Posted by ampontan on Wednesday, September 26, 2012
THE balloting to select the new president of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party has just finished, and the LDP has chosen former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo as its new leader. That means Mr. Abe stands a good chance of becoming prime minister again following the next election.
We already know how most of the news media in the Anglosphere and the Asahi Shimbun in Japan will treat the news: Japan is turning rightward! Japan is turning to nationalism! In fact, the Washington Post has already started (and we’ll get to that in a day or two.) [[Quick update: The Yonhap news agency of South Korea just now referred to him as “far right” in their report.]]
Well, that’s accurate in one sense: Japan isn’t turning to social democracy and uno mundo imposed and enforced from the top down.
I’ve already dealt with the other senses in a post called The Mirage of Japanese Nationalism more than five years ago. I just re-read it and, apart from the failure to anticipate the revival of the term “right-wing”, it’s just as valid as it was in May 2007. Hit the link and see for yourself. (The link to the blogger in France still works.)
And if you’re in a reading mood, the links to the post before and the post after in May 2007 might be of interest as well — particularly the one the right with commentary about the Japanese Constitution, and what Ishihara Shintaro suggested the Chinese government would do when their economy hits a rough patch.
It didn’t take the Associated Press long:
Abe’s previous 2006-2007 tenure as prime minister was marked by a nationalistic agenda. He urged a revision of Japan’s pacifist constitution, pressed for patriotic education, upgraded the defense agency to ministry status and pushed for Japan to have a greater international peacekeeping role.
News outlets should give serious consideration to shifting their AP reports to the Entertainment section.
Time for some neo-nationalist music. It’s funky as the dickens, has three of the four original members of Nenes, and the bandleader wearing a hibiscus in the lapel of his white suit.