuation and spelling.
  3. They are displayed here in alternating italicized and bolded text. This is only to facilitate reading and is not intended to imply a special emphasis on my part.

START QUOTED TEXT

two words….. Enola Gay. Worked last time.

How about we harpoon a few Jap Whalers to let them know how it feels to have an exploding warhead tearing through them.

Are we allowed to hunt Japanese? Seems only fair.

Would anyone shed a tear if the whaling boat had an accident and sank it? Not me.

During the second world war propaganda said the Japanese were a cruel barbaric race…maybe it wasn’t propaganda

It is barabaric and wrong and any nation that undetakes it under any pretext demonstrates its savagery and lack of civility.
No need to say more.
Or should we hunt nips for research?

maybe they would feel a bit differently if we said we wanted to continue our scientific pursuits on nuclear fision by droppin a bomb or 2 on hiroshima or nagasaki again?

so those Nipponese love whale, some love other fish and they eat them. now i heard that some cannibals love japanese, they have less hair and smooth skin and can be easily consumed. i heard they are easily digestable too.

the Japanese have a long histroy of hunting things to extinction. 1000 whales for “research” who the he*l do think they are kidding. A barbaric culture that care for NOTHING but themselves.

Japan, you are whale and dolphin murderers and we still see you as sneaky liars.

It also used to be part of the Japanese culture, that a member of the samurai class had the right to kill anybody non-samurai jhust for the hell of it, if they so wished. “I’ve just bought a new sword I need to test its edge, you peasant come here and bow your head” SWOOSH, THUD “Ooooh lovely sharp sword”, “You peasant remove that unsightly headless corpse and clean up the blood, unless you wish to go the same way”
The Japanese have always been a brutal race, just ask any former Allied POW.

Japan never did care much about life anyway

…can the Japanese justify the slaughter of whales for research that never gets published? Then again, some of them can justify the treatment handed out to WWII POWs and ‘comfort women’ so who knows what goes on in their minds?

Whales are not a necessary foodstuff. Why doesn’t Greenpeace buy an old russian sub and torpedoe the greedy people who want to do this? Seems an infinitely more civilised use for them than their original purpose. “You want to go whaling? Die then.” Easy.

Its surely time that we boycotted all products form Japan until they start behaving a little less like the savages that they obviously are!

It is not just the Whales. The Japanese are a bestial nation as proved over and over in World War 2. Look at what they did to prisoners and the nations that they occupied.
Their whole creed was that the Japanese nation was superior to all others and therefore could do what they wished.
We stopped that nonsense the last time with two buckets of instant sunshine at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Obviously time for another one – perhaps on Tokio? Or are they going to learn?

Maybe we should start eating Japanese; it could become part of our culture.

Would the Japanese feel that it was okay to hunt them for food? Their numbers have been replenished since 1945.

If the Japs carry on with the hunting of the other two species of whale, gunboats by the international community must be used to sink the whalers. Any deaths of humans is purely by the by.
We have a duty to protect any species under threat
.

I wish the slowest and most painful death possible for whalers. ME ME ME is all humans think about. We should be extinct.

Japan is, and always will be a boil on the backside of the earth.
It is a country steeped in brutality, and covered in the blood of the innocent. I cannot understand why we have anything to do with these people. I would rather shake hands with Mugabe.

Maybe seeing as whales are quite big we could start whacking a few torpedoes into Jap fishing boats as I suppose subs look like whales from a distance and they may steer clear of harmless mammals in case they get blown up. Just a thought.

The time has come to make an example “pour encourager les autres”. Target practice the odd torpedo on a whaling ship. Forget the toothless old UN.

END QUOTED TEXT

The BBC notes that they’ve rejected 192 comments on this topic as of the time I wrote this post. If this is an indication of what they think is acceptable, one can only wonder about the content of the rejected comments.

“Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation” indeed.

BONUS SECTION!

I offer the following comments here for your entertainment. Some of them might leave you laughing so hard that your navel could boil tea, as the Japanese would say. Note the sheer number of errors regarding easily verifiable facts.

Reading them calls to mind the observation by former American Vice-President Hubert Humphrey: “The right to free speech does not include the right to be taken seriously.”

BEGIN QUOTED TEXT

Our planet is on overheat, rain forests are fading away, acid rains are common, animals are going extinct by handfulls and the Japanese continue hunting down whales like on a picnic.

Save the whales, the planet, yourselves. Use birth control.

What is it with Asians and their culinary fetishes to eat certian species into extinction because it will give them sexual fortitude?

Mankind is so brave that it has to destroy beautiful and harmless creatures who were here a longtime before we were and have more rights to belong on this Planet.
Sometimes I wonder if humans belong here at all.

How would we like it if whales hunted us, and we were powerless to stop?

Has anyone ever tried Sushi made with Spam? Would be a more ‘environmentally friendly’ alternative to whale meat. Prefer to see whales in their natural habitat than used for humankind’s greedy purposes.

Is whaling more dangerous and harmful to earth, than, ” GOLBAL WARRING, GOLBAL WARMING, GENOCIDE IN IRAQ, NEOCOLONIAL THUGGGERY OF REST OF WORLD RESOURCES, UTTER POVERTY, & LIVING IN “STOLEN LANDS, WITH ,LOOTED WEALTH ” OF REST OF “FREE AND CIVILIZED HUMANITY ” IN THE 21ST CENTURY?.
White Neocolonial masters&their mobs are responsible, for all the above harmful effects ,in the WORLD, ever since evil white terrorist colonila thugggery genocide living mobs, drifted out of their slums in europe.

Do whales have large or small brains?
Whales actually have fairly large brains compared to humans. Whether they are large overall depends upon how you look at it. That is, compared to the size of the whale’s body, the whale brain is similar in size ratio to human brain-to-body. Especially the toothed whales whose brains are largely built to process sound. By the way, they have no sense of smell!

Leave the whales alone.
Do not ignore climate change.
Be nice to your neighbour.
Do not drop litter.
Recycle.

I think Japan should be HEAVILY punished for its dishonesty. It disgusts everyone. I think the controled whaling of certain species is great! I use expensive cream made from whale that is not synthesized by any company – because an equivalent formula is not available. Doctors are amazed at how well my skin is doing. I use this cream rarely. Greenpeace is doing a good job hasseling the sneaky whalers. We need controlled whaling. Eat organic beef – hug a cow today. Mostly, be real.

The Japanese claim they ‘have’ to kill whales for ‘research’.
What utter poppycock!
They like to kill these magnificent creatures because they want a gourmet food!
These are the same people who catch sharks, rip off their fins, & throw their (sometimes still living) victims back in the sea to die in helpless agony – and for what? A bowl of SOUP!
Despicable!
And what happens when the whales run out?

I’m not in Japan, but am very surprised at the Japanese…they’re so conscious about life, and health, even to point of not using the term “nuclear” (using isotope, instead), yet would consider slaughtering whales. I’m shocked!

The Japanese don’t study whales, they eat them, to study an animal it has to be alive. Iv’e never studied my dinner.

How can it be justified so Japanese men can have an aphrodisiac?
Give Greenpeace Haproons so they can sink the Whaling boats.

Don’t sperm whales eat giant squid?
If I was a giant squid I’d want all sperm whales wiped out.
By saving sperm whales we are condemning squid to death.
makes you think…..

I highly recommend that all commentators watch Star Trek: The Voyage Home to see the potentially devastating impacts of not having any whales on the Earth….Analysis and reflection: these form the basis of SF and is no different then Shakespeare.

What a lot of drivel on here about the sentience, IQ, free-spirit etc of whales….If they are so clever why do they spend all their time swimming around sucking up plankton? They’ve done nothing in the way of art, literature, science or technology. They just swim around and can’t even breath underwater like fish, they have to keep coming up for air. Stupid animals that belong on my dinner plate. Yum yum!

Most civilized nations revere cetaceans, but a few nations massacre them under the pretense of science. The Japanese revere the crane. What if an Asian nation decided to do “scientific craning” and invaded Japanese airspace to harpoon cranes to satisfy their drooling barbaric instincts?. Japan- clear up your act of continuing sadistic, primitive, caveman-instinct-driven behaviour.

Killing whales could have a positive impact on global warming.

And when the Greenpeace ship reaches the hunting ground, they will be pinging the oceans with their sonar equipments to find out where the humpbacks are. They will ping so hard and so furious that the humpbacks will go berserk. And then some of them humpbacks will commit suicide.

I have committed my life to making the world a better place because of what the country of Japan allows so that their restaurants can serve what they consider a delicacy. Sadly, they often discard most of the whale except the fin. What a shame!

Dogs aren’t even safe over there…they eat them too.
——
Actually, it’s not the Japanese but the Chinese who eat dog meat…

I mean, like, the Japanese live in a really sick society? one that eats whales ? like, every day whales are, like, murdered so that people can eat their filthy raw whales, and, like, society is immune to that, so it’s just a short step to killing people? i like screw you, i’m killing whales today so i’m killing people tomorrow?
i campaigned and gave a flyer to a guy, and i’m like, “hey dude, like boycott Japan?” and he asks if I’m gonna protest in front of halal butchers so i said “you racist”

END QUOTED TEXT

“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.”

– Edward R. Murrow

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101 Responses to “BBC: Inciting racial hatred of the Japanese?”

  1. helical said

    Good grief.
    I really hope whatever they have isn’t contagious.

  2. Two Cents said

    And I thought the article wasn’t so bad.
    I praise the BBC moderators for stooping to 2ch-level standards to reflect the overall trend of the comments that must be flowing in. Or are they just trying to get their point across using 3-rd party commentators? Anyhow, it’s enlightening to see that BBC readers aren’t so much different from your basic 2-channelers. I wonder how that makes BBC feel, I mean, they must believe they attract a more educated readership.

  3. bern said

    Norway kills whales too right off the coast of UK. Funny how they don’t get any attention.

  4. doinkies said

    Those comments remind me of not only 2ch news boards but the old Yahoo news message boards. Ugh. And it’s supposed to be moderated, unlike 2ch and Yahoo! Ughhh.

  5. Ebi said

    Why is it that the Natives of the Nortern-most part of America are allowed to eat whale (as part of their culture) and not the Japanese. It’s not like they are wasting the meat like the Europeans did a century ago when they hunted the whales just for the oil, casting the carcass aside.

  6. john k said

    Very interesting article. However, I feel you have totally missed the point.
    The section on the BBC is called “have your say”. It is to allow individuals to give their opinions. This is the key phrase “their” opinion.
    In quoting the UK Public Order Act of race hate laws etc. The key part of the quote is thus:
    “(a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or
    (b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby….”
    Giving an opinion is simply that, an opinion. I can say in my own home, I hate “XXX”. I can stand on a soap box, in public, and say “I hate XXX”.
    But to stand on a soap box and say “I hate XXX, you must also hate XXX come join me and attack XXX”…is very different. The difference is changing from a personal opinion to that of promoting an opinion and asking others to agree and join the opinion and do something about it. This is incitement.

    Just as the President of Iran said “He doesn’t believe the Holocaust took place”. That is HIS opinion. His opinion doesn’t make it fact. It doesn’t incite racial hatred, it is just his opinion. The president is NOT telling everyone that it did not exist and is NOT telling everyone to ban the publication of the evidence and he is NOT telling everyone to call all Jews liars etc etc. He is giving his opinion. His opinion was and is of course wide of the mark and there is such a mountain of evidence to the contrary. But he is still entitled to HIS opinion.

    This highlights the difference between Japan and the western world. In the western world one is allowed to express ones own views, even if it differs greatly from others, or even if the personal view upsets others. Not so in Japan. Emotions and the other person’s feelings are given greater importance than that of being able and free to expressions ones own feelings and views. Japanese think of the other person above of themselves. Western people do not think like this.

    In the west this is ostensibly called “respect”. But respect in the west does not prevent someone expressing their own personal views, no matter how abhorrent they may be to others. It is one of the fundamental freedoms. That person may not have any friends for speaking as such, but that person is still free to express their views.

    It is not against the law to upset someone by expressing ones own opinion. If I call a very large overweight man “fatty”, he will probably become upset. But is he over weight and large, yes. The fact he gets upset being called “fatty” is not breaking a law.
    If I said round up all the fatties and ban them…then that is very different from an opinion and would be against the law.

    Japan does not separate the difference between personal opinions and emotions and feelings. What I feel and what I think are completely separate. They make exist together, but I cannot cry about it.

    At school I was called endless names, because of having a foreign surname. My personal emotions and feeling about this does not take away the fact that my surname IS foreign. At the time I was upset, but it wasn’t breaking the law. I either accept it, or I don’t. I accepted it and ignored them and moved on.

    And here are some of those quotes

    “Japan is, and always will be a boil on the backside of the earth.
    It is a country steeped in brutality, and covered in the blood of the innocent. I cannot understand why we have anything to do with these people. I would rather shake hands with Mugabe.”

    Note the personal pronoun “I” in his comments. Or is the objection to the history of Japan and having endless feudal wars?..is the history of Japan not riddled with war and bloodshed? (Just as every other country is)

    Or

    “…can the Japanese justify the slaughter of whales for research that never gets published? Then again, some of them can justify the treatment handed out to WWII POWs and ‘comfort women’ so who knows what goes on in their minds?”

    The question raised is “where is this research, that the scientist are doing..where is it published?”…..did the Japanese treat POWs fairly and as per the Geneva convention…enough factual evidence that this was not the case. There is even e debate about the “comfort women” in Japan…are these people wrong also, for asking this question??

    So, your article is really expressing YOUR opinion that you don’t like being criticized about YOUR own views on whaling, for example, just as those others are on BBC “Have your say” are expressing THEIR opinions….. or is it that YOU disagree with the comments. So what..????

    As a foot note:
    The Oxford English Dictionart defines an “opinon” as thus:
    “your feelings or thoughts about somthing rather than fact”

    QED.!

  7. sod said

    if you want to read about hypocrisy in britain here is an article about fox hunting which was banned but still takes place.i can’t ever remember fox being served at school for lunch!

  8. Peter Pan said

    John K:

    The issue is that these comments are supposed to be moderated, but look at what is getting through. By allowing those comments through, the BBC is taking the stance that regardless of if they agree or disagree with the comments, they find nothing wrong with what is being said in spite of the disclaimer that they will remove just those types of comments.

    I find it interesting that the British commentors bring up the nuclear bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and claim that we must need to do it again… Last time I checked, the British got their ass kicked and didn’t have anything to do with saving the world. Talk about selective memory. However it’s no suprise since they seem to believe that the Japanese are the ones that hunted various species of whale near extinction when it is in fact the western nations primarily Britain and the US that really did.

  9. bender said

    I don’t see the comments by anti-whalers reflecting any kind of sound opinion separated from one’s feelings. They are NOTHING BUT raw feelings.

    Ampontan is not saying that those racist/derogatory opinions reflect any opinion of the BBC. Let’s not get into strawman arguments here. The problem is that they’re supposed to be “fully moderated”, and BBC did quite a sloppy job at that. If you have racist comments going through the filters of moderation, it’s not crazy to assume that the moderators thought it was OK to call the Japanese “Japs/Nips” and propagate the killings of these people. Maybe the British version of English is harsher than the English I know. Maybe it’s OK in Britain to call Africans by the n-word and call women a h*. Beats me. It’s totally inappropriate in the US of A, that’s for sure (recalling what happened to Imus). Even if it’s OK in Britain, nothing of that sort is worthy to call an opinion. It’s just defamatory.

    BTW, the holocaust denial speech by the Iranian president is taken by disgust by many, and if one thinks that such amounts to some worthy opinion, I have to doubt his/her conscience.

  10. Aceface said

    ”In the west this is ostensibly called “respect”. But respect in the west does not prevent someone expressing their own personal views, no matter how abhorrent they may be to others. It is one of the fundamental freedoms. ”

    We are talking about either the lack or insensitivity of the moderation at BBC while they are sending these messages through out the world with precious brand logo.Perhaps you can express that interesting opinion to David Irving,John K.

    Anyone read the last week issue of Syukan Shincho,the Dec 20th?There’s an article called BBC “Thanked”NHK over new eco doc”EARTH”.
    While I haven’t seen it yet,but that was the theatrical version of “PLANET EARTH”which was supposed to be the joint production by NHK and BBC.

    And according to Shincho article,BBC had no mentioning of NHK but only at the endrolls plainly mentioning “Thanks to NHK”.
    The article was mentioning NHK is simply being “used”by BBC and not claiming their contribution in the process of the production which costs millions of Japanese contracted viewers money.

    I happened to know some people working at NHK who had worked with BBC.While they are all worshipper of BBC,they hate the arrogance of the British institution.It’s like we-noble,you-commoner thing.And few have fond memory of the joint production.
    Ofcourse that is something that can be justified by comparing the quality of the product of both institution,however friend of mine had worked with the very NHK cameraman who shot the master piece night sequence of African elephant being hunted by the pride of lions of which I believe was one of the highlight sequence in TV”PLANET EARTH”.And if BBC is using that clip in the film and the treatment of production contribution of NHK is being treated exactly as the Shincho article suggeted,then I’m really pissed with BBC.Got a go see “EARTH” with my kid and find out.

    Even if I witness another sign of disrespectful treatment of Japanese by BBC,it’s still supposed to be a good film.
    Afterall it’s been made by the hand of finest TV crew in the world….

  11. john k said

    Peter Pan:

    I am in agreement with you. However, the BBC is abiding by its own house rules. The websites has a list of rules such as these:

    “No defamatory comments”: A defamatory comment is one that is capable of damaging the reputation of a person or organisation.

    And

    “Do not incite people to commit any crime”, including incitement of racial hatred

    ..just to select a few house rules, to those being referred to in this blog.

    The BBC is not taking a stance, it has no stance other than to ensure laws are not broken in the “freedom of expression”. Which is clearly stated in the moderation page of “house rules”.

    The OED defines

    Defamatory as “…intended to harm somebody by saying or writing bad or false things about them”
    And
    Incite as: “..to encourage somebody to do something violent, illegal or unpleasant..”

    There may be comments which Japan does not like, such as references to cruel treatment of POWs, but these are documented facts, so there is reference to a nation rather than “somebody”. So this cannot be construed as “defamatory.

    And where is there a comment that is actually saying to “take up arms and act”. i.e. to encourage somebody to be violent?

    I may find many comments abhorrent and distasteful, but they are not defamatory nor commit incitement.

    As I noted above, a personal comment and point of view, is simply just that. In essence by itself it cannot be breaking any laws. How one perceives the comment is a very different matter. Since that then comes down to personal interpretation. I cannot imagine what somebody is thinking or understands writing these words that I am writing here. Am I offended or upset if that person disagrees with my own personal views…no. If somebody tells me I have broken a law, then please tell me which law when and how. Otherwise, their comments to me, are their own, just as are mine!

    In having such free and open forums, like HYS on the BBC personal views will always be attacked and criticised. But at least it presents wide ranging views from around the world. Both positive and negative.

    Such as this one
    “…that is the problem with UK people they want the world to dance to their tune and what they say is acceptable id right,sorry you are wrong want is acceptable to the Japanese would not always been acceptable to others,i personally don`t like it but if it is control then i am willing to go along with it.”

    And

    “…Whales have meat – that is tasty to eat.

    I gather not all types of whale are endangered anyway. In a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to source animal protein, which is an important element of a healthy diet, in ways which do not damage the environment, it seems like not eating whale meat would be a waste of good biomass.

    I never really understood the save the whale campaign anyway – why whales? Is it because most people don’t fancy, and don’t need to eat whale meat? “

    Even silly ones

    “..”Whales are eating our sailors and drinking our water. Let me ask you, when is the last time a whale did anything for you? If a whale is so intelligent, can it build an oil rig? I don’t think so. Kill them freely if you want. I fully support whaling”

    Or is the debate really about being able to express ones opinion freely and openly, without being ridiculed or persecuted, for having such a deviant opinion?

    This sadly is very true in Japan. Since to express an opinion, publicly, that opposes the “norm” or the “masses” is considered rude and negative. That is why politics never moves forward here, they just agree to agree with each other, albeit slightly differently, so no one is upset. There is no real heated open debate.

  12. john k said

    Aceface:

    Just so i understand you correctly

    “…We are talking about either the lack or insensitivity of the moderation at BBC while they are sending these messages through out the world with precious brand logo.Perhaps you can express that interesting opinion to David Irving,John K.”

    When the BBC shows scenes/images of war or mass graves of killings or “some teenager shooting randomly by in a mall” by ‘whoever’,.. you are saying that the BBC is insenstive to those doing the killing?

    Journalsim should be objective and deviod of any editorial content, save for breaking laws.

  13. mac said

    Its not hypocrisy Sod. Knocking fox hunting on the head was another great step in the Class based Civil War that England is still fighting. Nobody but the no-brain upper classes and their retarded right-wing serfs thought it was cool. And their was never any pretense it was for “scientific purposes”. The ban was a great victory for both the Animal Rights and Socialist Movement (it was a test of the new Labour Government’s commitment about standing up to class and cruelty) but was a compromise and did not go far enough. POublic opinion was that hunting should have been banned outright.

    Yes, in general, think the BBC handling of Japan’s issues and news is bad. I regularly put in complaints, mostly about their rabid fixation with a kind of WWII polemic, constantly dredging up Nanking and the “no apology” propaganda and putting down the Japanese for being silly geeks. I got to think their guy Charles Hogg went to Public School and grew up on War time boy’s comics.

    All the same, there is some of that flame that has fair grounds, e.g. the effect of the samurai’s rights over the peasant classes, that still manifests in Japanese society, i.e. not stepping out of line, exaggerated deference etc.

    You can get dog meat in Japan but it is a racket run by Koreans, mainly, and Chinese for their own. The skinned, live fish flapping on the dish (I cant remember its name) would have ALF and PETA burning one restaurant down if it was tried in the West. Ditto, a friend of mine’s father was in a POW camp and he said that the Japanese were tough but the Korean guards were much worse.

    Its a shame that so much flame is based on second or thirteenth hand opinion. All the same, Japan is harpooning itself in the foot over this needless slaughter and ought to be marketing itself much better to the world. It cannot afford to be so entirely inward looking.

    One issue that really bugs me is how people, like Sod above and most of the flamers, use collective nouns as if they mean something; “The British”, “The Japanese” (generally referring to WWII) … who or what are these collectives? Anyone with any experience in the world will know that, basically, there are no such things outside of propaganda. “The Japan” or “The Japanese” did not exist and certainly no longer exist, no more than there is a unified thing called “Britain”.

    There does appear to me to be either a political agenda or at least a culture within the BBC News service that continues to stereotyped Japan … and kind of enjoy or encourages this type of national prejudice. At time it is borderline incitement, e.g. their level of investigation and stance on WWII related issues and general Korean/Chinese relationships is school boyish, but in the case of industrial whaling instance, Japan is getting a good taste of public opinion and should be listening.

    The issue is, the whales are not domestic and they do not belong to Japan. Therefore the rest of the world does have the right to an opinion and a democratic involvement in the decisions and process. Its all part of the evolution of the human species from nationalism to internationalism. Commerce and so-called capitalism should not be the driving force within that without such a healthy moral injection.

    The problem is with unfettered so-called capitalism not Japan per se. The so-called capitalists of which ever nation say, we have the money, we do whatever we want to make more even if it screws the environment we are all dependent on. The environmentalists say, no you don’t and increasing speak the only language the so-called capitalists understand and are legal bound by, direct financial damage. To reduce it to nationalism is to miss the target and only exhibits the ignorance and prejudices of the protester.

    Ultimately, it is just another class struggle against the same enemy yet again. Capital exploitation of the voiceless or disempowered. Whales are just another lower class for these people to exploit. As I said in another post, once it was black people (and even Japanese) being taken in big ships; now it is the higher mammals. The exploiters’ modus operandi remain the same; as does the reformers and ultimately the reformers will succeed to a greater degree.

  14. Aceface said

    If BBC starts asking questions like “Can shooting randmly in a shopping mall by teenager be justified” and thousand of answers with VERY loosely moderated left on their website,yeah,I think we would start questioning the decensy of the moderator at BBC.

    “Journalsim should be objective and deviod of any editorial content, save for breaking laws.”

    Precisely.And BBC is not being very objective regarding whaling
    issues to my eyes.

  15. john k said

    “Precisely.And BBC is not being very objective regarding whaling
    issues to my eyes.”

    Good, you have expressed your own personal opinion, well done. I congratulate you.My own views on your opinon may differ, but what do you care….again, so what, doesn’t bother me.

    But…what IS your opinion on the Whaling issue and the BBC’s lack of objectivity??….you haven’t expressed it.

    Anyone can criticise, that is the easy bit. Giving a differing opinion or way forward, now that is the hard part. Because it then exposes ones own views to criticism. Not everyone can take it…personally i welcome debate, even against my own opinion…it is how we grow and understand each other more.

  16. Two Cents said

    I’d like to see what the comments would be for an article like this. Would the author be attacked for his immoral try at whale cuisine, or will there be some kind of intelligent argument on culture and acceptable food?

    Cruelty and the Kitchen
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/6695885.stm

  17. bender said

    Journalsim should be objective and deviod of any editorial content, save for breaking laws.

    So it’s within the scope of journalism/free speech to call the Japanese nips and Africans n***ers, you say. It’s alright to say that the Japanese be nuked. If you ever cared, this is equivalent to saying that the Jewish people should be g**sed. It’s pathetic to hide under the veil of a quasi-legal argument and bloat out whatever derogative phrase you want. It’s worse than defamation, it’s plain old insult.

  18. ampontan said

    John K.:

    Please read the part about the UK law again. This isn’t just about moderation.

    “This act makes it an offence for a person who…displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting…is guilty of an offence if…having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby.”

    I know it’s ungrammatical, but that’s how it hangs together.

    Would you say that the BBC is not guilty of displaying abusive and insulting material that, having regard to all the circumstances, is likely to stir up racial hatred, or hatred based on national origin?

    I think they’ve shut down the Comments section on that article now, but when I was putting the post together, it was open and “Fully Moderated”. The BBC thought that was an acceptable manner of discourse.

    That’s why I included all that information first. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered with the post at all.

    “Having regard to all the circumstances” in Great Britain today, what do you think their response would have been had those notes been about Muslims instead?

  19. Aceface said

    “But…what IS your opinion on the Whaling issue and the BBC’s lack of objectivity??….you haven’t expressed it.”

    Actually I did and it’s all over this blog.In fact my first ever posting on this blog about a year ago was precisely on Whaling and BBC,but I don’t think either you care or be bothered with that.

    “This sadly is very true in Japan. Since to express an opinion, publicly, that opposes the “norm” or the “masses” is considered rude and negative. That is why politics never moves forward here, they just agree to agree with each other, albeit slightly differently, so no one is upset. There is no real heated open debate.”

    Just out of curiousty,John K.How good is your Japanese?
    Quite obviously we are not living in the same country….

  20. RYO said

    In contrast, I have no doubt that the BBC moderators would be far more vigilant in moderating comments on a topic that might invite critical comments about, say, Islam, which – being an ideology (as opposed to a race or a nationality) – should correspond to a higher threshold of what constitutes inappropriate opinions for posting to such a website as Have Your Say. Needless to say, this is likely due to the fact that the Japanese are highly unlikely to be as bloodthirsty in real life against fellow human beings today as many of the comments posted to the BBC website might have you believe.

  21. john k said

    Bender

    “So it’s within the scope of journalism/free speech to call the Japanese nips and Africans n***ers, you say. It’s alright to say that the Japanese be nuked. If you ever cared, this is equivalent to saying that the Jewish people should be g**sed. It’s pathetic to hide under the veil of a quasi-legal argument and bloat out whatever derogative phrase you want. It’s worse than defamation, it’s plain old insult.”

    You are confusing the BBC and its opinions and those of its blog writers.

    The BBC has never called the Japanese nips, of Africans n******, or whatever it is you are thinking. Perhaps the writers/readers imply this, but that is not the same as the BBC personally expressing it.

    So if you can sight times when a BBC journalist or news reader has said such words or phrases, with the intent that you also suggest, please do so, and I shall stand corrected.

    Ampontan

    You say
    “..“This act makes it an offence for a person who…displays any written material…”

    It does not say that. It says, and I quote:
    The final bill was altered by the Lords in two key ways:
    • Only threatening words or behaviour will be classified as criminal. Generally abusive or insulting words about religion that are not actually threatening will not be illegal.

    “Threatening words or behaviour”….it says nothing about displays. If it does, I cannot find it. And generally insulting words, are not illegal, there you have it.

    “Would you say that the BBC is not guilty of displaying abusive and insulting material that, having regard to all the circumstances, is likely to stir up racial hatred, or hatred based on national origin?”

    Since displaying is not a crime, no. But in the messages posted, probably, yes. But that is down to an individual and an individuals actions and own beliefs and interpretations of the comments posted. No more different than me being called “a round eye devil”, or “the son of Satan”, because I come from the west…and not China or Iran or wherever.
    Displaying images of The Prophet Mohamed in a cartoon… to the Danish view, it was humour, the other view it clearly wasn’t. Who is right?

    It all comes down to the freedom of expression and speech.

    Do I feel “threatened” by what is written on the BBC HYS…..since that is the core of the Parliamentary act.

    “…Having regard to all the circumstances” in Great Britain today, what do you think their response would have been had those notes been about Muslims instead?”

    There have been. Many many times. Those who are really “upset” and feel “threatened” are those having their freedom of right to free expression taken away by someone who doesn’t like someone else’s opinion of them or their beliefs. You only have to look at the condemnation that surrounds Salman Rushdie, it is still going on some 20 years after the publication of his book!

    And more recently, also on the HYS, the comments surrounding the imprisonment of the English school teacher in Sudan!

    I have had many of my own comments not posted on the BBC site, I have also complained many times at their lack of objectivity and their often biased reporting. However, I defend their right to have the HYS blog and allow people to express their own views and opinions, within the bounds of the law….even if it upsets some.

    Aceface..

    Only moved to Japan recently, so my Japanese is crap, and I have only just found this website.

    Still…interesting debate. I’m off to buy some salmon for tonight’s dinner while I leave my home made dashi stock to “steep”.

  22. Ampontan: What page was the Enola Gay comment on? I think it’s gone. And if it is, then we can kind of credit the BBC for removing it. But not too much credit since they only removed it after I used their Alert a Moderator thing.

  23. ampontan said

    lost in ube: Golly, I don’t remember. There were more than 50 pages of posts when I went through them, and I got very tired after about page 40. As I recall, though, it was within the first two or three pages of the start.

    I know this much: It was up there for more than 24 hours. I flicked through a page or two of comments the day before yesterday, and quickly left. The whole business stayed in the back of my mind, however, so I went back again yesterday evening, and it was still there then.

    The last time I was there before writing the post, comments were still open, but now it seems they’ve shut them down.

    If you were responsible for having them take it down, good for you! (There were at least two or three other A-bomb comments, though. I thought the “instant sunshine” one was just as bad.)

  24. Aceface said

    Welcome to Japan,John K.So you are kind of new here.

    “But…what IS your opinion on the Whaling issue and the BBC’s lack of objectivity??….you haven’t expressed it.”

    I just forgot last time I was furious over BBC.

    From March 4th of this year,HAVE YOUR SAY on confort women fiasco.

    (quote)
    The Japanese have never been able to accept what they do not like as the truth. When it is something they don’t want to hear, then the best way to deal with it, is deny it ever happened.
    The Japanese treatment of dolphins, explains as much about the Japanese make-up, as we ever need to know.

    Gillian Thornton, cirencester

    (end quote)

    It’s kind of funny that these two completely different topic are interchangeable in the mindset of HYS posters….

  25. bender said

    You are confusing the BBC and its opinions and those of its blog writers.

    You’d better read over what you’ve written….Like here:

    As I noted above, a personal comment and point of view, is simply just that. In essence by itself it cannot be breaking any laws. How one perceives the comment is a very different matter. Since that then comes down to personal interpretation. I cannot imagine what somebody is thinking or understands writing these words that I am writing here. Am I offended or upset if that person disagrees with my own personal views…no. If somebody tells me I have broken a law, then please tell me which law when and how. Otherwise, their comments to me, are their own, just as are mine!

    Or here:

    Anyone can criticise, that is the easy bit. Giving a differing opinion or way forward, now that is the hard part. Because it then exposes ones own views to criticism. Not everyone can take it…personally i welcome debate, even against my own opinion…it is how we grow and understand each other more.

    Looks like switching stances/strawman argument to me. I think you’re confusing what free speech is and what is just libel/slander. I take it you’re not from the States.

  26. john k said

    Aceface

    Yoroshiku Aceface. New to Japan, but not new to Japanese people. Being in and around Japanese for some 15 years.

    I enjoy reading HYS, there are some seriously crazy people out there and also some serious, serious people. I also believe that most readers of the blog understand that it is just a series of personal views and very wide ranging. Most comments do not contain hard factual evidence, as there is not enough room for such, nor are URLs allowed, unless they are notified first; to prevent advertising, spamming etc.

    It is very difficult for most people to be clear and concise in just a few characters, especially when the subject being discussed often inflames passion or even hatred. Sensationalism and subjectivity seems to rule….but that is just like watching Fox or CNN news…perhaps they are trying to steal their thunder?!

    But, here is the rub. If a comment upsets or inflames someone, it has “mentally” provoked them, and probably enough to respond to the comment and indeed the blog, then it has served it purpose. To hear everyone’s views.

  27. bender said

    Lost in Ube:

    Yes, looks like the “Enola Gay” post has been removed. It shows up in their search engine, but clicking on the result (link) will not lead you to the post.

  28. Aceface said

    Looks like BBC has chose their side already.They’ve put a reporter on a board of Greenpeace boat chasing Japanese fleet.
    So much for “objectivity”.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7154508.stm

  29. john k said

    Is putting a reporter onboard the greenpeace vessel any different from all those reporters on Airforce 1, given “hand outs”, which they recite verbatim?

  30. Aceface said

    I just realized,the reporter’s name is “Jonah Fisher”.
    Kinda funny.

  31. Aceface said

    “Is putting a reporter onboard the greenpeace vessel any different from all those reporters on Airforce 1, given “hand outs”, which they recite verbatim?”

    Suppose a reporter gets a reserved sheet right next to George W.Bush on Airforce One for two full month.following every line of his article from Whitehouse songbook,would you still call him a journalist,John?

  32. ampontan said

    Aceface: I mentioned that about Jonah Fisher in the post.

    You know the story of Jonah and the whale?

    For anyone who doesn’t, here’s the one-stop Internet shopping center:

    http://www.isidore-of-seville.com/jonah/jonah.html

  33. john k said

    Aceface

    Interesting hypothesises.
    Well, if the reporter prefaced his reports with caveats of what was asked, but not answered and how often; questions asked that are of wide ranging and also differing in views, not “the party line” and if follow up questions occurred and were answered.
    In addition how much “hospitality” was ‘enjoyed’ by the proximity to the president, this would give an indication of the reporters bias.
    Since the more one accepts from ones hosts, the more one becomes affected by the host, whether consciously or unconsciously.

    Then we can make up our own mind on the ‘facts’ presented and if there is any hint of bias. That is about as far as we can go…..without actually being there of course, or having another person witness and corroborate the story, independently.

  34. Aceface said

    Somehow I’ve missed that,Bill.

    Now for something completely different from BBC
    Breaking News.Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto has just being killed by suicide bomber in Rawalpindi.

  35. Aceface said

    I gotta tell ya,BBC is good at reporting ex-colony.
    NHK confirmed death of Bhutto 30 minuites after BBC.
    My hats off for that.

  36. tomojiro said

    “I gotta tell ya,BBC is good at reporting ex-colony.
    NHK confirmed death of Bhutto 30 minuites after BBC.
    My hats off for that.”

    It is their former colony. No wonder.

    On the other hand, this is terrible news for Pakistan and the United states (and their allies). Really, I think that Pakisitan and Afghanistan is maybe a far more serious problem than Iraq.

  37. john k said

    Im not sure it really matters who is first with such terrible news as this….a very sad day, especially for her family.

    Agreed…Iraq/Iran will pale into insignificance now, compared to what will explode in Pakistan!

  38. bender said

    Well, that (Pakistan) topic is kind of off-topic here, don’t you say?

    BBC has done a good job at moderating “Have Your Say” when it comes to China/Japan relations topics, but this time they were certainly sloppy. Maybe because Britains have never dealt with issues of racial insults leading to division and violence among its people. OR, does it reflect the strong racist component of anti-whalers among the white Europeans?

    Anyways, in the end, 人種差別的や侮辱的な表現については不適当(politically incorrect)であることは認めるのでしょうから、他人の発言を故意に歪めて反論したり(こういうのを前提誤認、英語ではstrawman argumentといいます: the part about the BBC directly making that kind of speech- こんなこと誰も言ってません)、あるいはそういった類いの表現も「表現の自由」に含まれると強弁するのはdishonestなスタンスではないでしょうか?

  39. bern said

    I still find Americans to be much more racist and barbaric as a whole than English people. I would choose BBC over FOX any day.

    USA is a anti whaling whaling country. US’s stance is only if your culture has been ruined by white imperialists then you can whale. This means Indians can whale but not others. It makes you think. What kind of attitude does US have of the Indians?

  40. Aceface said

    bern:

    Eskimos in Alaska is allowed to hunt about 40 Bowhead Whales a year which only exist less than 10000 individuals in the world.
    But then again this is necessary to maintain small community of hunting-gathring based ethnic culture,thus justifiable to Americans compare to much more industry based Japanese whaling.
    I can understand this logic,actually.

  41. Ken said

    The whaling issue is about animals. Race or nationality have nothing to do with it. If there is a problem with race in the UK – as there is everywhere – that should be addressed. I salute Ampontan for bringing this issue to a public forum. However, we must remember that those who attempt to link opposition to whaling with race and/or nationality are pushing a false dichotomy, as are those who use race and/or nationality to justify their opposition to whaling.

    The truth is that in an economic sense, anti-whaling is pro-Japan.

  42. Aceface said

    “However, we must remember that those who attempt to link opposition to whaling with race and/or nationality are pushing a false dichotomy, as are those who use race and/or nationality to justify their opposition to whaling.”

    As I understand Japanese argument at IWC is whaling is ecologically sustainable as long as it’s target species are carefully selected. Officially,no one seems to be using the race card.

    But you will agree that lots of comments on internet regarding this issue are racially offensive.I know I’m offended.

    “The truth is that in an economic sense, anti-whaling is pro-Japan.”

    Lots of anti-whaling people are pretty anti-Japanese to my eyes..
    But hey,I trust anyone who operates economy blog.
    Just tell me one more thing regarding truth,Ken.

    Is Ampontan and Ponta really the same guy?
    You seem to be pretty reluctant to answer that question on your other blog….

  43. ponta said

    This discussion is very interesting. Some of the worst threads at 2 channel might turn out to be not so bad after all and Hiroyuki maybe almost as good as BBC moderator.

  44. Aceface said

    Latest development on war over whaling.

    Anti whaling demonstrators has vandalized Japanese consulate in Melborune,but Australian authority ARREST NONE.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22977156-5006785,00.html

  45. Aceface said

    Meanwhile the local paper “The Age”has this.

    We’ll get them this time,VOWS ANTI-WHALING LEADER.

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/well-get-them-this-time-vows-whaling-protest-leader/2007/12/27/1198345159236.html

    Things must be pretty different in downunder…..

  46. john k said

    well, we have:
    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article85429.ece

    also

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article168129.ece

    and

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/05/05/uk.attacks/index.html

    Embassys all over the world are attacked and more often than not no one is arrested. For a multitude of reasons.

    Your point being….that the attack is unique and hasn’t happen to anyone else before, or has it?…..??

  47. Aceface said

    “Your point being….that the attack is unique and hasn’t happen to anyone else before, or has it?…..??”

    No,John.I am very much aware of embassy around the world do get attacked by all the differnt stripes of zealots.Ours in Shnghai has been attacked by Chinese riot not so long ago.
    I also understand the government of Iran,Yemen and Turkey are having some bad time tracking down terrorists.

    The difference is

    a)Australia is seen in Japan as neither authoritarian nor rogue state,but a democratic country.Not so about,say Iran and Yemen.

    b)We’ve just signed a defense pact with their leaderhip about a year ago.

    c)Usually a free press do not flame terrorists,instead they engourage the law enforcement to take their aim more seriously.

    d)Thousand of Japanese do go to Australia during new year holiday season of whom would likely be the ideal target of harrasment.
    In another word,I am worried about their wellbeing more than that of whalers(and whales).

  48. john k said

    Aceface

    I take your point. But the embassys of UK and USA for example have also been attacked in their own countries too!..not forgetting Denmark, which is also a democratic country.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=480815&in_page_id=1770

    The principal reason why Japanese are victimised in Australia goes back to the 1980s. Australia embarked on a major economy drive of building and infrastructure change. It was based upon the booming economy. “everyone wanted a bit of down under”.

    The problem was, when there was the stock market crashes, no one or very few people travelled. Australia being so far away for most, realised that the growth and building underway could no longer be funded. The economy was in for a major dive.

    So what did the then Prime Minster, Bob Hawke, do? He though, I know I have plenty of excellent real estate, lets sell it. So he sold all the best spots around Australia, such as Gold coast and beyond, to raise money to pay for the building projects and prop up the economy. (Gold coast is actually crap…like Blackpool or Vegas). Who bought the land??…predominantly rich Japanese companies. Bought to put up hotels to serve large and expensive golf courses. Around 80% or so of the prime real estate in Australia was sold and most bought by the Japanese. (Japan had a major surplus of cash at that time).

    The locals didn’t take too kindly to hotels and golf courses springing up on “their land”, for a Japanese market. Golf courses had $million entrance fees etc…for the rich ‘salaryman’.

    So, the average Australian has a major dislike of the Japanese. But, for the wrong reasons. They should blame the idiot Bob Hawke. He should have leased the land, not sold it. And he did it to “fix” the economy, which they benefit from today.

    The resentment still exists today.

  49. ampontan said

    (Gold coast is actually crap…like Blackpool or Vegas)

    I’ve been to the Gold Coast and to Las Vegas, and I could not disagree more. In fact, I saw very few similarities, though it is possible I did not see the more garish areas of the GC, as I went there to interpret for a Japanese hotel owner and spent most of the time there on business. (Went to GC in 94 and to LV in 73)

    Garish districts may exist, but I saw nothing as overwhelming as the entire presence of LV itself.

    In fact, I saw pleasant residential areas within walking distance of the Gold Coast itself that I would have no problem living in. And the beach is marvelous.

    Disclaimer: I also spent my high school days in Virginia Beach, Virginia, which is an Atlantic Ocean beach resort. That was not a garish place either at the time, and I enjoyed living there.

    I would never live in Las Vegas. (Though it is worth visiting once if you’re reasonably nearby just to see it. It’s educational to realize that such places exist.)

    Never been to Blackpool.

    So what did the then Prime Minster, Bob Hawke, do? He though, I know I have plenty of excellent real estate, lets sell it. So he sold all the best spots around Australia, such as Gold coast and beyond, to raise money to pay for the building projects and prop up the economy.

    I assume that Bob Hawke did not own the land himself, but it was the property of the State. Would not the sale of this land require the approval of other elements of the Australian government, such as the legislative branch? And if not, could the legislative branch not have stopped it?

    If that were the case, then it would seem that, in effect, the entire Australian nation is responsible.

    In those days of the bubble economy, the Japanese bought up a lot of property around the world, including in the US, such as Rockefeller Center, but I don’t detect any residual resentment for that from the US.

  50. ponta said

    john k

    The principal reason why Japanese are victimised in Australia goes back to the 1980s.

    the average Australian has a major dislike of the Japanese

    This time, you seem to understand “general public”
    I don’t see why you don’t feel anti-whaling is motivated by or backed up with the cultural imperialism or racism with the hateful comments toward the Japanese at BBC.
    https://ampontan.wordpress.com/2007/12/27/you-are-what-you-eat/#comment-12168

  51. Aceface said

    I don’t buy that thesis that Aussies act based on “the resentment”of the Japanese bubble economy,John.

    They are just too damn certain about their selfrighteousness on this particular issue,almost too much as that they believe they can break normal expertise of international protocols.

    “I did not see the more garish areas of the GC, as I went there to interpret for a Japanese hotel owner and spent most of the time there on business.”

    So “In summer,I’m a nudist”wasn’t all a joke,Huh Bill?

  52. ampontan said

    It’s not a joke at all, Aceface. I’m a real tokonatsu kind of a guy!

    In fact, there’s a small beach area in Karatsu, and when I got married I talked to my wife about moving there because I really like those kinds of places.

    She wouldn’t hear of it, however. Though it’s part of Saga Prefecture, many Karatsu people feel closer to Fukuoka than to Saga, and they are known to say unpleasant things about the people of Saga sometimes.

    My wife has strong opinions about that sort of thing, and that ended that.

  53. Aceface said

    “Though it’s part of Saga Prefecture, many Karatsu people feel closer to Fukuoka than to Saga, and they are known to say unpleasant things about the people of Saga sometimes.”

    My mom is from Kokura,and my ex-girlfriend is from Hakata.
    Yes I’m very much aware of those arrogant Fukuokan look down on simpletons from Saga…
    But hey,Kumamoto people have ideas on those upstart Fukuokans.

  54. john k said

    Ampontan

    You either love or hate Vegas. As a “fun place” to visit, it is great. But to take it seriously, forget it!

    Correct the land was state own. I am no longer fully familiar with the facts behind the sale of the land. I lived in Oz for 3 years in the early 1990s, over 15 years ago, when lots of this was “leaking out”. Claims of “How can the Govt sell the land” etc….but you must remember the Govt was bankrupt. It was the laughing stock of many nations, certainly in Europe, for its mishandling of the economy. This is why Paul Keating (ex PM) and his famous “J curve” economy won over the nation post Hawke.

    Agreed, the nation is responsible, or rather those that drew up the plans and conducted the sales.

    The US is much more multicultural than Oz was, in those days. Australia has since gone through major changes. It now has the highest percentage of non-nationals living in its country of any country in the world. Most of them are Asians too. So I suspect, there attitudes are changing.

    Ponta

    You have just answered your own question

    “You don’t have to “understand” the general public to answer the question if you don’t “feel” the racist and/or cultural imperialistic motivation behind it….”

    However, I was referring to the fact that I pointed out my position endlessly, but either my words or my language was incomprehensible. Since my words are being read by the “general public”, yet there wasn’t any cognitive recognition of the meaning written, no matter how many times it was stated. So I drew stumps and headed for the sake…..

    Aceface

    You may not buy the resentment, but it is very palpable when you go to Oz. It may be less now, since it has been a few years since I was last there. But as I pointed out, nothing to do with the Japanese bubble economy….just that the Japanese bought most of the land that went for sale. The economy isn’t the argument, the owner of the land is!

    So is…..”Yes I’m very much aware of those arrogant Fukuokan look down on simpletons from Saga…” an imperial, racial or cultural statement?

    On that note….i’m off to enjoy my dinner no my sake has chilled properly 

  55. ponta said

    john k
    Thanks

    I was referring to the fact that I pointed out my position endlessly, but either my words or my language was incomprehensible. Since my words are being read by the “general public”, yet there wasn’t any cognitive recognition of the meaning written, no matter how many times it was stated. So I drew stumps and headed for the sake….

    Your position is clear, anti-whaling argument per se is not based on racism, with which I agreed. But your position is not clear when it comes to the question whether it is “palpable” that anti-whaling is (at least partly) motivated by or backed up with cultural imperialism or racism.

    You may not buy the resentment, but it is very palpable when you go to Oz.

    Let me ask you in another way. Do you feel anti-whaling is motivated by or backed up with the misdirected resentment toward the Japanese?

    I’ll go to dinner, you can take a rest meanwhile (^_-).(I enjoy the talk with you, thanks)

  56. Aceface said

    “However, I was referring to the fact that I pointed out my position endlessly, but either my words or my language was incomprehensible. ”

    Ponta is a practitioner of the last-man-standing-is-the-winner school,John.
    According to his book,when you stop is when you lose.Something you need to know before you engage him.

    “So is…..”Yes I’m very much aware of those arrogant Fukuokan look down on simpletons from Saga…” an imperial, racial or cultural statement?”

    Just doing some more favors to fresh off the boat,It’s country joke.No more,no less.

    I’m on a night shift.Working all night.

  57. mac said

    For me, the use of the word ‘Jap’ certainly is equivalent to ‘nigger’ and I am surprised the BBC allow it.

    I don’t think the anti-whaling movement is rooted in racism at all. Industrial whaling is just an offense to any civil society, like slavery; both of which most other civilised societies have given up. Any outstanding identifying feature; red-hair, black-skin, Jewishness, fat etc are just handly devices to hang an insult of bit of vituperative, and in this case it is ‘Historical Japanese’, e.g. the old and extinct Imperial Japan.

    The use of a term which is also racist should not be read too deeply into, it just speaks more about the age and level of education of the individual and the righteous indignation they feel at this moral injustice.

  58. bender said

    There’s a tendency to see racist slurs and whatnot when anonymous speech is involved, as seen in 2 channel and the BBC Have Your Say. But I’m not as optimistic as Mac. It probably does reflect their inner conviction in some way. So the child song I used to hear says:

    “What you say is what you are, you’re a naked movie star!”

  59. bern said

    It is absurd that Inuits in Alaska or Greenland are allowed to hunt whales but not Japan. Anti whaling countries are saying that only certain tye of people can hunt but not Japan. The Inuis and Greenlanders resent this as much as Japan.

  60. desslok said

    Foe those who understand Japanese, a chance to listen to the man behind the curtain.
    http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=W8hJTrSG7sg

  61. ponta said

    Aceface

    Ponta is a practitioner of the last-man-standing-is-the-winner school,John.

    Stop ad hominem attack.
    If you have something to argue, just argue.
    Don’t take the argument with hard feelings as you say to Robert. And don’t bring your grudges from the past debate we had to the new discussion. As you said to someone else, that is the 長崎の仇を江戸でうつ.
    I respect you. Let’s enjoy the debate, you can enjoy it like a game if you don’t take it personally.

    John K

    Let me be clear about what I am asking.
    There is a difference between the argument and the motivation for the argument.
    The argument is basically a thesis with reasons to back it up.
    As you know, some people just express their opinion without giving reasons, but that is not an argument. Some people cannot argue but just express their opinion and get emotional when refuted with reasons. Having observed your excellent way you
    have presented your argument. I am sure you are not this type, but the type you can enjoy the discussion and different perspectives without taking personally. (Welcome to the muddy water of Japan!) Personally I really don’t care about the pro-whaling or anti-whaling. I am here to
    get better and wider perspective, though I don’t think non-vegitarian argument for anti-whaling is not sound.

    Now
    A) The whaling is wrong, because
    The most of whalers are Japanese and the Japs suck.
    It is an argument but it is racist’s argument. Anti-whaling argument is not of this kind.

    B) The whaling is wrong, because
    Killing sentient beings are wrong.
    It may or may not be valid, but this is an non-racist argument.

    Someone can present this kind of argument out of various motives. She might argue out of sympathy for all the sentient beings or she might argue for it out of the resentment against the Japanese. (Note the motive for the argument does not affect the validity of the argument.)

    What I am asking is if anti-whaling people, or many of them are motivated by the resentment, and/or racial prejudice.

    The evidence for my speculation is that the comment sections at BBC (and at other forums on the whaling) is filled with “personal” hateful opinion toward the Japanese people in general.
    Another evidence is that, according to your opinion,(which was enlightening to me by the way), “the average Australian has a major dislike of the Japanese.””The resentment still exists today.”and that Australia is the fiercest advocate of anti-whaling.

    Let’s face it. Some Japanese are racist and present the valid or invalid argument out of racist’s motive. That does not mean all the Japanese are racist. Though I have a feeling that many anti-whaling people may be arguing out of some kind of resentment toward the Japanese, it does not mean all the Australians or Brits are racists. I know that much. I am lucky enough to know , for instance, Australians who do not have resentments toward the Japanese at all but very friendly to the Japanese.

    Mac

    I think your argument is the most convincing of all for anti-whaling. I respect a vegetarian
    for his/her high moral standard.
    And I agree with you to some extent that Japan should take this issue practically.
    What I am saying here is not different from you statement under the thread “Eat whale save the planet”.

    I definitely agree that there is a lot of race hate IS being brewed up against Japan in this war.

    Where you seem to think it is the effect of the Japanese whaling, I have a feeling it is one of the motivations for anti-whaling.
    The reason is that if it is the effect, then other countries like Iceland and Norway will be also the target of this race hate, but as far as I know anti-whaling people rarely express the hatred toward these people.

  62. Aceface said

    Ken said:
    “However, we must remember that those who attempt to link opposition to whaling with race and/or nationality are pushing a false dichotomy”

    Mac said:
    “The use of a term which is also racist should not be read too deeply into, it just speaks more about the age and level of education of the individual and the righteous indignation they feel at this moral injustice.”

    Got this via GI Korea.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20850063-643,00.html

    “If you ask 90 drunks in the nearest pub over there, they don’t even know they are drinking Jap piss,” Singleton stormed. “We are allowing the Japs to come, just as if it was off Bondi, and slaughter thousands of whales, and the UN says it is illegal.”

    I’d assume there are no Debito-type activist in Downunder….

  63. john k said

    Ponta

    I see this debate is still going…well, kind of.

    Thanks for your comments, however, I just try to keep a neutral stance, as I have to in my professional life. It is much easier in person face to face, to enjoy a debate because I can then make it a bit more personal. I tend to use humour and double entendres, word plays, to get my point across or to expose someone else’s’ weak argument or reasons. But this is not possible in a blog, as it can so easily be misunderstood and usually taken as a personal attack. However, I have sometimes done as such…on a blog.

    You mentioned:
    “As you know, some people just express their opinion without giving reasons, but that is not an argument. Some people cannot argue but just express their opinion and get emotional when refuted with reasons.”

    Could not agree more……however,

    “There is a difference between the argument and the motivation for the argument….”

    There is the problem. Motivation is a reason why somebody does something or behaves in a certain why, i.e. a personal response. How are we ever likely to know why someone does something, when more often than not, that person cannot even explain it themselves?, or are unwilling to admit…as you have already noted.

    I can surmise why someone may say or do or behave in a certain manner, but I could never be 100% certain. But there it is, it is my own personal interpretation, so it has my own bias in the conclusion.

    Then, conversely, without experience of life how do we know what the difference is between a personal opinion and what is a known or established fact? Research.

    As I have stated, when I lived in Oz, I found, at that time, most Australians extremely racist towards to Japanese. What was their reason…? There is no official Govt. research paper, there is no independent published data, not that I could find. Can you image what would be the response if the Govt. published a paper saying “you’re all a bunch of racists…you all hate the Japanese..” etc etc. It may conduct such surveys in private to help mould or shape the society into a less racist one, if it found that the society is extremely racist towards a particular nation, or it may not. There may even be “straw polls” in the press that help to give a better picture…..who knows?

    So, where can “we” get our data from? Personal experiences; which by definition is subjective. So, when I state my experiences of reactions by Australians to Japanese in the early 1990s, it will of course be open to scrutiny and even total rebuttal. But, this is my experience. It may have been as a result of my location in Oz, it may have been as a result the people and friends I had, who knows…but this was my conclusion. Was everybody like this, of course not, no. But was the majority feeling at that time, as such…yes.

    If I went to the deep south of US into small white populated Hicksville, I am sure I would come across a prevalent feeling of racism towards the black community. Yet if I went to another part a large city say, which has a population of greater than 80% black would I find the same, no. Why, probably because it has a majority of black people living there, so that anti-black feeling is significantly less or even absent. But I would say this is because the city in question I’m referring to is Washington DC, so the reason becomes a political one, not necessary because of a majority-race issue.

    But, there comes a time and position when after all the layers of argument have been stripped away and accepted or deleted we are left with the core. The core of the reason, which may well end up being a personal one, as apposed to a factual one. I cannot persuade or dissuade someone from their own personal beliefs or opinions. Just as someone may refute my opinions of my statement of Australian resentment, it does not take away my opinion, which promotes my motivation to express the statement. But nor would I want to, if it is their personal belief.

    Those who believe in God for example, are criticised for having no factual evidence of the existence of god. Their belief is attacked. I applauded those who stand up and say I believe in god in a room full of atheists.

    We can all stand up and be counted for our personal beliefs and opinions, but those who refuse to stand up out of fear of their beliefs or opinions not being accepted or ridiculed end up with a myopic view and live a very “safe life” cocooned by like-minded others, which leads to resentment and eventually hatred.

    I hate celery, hate it with a passion. The smell, the taste everything about it. I am told endlessly it has no flavour…or taste, it is healthy etc etc ad nauseam. So, when I go to a restaurant with some friends and I am offered salad which contains celery, I refuse it. So, they may think I don’t like salad or I am unhealthy. If I do not offer an explanation, they could assume I am anti-salad or anti-vegitarian. If they enquire and eventually get to the core, that I hate celery, they can assume I am a celeryist!

    We are all entitled to our own personal opinions or beliefs. Whether it agrees with the general popular feeling will dictate whether that person has friends or not. But is does not make it any more or less right or wrong.

    Do I care what others think of my hate of celery….no. Am I ashamed to say I hate celery…no. Am I attacked or probed about my hate of celery…yes. Does it bother me being questioned…no. Will it change my opinion and dislike of celery being questioned…no. I still talk and live amongst others with a love of celery!

    Those who keep changing the argument for the sake of it, for fun or whatever…fine, go for it if it pleases you. But once I realise this is their stance on the topic, I would rather go and do something more interesting with my time like watching paint dry or grass grow…much more fulfilling.

  64. bender said

    Those who believe in God for example, are criticised for having no factual evidence of the existence of god. Their belief is attacked. I applauded those who stand up and say I believe in god in a room full of atheists.

    Gee, isn’t it the other way around in real life? I think Richard Dawkins and the Oregon Pastafarian guy are truly courageous in an ocean of god-believers. I hope secularism is not overwhelmed by religious fundamentalism in America and elsewhere in the world.

  65. john k said

    Ampanton

    Just one final comment on this issue, which has been done to death, is this:

    You claim that the display of such opinion is an offence, (which I totally disagree with, according to the law, item#21).

    Which is worse in your “eyes”: the display of the original opinions, and being offended by them, or reproducing them on your own website, displaying them for others to see?

    If you are so offend by the written opinions, surely a web-link would have sufficed. Since displaying them, as you have above, your actions, by your own standards, are no better than the BBC’s.

  66. ampontan said

    John K: (1) Sorry, don’t understand the logic. (2) I was no more offended by the written opinions than a doctor is offended by a malignant tumor. You’ll note I had very little to say about them. (3) None of it contravenes my own standards.

    I pointed out the conflict with the BBC’s policy on moderation. I also think it seems to violate UK law (which does not apply here), but we disagree. In any event, it was worth showing which statements the BBC thought did not violate their own policy on inciting racial hatred.

    The posting of the statements in itself didn’t bother me. I was interested in the possible illegality, the BBC’s application of its standards, and the content of the posts.

    If I were to write about Hitler and Mein Kampf, I wouldn’t say, “He says something vile about the Jews in the first paragraph on page 73, so go down to the library and see for yourself,” nor would any scholar, reviewer, or reader find that acceptable.

    It is part of a broader ongoing discussion here about how Japanese are viewed by some people overseas, how the media overseas presents Japan, and how the second has an impact on the first. (I have problems with the Japanese and American media too, but Britain just happened to come up three times this week, once good, twice not so good.)

    I don’t think it does the readers a service to have them wade through 50+ pages of mostly dreary comments to find the ones germane to the point.

    I’m not real big on political correctness. I’d rather lift up the big rocks and show the hiding place of all the ugly insects.

  67. ponta said

    John K
    Thanks for your comment.
    One of the hot topics discussed in this debate on the several forums and on this blog has been whether anti-whaling is racism. (see also “Japanese Video Charges Australia with Racism, Animal Extinction” on Japan Probe) I have kept distance from that position. To me, the official position of ant-whaling is not that of racist. Anti-whaling argues against the whaling ethically, ecologically, economically, and sometimes in terms of the harm to the human health. I find none of the arguments sound,(except a vegetarian argument), and yet I don’t endorse the argument it is racism, because on the surface the arguments per se do not appeal to any race. That said, I have felt that behind the arguments it smacks of racism, or cultural imperialism or at least some kind of resentment toward the Japanese. It was palpable
    that anti-whaling people too often associated their argument with the hatred and despise toward the Japanese in general but not toward the people of Iceland and Norway and sadly we all know too well that it is easy to translate the resentment into another form. For my part, the proposition that they are at least partly motivated by racism and such is a good assumption in that it explains the hateful comments on the forums and the excessive behavior of the anti-whaling activities. But it is difficult to categorically demonstrate it. So I asked you, John K, your personal opinion if you also “feel” it too, . You felt and expressed your personal opinion that “the average Australian has a major dislike of the Japanese.””The resentment still exists today.” and somehow you seem to be reluctant to express your “personal opinion” on this issue. That is perfectly all right with me;everyone is entitled to speak his/her opinion and remain silent. In any case I benefited from the discussion; it has given me various perspectives and it has given me an opportunity to refine the argument.
    I am grateful to you, and I am honored to have the talk with you.

    By the way, you said, “I just try to keep a neutral stance, as I have to in my professional life.” and “If you are so offend by the written opinions, surely a web-link would have sufficed. Since displaying them, as you have above, your actions, by your own standards, are no better than the BBC’s.” Which leads me to be curious if you are from BBC.

    As for the question which is worse in your “eyes”…, allow me to ask a question;Are you aware of the the use-mention distinction?

    …It allows for there to be an important difference between using a word, as we normally do, and mentioning it……This can be a useful distinction to make when hate speech is under discussion. For example, it is and should be perfectly allowable for me to say, “‘Nigger’ is a perfect example of a word that often promotes racial tension.” If I were to say, “All niggers are short,” this would be bad (everything2com)

  68. bender said

    If you are so offend by the written opinions, surely a web-link would have sufficed. Since displaying them, as you have above, your actions, by your own standards, are no better than the BBC’s.

    C’mon, you know that this is a bit too conclusory! Don’t be engaging in…

    changing the argument for the sake of it, for fun or whatever

  69. john k said

    Ponta:

    I have said my point, however, I shall explain again, but in more depth.

    At school, the large rotund child was called fat. He was called fatty by all, especially but those that did not know him…why??…because his name wasn’t known to them. So to focus the attention on the person under discussion, children would say there is fatty, he eats too much, which also becomes, coooorrr, there is smelly…have you seen how torn and dirty his clothes are?..etc. Children in their innocence cannot say…there that kid, no, the one of there…and so one…it takes too long and may also alert the person in question, that they are being discussed.

    So, the derogatory term is used as a reference. The term may have been heard 3rd or 4th hand…. the persons name is generally not known. So the term becomes the means for identification of that person. I agree the term first used was probably meant to hurt or even cause embarrassment, but it is usually ephemeral. Children do not dwell upon the “implications” of the term, just the terminology, it is far more amusing to call them fatty or smelly without truly understanding why. Over a period of time, the fat kid may loose weight or the smelly kid bathe more often and have cleaner clothes…..but the term or reference remains…even after many years.

    I recall a kid a my school when I was about10 called “wanker”…we didn’t know why at the time….nor did we care…but if someone said have you seen what wanker did…we all knew who they meant.

    This method of citing a persons name, or something, by reference remains with us as we grow older, when trying to draw attention to someone or something which we cannot name easily, for a point of discussion.

    So, Inuit’s eat whale meat…they hunt for them. However, their numbers are very small, as they hunt by hand means. The number of whales they kill each year is very low. So almost no reporting of it. Rightly or wrongly.
    The Norwegians…they too…but by more efficient methods. But they do not publicise it so much when and where they are going to do it. It is also not every season I believe too, hence it comes and goes in the news.

    Yet the Japanese publicise their hunt and also how many they will take. This website cites the Minki whale as numbering 950 planned for killing. This is easy prey for the press.

    Whales are considered endangered and near extinction, so they are a protected species. They are also, by some, considered to be harmless and cute.

    To most people to kill something cute, oddly, is considered cruel. (why this venom does not fully extend to Rabbits, I’ll never know..). So first thing, they consider it to be cruel. Then who is conducting the cruelty?….the Japanese. What common references come to most peoples mind when they think of the Japanese….swords, samurai, sushi, A-bomb, electronics, cars etc etc…take your pick.

    So, when someone is expressing their venom at the cruelty being conducted how can they identify the person/race or thing?

    So firstly I believe it is based on their perception of cruelty and secondly they miss-use of a reference, which is dressed up as racism. Or at least interpreted by many as racism. Even the person making the statement may not realise that their terminology, Jap, Nip or whatever is being seen as racist, just a way of drawing attention to the Japanese as being the perpetrator of the whale hunt.

    Make sense?

    As for your use-mention:

    About 5 years ago the chief of the metropolitan police of the London police force, John Walker, I think his name is, made a statement:

    “….Most crimes are committed by black people….”

    He was hounded as a racist and eventually had to resign from his job, from the bad publicity. However, the facts, as he presented were 100% correct. The statistics showed that of all the crime committed in London, 85% were committed by black people. So what, it is just a fact and he made a statement based upon it.

    So, he made a factual statement, when asked about the state of crime in London.

    What a sorry state of affairs, being driven from ones job because of political correctness. If there is one thing I truly hate, it is political correctness, and those that cannot understand the difference when they use it in their weak arguments to support their weak claims.

    No, I am not from the BBC at all, not sure if that is a compliment or a criticism, ..hahaha!! I’m just exploring the rationale behind the statements made and seeing if they hold water.
    I only bother going into this much depth in my work, as I get paid to do so, or when I am invited to lecture….so this is rare for me to harp on like this. Probably because the wife is out again., so I’m home alone and the weather is crap…and not much on the box!

  70. ponta said

    john k S
    Thank you for the explanation in more depth. I really appreciate it.

    Make sense?

    Sorry but Not exactly.

    , the derogatory term is used as a reference.

    And yet it is still derogatory .

    This method of citing a persons name, or something, by reference remains with us as we grow older, when trying to draw attention to someone or something which we cannot name easily, for a point of discussion.

    So is calling African American nigger just a citing specific race when trying to draw attention for a point of discussion?

    The Norwegians…they too…but by more efficient methods. But they do not publicise it so much when and where they are going to do it. It is also not every season I believe too, hence it comes and goes in the news.

    Yet the Japanese publicise their hunt and also how many they will take. This website cites the Minki whale as numbering 950 planned for killing. This is easy prey for the press.

    I think the Iceland publicizes it since she is the member of IWC. (Correct me if I am wrong)If people know only Japan’s case, that shows that journalists tend to just pick up Japan’s case.

    Whales are considered endangered and near extinction,

    A Japanese specialist complains that western journalists, intentionally or not, ignore the fact that almost all the scientists agree that the Minke whale are not endangered and nowhere near the extinction and they ignore the report to that effect from him.

    To most people to kill something cute, oddly, is considered cruel. (why this venom does not fully extend to Rabbits, I’ll never know..)

    You’ll know why if you consider that it is because being cute and cruel is largely culturally defined. I don’t think Mink whales are cute.(Do you?) And imposing what counts or does not count as cute and cruel by killing cute animal is what pro-whaling has been calling as cultural imperialism.

    So firstly I believe it is based on their perception of cruelty and secondly they miss-use of a reference, which is dressed up as racism. Or at least interpreted by many as racism. Even the person making the statement may not realise that their terminology, Jap, Nip or whatever is being seen as racist, just a way of drawing attention to the Japanese as being the perpetrator of the whale hunt.

    So “niggers are cruel” is just a way of drawing attention to the Africans as being perpetrator of the animal hunting?

    I am simple minded. I would rather have a simple answer.

    Do you not feel that anti-whaling people are partly motivated or backed up with resentment or racism considering the fact there are so many comments that are “dressed up as racism. Or at least interpreted by many as racism” on BBC and various forums on the issue and the fact anti-whaling activities are often extreme and the fact the western media tend just to focus on Japan and ignore the scientific research so much so that, as you point out, so many people know only Japan’s case and are left ignorant of scientific facts , while you did feel that “the average Australian has a major dislike of the Japanese.””The resentment still exists today.” and while it is easy to translate resentment into another form?

    As for your use-mention:

    About 5 years ago the chief ….

    I understand you don’t like political correctness. However I am not sure if you understand the use-mention distinction.

    Tom said, “Japs suck, kill’em all”
    Bill said that Tom’s statement “Japs suck, kill’em all” is race hate speech and should avoid it.
    Tom is using the phrase, usually to mean it ,the phrase is mentioned in what Bill said.
    The force of racism is on in Tom’s statement, but it is not in Bill’s statement.

    So there is a big difference between hate speech to mean it and citing hate-speech for the study.

    Forget about BBC thing, I was just curious.

    I really appreciate your work for free. I really do.

  71. john k said

    Ponta:

    Whether a word or phrase is derogatory is someone else’s perspective of that term…to be derogatory is simply showing a critical attitude towards somebody/thing. That requires a 3rd party to define if the term is being used critically. The person may or may not be using the term derogatorily, we don’t know until we question them. We may assume based on our own understanding of the term, or generally accepted definition of said term, but we can never be 100% sure.

    Everyone curses at least once in their life…does that make them a bad person if it was just the once? How do we know if using the term was their first and only time???

    Well…again, the person using the word nigger….who are they, where do they come from…what colour are they? Since without knowing the context or frame of refernce, it may be perfectly acceptable to call someone a nigger. I would question: are you American or are you African…you can’t be both. You either were born in Africa or you were born in American…can’t be both! Never understood this silly idea of trying to identify ones roots by reference to their race/nation from a previous generation and then insist on being called it. Where were you born…simple!
    Italian American…where were you born….Italy or America?

    If the person using nigger only has the vocabulary to use as a frame of reference someone they do not know the name of and wish to cite that person as nigger, yes, why not? He could say the black man…but if he may want to add racial overtones to his reference. But what is a nigger…..it is an offensive word to call a black person. So if calling the African American (regardless where he was born) uses the term black man, that I assume is ok? But then using the term nigger is not. It is offensive, so perhaps the person citing it wanted to be offensive to that African American. In which case so what…he just wanted to be offensive. That is different from being a racist. Offensive and racist have different meanings….is being called nigger, from the African Americans’ perspective unfair treatment? If so, what did the person calling him a nigger do, that prevented him from being treated fairly? So, is name calling offensive, or racist? If the African American could not conduct his normal day to day life, because of being called a nigger by that person, then yes, that is racist. If he is able to conduct his day to day business, as normal, unaffected, then it is just offensive and not racist.

    Being cute is a personal choice not a cultural one. What you consider cute may be very different to me. Being cruel is the infliction of pain. If the person considers whales neat/cute or whatever, and if then consider them to be near extinct, then they will deem their killing is cruel. Hence my point about rabbits. These are considered cute by many…yet there is no uproar for killing and eating them.

    Opppss…my wife has finished at the hairdresser….gotta gooooooooooooooo

  72. bender said

    If the African American could not conduct his normal day to day life, because of being called a nigger by that person, then yes, that is racist. If he is able to conduct his day to day business, as normal, unaffected, then it is just offensive and not racist.

    Really? Thanks for the revelation, John. I think you should spread your new meaning of hate speech around the world. If you’re American, let’s start where it’s closet to where you are: Hawaii, and then coastal cities of California. Spread the gospel around…

  73. ponta said

    john k
    Thank you for the comment.

    A word has a social meaning. Yes in a way meaning is in the utterer’s head, but you cannot mean anything you want by the word. That is one of Wittgenstein’s point. And as you said, we may assume generally accepted definition of said term, and we don’t have to be 100% of sure to judge if it is derogatory:if it is socially derogatory, and if the utterer is an adult member of the society, we can judge the utterance is not appropriate.

    Well…again, the person using the word nigger….who are they, where do they come from…what colour are they?….

    I agree. The Japanese do not know, and I do not know enough connotation of the word nigger. Still I think it is inappropriate to use the word in Japan, because we know dimly it has derogatory sense.

    Offensive and racist have different meanings

    I agree, and yet it is reasonable to assume in the case of hate-speech, he/she is racist. The burden of proof that he/she is not racist rest on the utterer.

    Being cute is a personal choice not a cultural one

    Being cute is not just a personal choice. It is also a function of the culture. The world beauty queen this year was Japanese, and many of Japanese thought she was not beautiful.

    Being cruel is the infliction of pain

    Yes, but whether a specific cruety is acceptable depends on culture to culture. Harakiri was acceptable in Japan. Death penalty is acceptable in the U.S. Japan, China etc but not in Europe.

    If the person considers whales neat/cute or whatever, and if then consider them to be near extinct, then they will deem their killing is cruel. Hence my point about rabbits.

    Good point. But here we have to consider why the anti-whaling people just ignore the fact that the whale the whalers are hunting is not near extinct and why the western journalists tend to make light of the fact.

  74. john k said

    Ponta

    Ditto..

    “..A word has a social meaning. Yes in a way meaning is in the utterer’s head, but you cannot mean anything you want by the word….”

    So, I go into a restaurant. I order sushi. The plate is brought over and I am handed a plate of sushi. I instantly complain, “..that is not what I wanted, I wanted a beef burger”. But you asked for sushi, sir, “..well…that’s not what I meant, isn’t it obvious, I am western, I must surely want a beef burger rather than sushi..”

    Words have meaning, that is how we communicate. If someone wishes to ignore the meaning of that word, they are not saying what they mean. There is no accounting for someone that misuses words. This is one reason why we have laws, apart from the most obvious ones. The law uses words, words have meaning and the understanding of that meaning of that word indicates whether a crime has been committed or not. Otherwise how is one able to ascertain if a crime is committed, if the meaning of words are not understood to be the same by all?

    You must say what you mean, otherwise you won’t mean what you say….ignorance is no defence.

    “…Yes, but whether a specific cruety (sic) is acceptable depends on culture to culture. Harakiri was acceptable in Japan. Death penalty is acceptable in the U.S. Japan, China etc but not in Europe….”

    Ditto above. Being cruel is defined as “..having a desire to cause pain and suffering…”
    Cruelty is defined as “..behaviour that causes pain or suffering to others…”

    So, the family of someone who is hanged does not feel pain at the loss of the person being hanged? Inserting a sword into ones stomach is not painful?…of course it is, so that is why a kaishaku is present. To prevent he person who is taking his own life from crying out in pain, and hence bringing shame and dishonour on his name. Ergo it is very painful, hence it’s action is cruel.
    Because the definition of hara-kari is literally a belly cut. Are you seriously suggesting that cutting open ones belly is not going to be painful? Therefore his actions may be honourable (cultural) but the reality of cutting open the belly (actual) is that it causes pain, ergo it is cruel.
    You of course then go down a cultural/anthropological and sociological debate….

    “…Good point. But here we have to consider why the anti-whaling people just ignore the fact that the whale the whalers are hunting is not near extinct and why the western journalists tend to make light of the fact..”

    This statement assumes the premise that whales are not extinct is also assumes that whales are not near extinction and also that they are not on the endangered species or about to be. It is of course, contrary to findings by many other institutions outside of Japan.

  75. ponta said

    Words have meaning,…..

    The point is derogatory speech which many interpret as racist is derogatory and you can not evade issue just by saying that is not what you mean.

    Are you seriously suggesting that cutting open ones belly is not going to be painful?

    What I said was a certain cruelty defined as causing pains is acceptable depending on culture.
    You do eat beef,don’t you? You are indirectly asking someone to cause pain to cows and eat the beef for pleasure. As it is now, it is an acceptable practice.

    t is of course, contrary to findings by many other institutions outside of Japan.

    Can I see the findings that the whale that Japan is hunting is near extinction?

  76. john k said

    Ponta

    “….The point is derogatory speech which many interpret as racist is derogatory and you can not evade issue just by saying that is not what you mean…”

    Just because many people interpret it as racist or derogatory doesn’t make it so; if it does not fall into the definition of derogatory is “..showing a critical attitude to somebody…and racist “…unfair treatment of people belonging to a different race, or violence towards them..”. It must be something else, such as offensive “….somebody that causes you to feel upset or annoyed….”

    You can choose which ever word you wish, that is your right. But if the meaning of that word is different from what you think it is…there is nothing I can do about that!

    “…What I said was a certain cruelty defined as causing pains is acceptable depending on culture….”

    Pain does not = culture. Pain is pain. A human rationalisation of pain into something that can be understood is cultural.

    So when a person commits “Kanshi”, is it his desire is to inflict pain and distress and dishonour on a superior. So by definition, this is cruelty. You can say whatever you wish, words have meaning.

    “…You do eat beef,don’t you? You are indirectly asking someone to cause pain to cows and eat the beef for pleasure. As it is now, it is an acceptable practice…”

    The act of killing cows, in your example above, causes pain, yes. Does the pain in question come from being killed as a food source, yes. Does it bother me that the cow experiences pain, no. Is the infliction of pain an act of cruelty, yes. Does it bother me, no. Why, because I enjoy beef. The enjoyment of eating a food source does not make it any more or less cruel. If a live animal is killed purely for food, it is an act of cruelty. Does it bother me, no. Is this related to whales no. Why, because cows are not seen to be near extinct. The two issue are separate, unless you wish to use a different meaning of cruelty that I can find in any dictionary.

    “….Can I see the findings that the whale that Japan is hunting is near extinction?..”

    I used to subscribe to New Scientist, Scientific America, Nature and many others, I no longer do, too expensive. I also did not bring all the old editions with me to Japan. Suffice to say there are many sources available. You are free to find and choose and then make up your own conclusions. Since if I gave you one, you can rightly say I am giving you an article that is biased towards my own point of view. You need to make up your own mind based on evidence you find. If it differs from mine, fair enough, that’s your right.

  77. ponta said

    Just because many people interpret it as racist or derogatory doesn’t make it so;

    It is tautology to say derogatory speech which many interpret as racist is derogatory , hence it is true. And as I said, it is reasonable to assume, in the case of hate speech, when someone use the derogatory word about the race, she/he is racist. The burden of proof is on those who utter it.(Your point is the dictionary definition is not always as same as the common usage, common interpretation. In that case, it is the dictionary which should be revised, (note collective mistaken belief about the fact does not make the belief true, but the common usage make a dictionary revise) but in relation to the discussion here, I don’t see the point.)

    Now let’s get back to the point we have been talking about. In a comment section on the whaling on BBC people expressed their personal opinions, using derogatory words and offensive language such as “Are we allowed to hunt Japanese? Japanese were a cruel barbaric race…maybe it wasn’t propaganda etc. These are, to borrow your words, “dressed up as racism. Or at least interpreted by many as racism”
    So I asked if you feel racism and such are behind the argument for anti-whaling, considering your personal opinion that “the average Australian has a major dislike of the Japanese.””The resentment still exists today.” and the fact Japan among many nations is the only target.

    You don’t feel so in the case of the whaling-issue because these comments are not offensive, derogatory, racial slur? Is that it? Or these comments are offensive and may be interpreted as race hate speech, but they are not functioning as a motivation for the anti-whaling;they are just stupid. They are so stupid they don’t know other countries also hunt whale( Are they so stupid?), they accidentally express their pre-existing race-hate while they are on bashing the whaling? Is that it?

    A human rationalisation of pain into something that can be understood is cultural.

    Exactly.

    Is this related to whales no.

     It is related to whales for the people who argues the whaling is wrong because it is cruel to kill them, and many anti-whale activists argue that way.

    You are free to find and choose and then make up your own conclusions.

    Sure I’ll ask someone who knows this issue well. Still, what sounds strange to me is why IHC allowed Japan to hunt the whales which are near extinct ;IHC is supposed to be based on scientific findings, no?

  78. bender said

    just because many people interpret it as racist or derogatory doesn’t make it so;

    I did not have sex with that woman.

  79. ponta said

    It is of course, contrary to findings by many other institutions outside of Japan.

    Sorry it was IWC, not IHC. According to Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, the findings suggests otherwise.
    http://www.whaling.jp/english/qa.html
    And I don’t think it is outside of Japan nor do I think its members are all Japanese.

  80. john k said

    “And as I said, it is reasonable to assume,….”

    There we now have it. You are assuming. I don’t.
    Hence never that twain shall meet…

    “…Or these comments are offensive and may be interpreted as race hate speech, but they are not functioning as a motivation for the anti-whaling;they are just stupid…”

    Correct.

    “…IHC is supposed to be based on scientific findings, no?.”

    Correct. But like all research you need to find out where the funding comes from for the research. Once you know the source of the funding, then you will know whether there is any bias. Hence, what research did they use to come to their decision and by whom?…and then compare it to research done by other sources.

    If you did not have sex, that is fine. If you did have sex, but say you did not..that is just a simple old fashioned lie. Nothing else.

  81. john k said

    …and on that note

    I shall make like a bird and flock off.

    ….a large glass of Pinor Noir is waiting for me.

  82. ponta said

    “And as I said, it is reasonable to assume,….”

    There we now have it. You are assuming. I don’t.
    Hence never that twain shall meet…

    I think when someone said “a nigger is barbarian”,which is offensive, it is upon him to prove he is not racist.
    But Okay, I understand where we differ, and that is important to know it.

    “…Or these comments are offensive and may be interpreted as race hate speech, but they are not functioning as a motivation for the anti-whaling;they are just stupid…”

    Correct.

    Okay now we can agree to disagree.

    You might be right, or Mac might be right. Or also I might be right. In other words, racism might be a cause or result or accidental companion of the anti-whaling.

    My guess is whether it is a cause or a result or just accidental, unfortunately anti-whaling is now partly combined with or backed up with racism or at least with the attitudes that are most likely to be interpreted as racist.

    Thank you I have enjoyed the discussion with you. I respect the way you have debated. Thanks,john k sincerely.

  83. john k said

    “…I think when someone said “a nigger is barbarian”,which is offensive, it is upon him to prove he is not racist….”

    And there in lies the difficultly.
    Ascertaining what that person is actually thinking or believes. It is next to impossible on a blog which allows just a few characters of text and is not updated in real time. Therefore I choose not to assume, rather to choose the reasoned logic based upon nothing just the facts as presented and exploring them. Which may well of course differ significantly from my own point of view. Since my own point of view will of course be different from everyone else’s, as it is by definition, subjective.

    But that is not the point. The point is to debate the merits of the statement and comments as objectively as possible and see where they lead us. Whilst at the same time comprehending what is being written. The conclusions may well surprise us, we don’t know.

    Unless of course the debater already has made up his/her mind and chooses not to be objective, or doesn’t know how to be, or constantly attempts to defend the same position no matter how weak the ground becomes. I can read that a less than objective position is the starting point of some on this and other blogs. But that is their right as it sometimes makes us question what it is we are saying, regardless whether the other person actually understands what is being written or not. Makes for a “colourful” debate.

    As my british-grenadan-african-black-nigger best friend of mine always says…
    ” you can’t educate pork”

    I actually call him Sam, short for Sambo…..of course I cannot print what he calls me, as some on this blog may find his words very racist and go into terminal decline!

    Thanks for the back and forth Ponta…has been interesting. Despite the distractions…

    I’m just making a cup of hot chocolate, or should that be off-white drink from white stuff that comes out of cows (my wife doesn’t like being called a cow, is that derogatory to cows?), which are not killed for meat….before I hit the sack. Lots to do tomorrow…..

  84. ponta said

    In a real conversation with someone whom we know personally, we can read off his intention easily. But on the Internet, one cannot presuppose another share the same assumptions, the same knowledge, the same way of inference, especially when the one you are trying to understand is from another culture. In that sense I understand your theory. (And I look upon Anpontan’s blog as peeling off the western media’s assumptions and bias.)
    The case in point is just what we have done, to reach the modest understanding of each other, we have consumed so many words. Some people might think that it was a waste of time, but I for one do not. It was made possible because you didn’t react emotionally, didn’t use derogatory language, but argued logically and patiently. I sincerely appreciate it.
    I wish you a happy new year.
    I wish everyone a happy year.

  85. bender said

    Ponta, I really admire you. I often disagree with you, but at least you don’t engage in word-play just to get the last word. Like the argument over what amounts to racist terms and what are not. It’s one thing to argue that it’s difficult to define, but some core words are taken as racist almost uniformly that it’s plain dishonest to argue otherwise. Completely in disregard of the history of the particular hate word and why it is taken as politically incorrect speech. Let’s see what I see on TV today…oh, Imus ranks #5 as the naughty person of the year. I wonder why that happened?

    I’m also troubled by quasi-legal arguments. Hate speech is not illegal in the US. That’s for sure. Like this statement by the ACLU. Still, there is the distinction between politically incorrect speech and what’s not. That’s why there are such heated arguments over this issue. Arguing that “(y)ou can choose which ever word you wish, that is your right. But if the meaning of that word is different from what you think it is…there is nothing I can do about that!” is just ridiculous.

    BTW, hate speech is illegal in many European countries, as in Britain. Germany is famous for banning speech relating to the Nazi ideology. That’s why you don’t see the swastika flying around in neo-Nazi demonstrations there. When talking about what’s illegal and what is not, you have to distinguish this difference between the US and Europe, and also you have to understand the law right. If one does not have the requisite knowledge to interpret one correctly, at least one should browse over the net to see how it’s really interpreted rather than engage in word-play that suits one’s conclusion. This often happens to those who like to argue with length but won’t cite any kind of source- a typical conclusory argument.

  86. bender said

    Hmmm… the cite did not work.

    Naughty person of the year:
    http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Entertainment/2007/12/26/craig_belichick_top_naughty_list/2865/

    ACLU:
    http://www.aclu.org/studentsrights/expression/12808pub19941231.html

  87. bender said

    Can’t forget this, too:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7052416.stm

  88. mac said

    Hmmn … its a bit off topic but on Doc Watson being suspended, I think the first questions anyone would have to ask are; “What is intelligence?” and “How does one measure it?”. Presumably his statements were based on results … but results of what? The article does not say. Standard IQ tests favoring Ivy League Wasps?

    On topic, we see a typical Aunti Beed hatchet-handed diplomacy job on its latest coverage of positive Chinese-Japan summit talks, here;

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7164720.stm

    Some Basil Fawlty editor keeps screaming away in the background, “Don’t forget the War, Don’t Forget the war …”.

    Quote BBC;

    BACKGROUND

    Uneasy neighbours
    History and analysis of China and Japan’s difficult relationship

    Japan’s controversial shrine
    Schoolchildren’s views
    Japan’s ‘comfort women’ fund
    The Rape of Nanjing

    It must be special treatment for “dem dirdy stinkin’ Japs” because its funny but I don’t see constant mention on the Chinese stories of the 100,000+ Victims of Dynastic and Republican China, 600,000+ Victims of Warlord China, the 2,500,000 Victims of The Nationalist Period, the 5,000,000 Victims of The Civil War, the 8,500,000 Victims of The Totalization Period, the 7,500,000 Victims of Collectivization and “The Great Leap Forward”, the 10,729,000 Victims of The Great Famine and Retrenchment Period, the estimate 7,730,000 Victims of The “Cultural Revolution” or 874,000 Victims of Liberalization … and, of course, Tibet is still ongoing.

    I think it is some sort of atrocity pornography think they got going, like the Holocaust Industry. You know, like … let’s get those school kids reading really nasty things in their school books and traumatize them all over again!

  89. mac said

    Just for a short historical note

    I would say that the anti-whaling “movement” proper started in about 1975 when the first Greenpeace whale campaign was launched from Vancouver against Russian whalers. Then in Australia was against the last whaling station at Albany, Western Australia in 1977. Its not been all anti-Japan all the way and you cant blame the founders, or the even the leaders of a such a movement, for when it hits the mainstream … and straw polls are taking amongst drunken idiots.

    Unfortunately, Japan has the worse record for government complicity in business … three years ago, Russian scientists produced the voluminous real data on Soviet whaling during the ’50’s, ’60’s, and ’70’s. The USSR and Japan had jointly conspired to wipe out most of the world’s large whales. More than 50,000 humpbacks, and similar high numbers of blue, fin, and right whales, were killed by the USSR and sold to Japan illegally.

    Japan’s own whaling ships were and are still involved in illegal kill then and now. Many endangered whale species continue to show up in Japan’s marketplace and whales “accidentally” caught in fishing nets in Japan have skyrocketed now that a whale is worth so much more than a cargo of fish. (Netted whales of any species are allowed by Japan to be sold in the market – often at caviar prices). Japan’s markets are driving Russians, Korean and mafias into the business … for the money.

    Its the stubborn, hypocrital arrogance that is going to have its nose wiped in the dirty. Sadly, the ignoramuses confuse that with “Japaneseness”. Is it part of Japaneseness or are the Japanese just going to be dragged down by its association with the rest of them?

    Killing a whale is monstrous. Death times for the large whales ranging from 15 minutes to more than an hour after a whale has had a blunt harpoon driven into its intestines. The products produced are entirely unneeded. Whalemeat is a high-priced “novelty food” like caviar.

  90. john k said

    Ponta
    Your comment of “….And I look upon Anpontan’s blog as peeling off the western media’s assumptions and bias….” ….is a very interesting one.

    On the face of it agree with you. However, there is a difference between placing down paper cuttings on a table for all to see and asking what you think of them, and placing down paper cuttings and commenting upon them for you to agree or disagree with the comment.

    I would much rather see the bare facts presented than reading edited highlights. Once evidence, in whatever form, is being presented with some editorial input, it is tainted.

    Just like reading a newspaper. You like some newspapers and some you don’t. If you are right-wing you will not, of course, like reading a left wing paper, and vice versa. The editorial content of each news paper is different. The journalist of that paper will also have that leaning. But 2 reporters being at the same venue of a news event will both see and hear the same, yet report differently.

    Finally….”Arguing that “(y)ou can choose which ever word you wish, that is your right. But if the meaning of that word is different from what you think it is…there is nothing I can do about that!” is just ridiculous….”

    In my work, I come across a high percentage of people misusing terminology. The terminology used is clear and has a definition, like all words do. I choose to use the correct meaning that I was taught (at school/university/work) and a definition that is reflected in the dictionary, not what someone “thinks” it means.
    If I continue with the “word” that I am told by a client, where his meaning/understanding is incorrect, that is to say I am reacting to the words he is using not his actual intention, it can cost a significant amount of money to correct, and in some cases cost lives. Hence, I question what it is they actually mean, since their words used do not always appear to make sense. Words have meaning…it is simple as that.
    And no, I am not a lawyer…nothing to do with the law.

    Wishing you all a happy new year……

  91. My Granddad bombed Pearl Harbor said

    If this is not Japanese, let’s say Norway or Iceland, they do not care if the whales are killed…they are just white shit like many of Australian…or, why you do not talk about the high-tech super sonar searching the ssabmarine by US NAVY is killing more whales.

    In short, this is about the narrow minded fucking white prejudice.

  92. bender said

    White s**t?

    Now this is a racist rant. Countering garbage with garbage makes TWO garbages instead of canceling out the first garbage. All the more troubling because usually, you don’t know who threw out the first garbage- so it’s an accumulation of generations of garbages.

    Maybe I’m just responding to a troll.

  93. isotaku503 said

    The extermination of Whale species have been caused by
    antisubmarine torpedo training.

    Whale catching is not the principal cause.

    And the person in submarine is annoyed with the supersonic
    of whale catching finder.

    So Submarine Force is against whale catching.The money
    comes from the naby, with complex of penance, maybe.

  94. bender said

    What the? Half the pro-whalers that come here seem to be…well, you said it, Mac!

  95. xxx said

    なんで原爆の恨みを鯨に晴らさないといけないわけ?
    バカかおまえ

  96. とりあえず said

    だったら貴方方イギリス人が南極海の生態系を調査してください
    誰が好きであんな寒いところで調査していると思っているのですか?

    鯨を絶滅寸前にまでした過去があるなら、
    日本に任せてないで自分達で生態系を見守ったらいかがですか?

  97. 鯨肉美味 said

    HINT!

    FOX HUNTING IN ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!!

  98. 鯨肉美味 said

    new whaling style

    US Submarine sonars kill whales

    Scientists have proven that military sonar can injure and even kill whales. To protect marine life from the lethal effects of sonar, NRDC is working nationally and internationally to establish strict regulations on sonar use so that whales and other marine mammals don’t have to die for practice.

    So far, NRDC has been successful in pushing for stricter control of two major types of military sonar, the widely used mid-frequency sonar and long-range low-frequency sonar — despite strong Bush administration resistance. In early 2008, a federal court prohibited the Navy from conducting major mid-frequency sonar exercises in California without safety measures in place and rejected a White House bid to excuse the Navy from following the law. The Navy appealed this decision, and the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case during fall 2008.

    Also in early 2008, federal courts limited the regions where low-frequency sonar may be used and deemed certain species-rich areas, such as the Galapagos Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, off-limits. Our advocacy has pressured the Navy into preparing impact reviews and seeking environmental permits for sonar training on all of its U.S. ranges.

  99. 鯨肉美味 said

    anti whaling=racism

  100. mac said

    Dear “Delicious whale meat” …

    No, anti-whaling does not equal racism.

    Yes, extreme Japanese Nationalist DO seem to try pretend the issue is a racist one.

    Yes, some Western racists like using it as a weapon to attack Japan.

    But the two are separate issues. BTW, 96% of Japanese said they oppose whaling in high seas in one survey.

    Unfortunately, the whaling industry … and even some elements of the Government … DO seem to try and play the race card in order to defend its profit making and their decision. (Nationalism and ‘an enemy outside’ are always good ways to gain votes and distract simple minds from bigger more important issues). This is a mistake.

    The people in the West who are against whaling are not the same people that are pro-submarines and military … so you missed your target.

    It is like, say, blaming Article 9-er Japanese for Nanjing. Wrong.

  101. mac said

    Sorry … that should have read 69% of Japanese are against whaling (beware of statistics).

    Of course, if you were to ask,

    “… are 69% of Japanese self-hating and anti-patriotic?”

    The answer would probably also be, yes … or higher!

    “Self-hating and flagellating anti-Japan Japanese” … have we had an article on that yet?

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