Japan from the inside out

Refrying nationalism

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.

5 Responses to “Refrying nationalism”

  1. I have no problem with a “Nationalist” Japan. I think it would be needed to counter-balance China.

  2. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    A: I agree that your old post is still valid together with the comments by others there. I just dislike this guy Abe who threw it all away in the middle, and doubt the sanity of LDP to allow him to return again. My hatred is not at all related to his political position. Whatever it is, he said once he was through and my strong feeling is that LDP will never come back as the first party. The party has since long been over.

    The world including China and Korea should not worry at all, they never loses the right wing nationalists to be condemned since after Mr. Noda’s swift actions, DPJ is also the right wing party, Hashimoto and co. is of course the right wing party, and if one is careful, look at the statements by JCP, they are very clear about Senkakus so JCP is the right wing as well, effectively the term is somewhat fresh to describe us. Everything fresh has some good in it, as with meat and vegetables.

    And so called journalists are at ease, their job is to copy and paste …. oh, they have always been.

  3. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Hitokiri: It might be interesting to see reactions from South East Asia in addition to Far East, and India.

  4. yankdownunder said

    Why doesn’t AP(and other media) label Australian PM as nationalist.
    She’s lobbying($) to join the UNSC.

    And AP must label any country that has a defense minister as nationalistic.

    In America almost every government official, from the
    President to the dog catcher wears flag every day on their uniform.
    I don’t see AP talking about nationalist Obama.

    Is it simply anti-Japan bias or racist rhetoric? It’s so bad and makes me so mad but I don’t know how to stop the lies.
    Y: Nothing anyone can do about it, except point them out when the time and the opportunity presents itself.

    Mockery also helps.


  5. trapped in brazil said

    It is not that you failed “to anticipate the revival of the term “right-wing”, it is just that the international midia is dumber and more xenophobic, or should I say, Japanphobic, than you expected.

    (I’m about to say an heresy to christians, but…) As always, if Christ descends again and says that Japan is right, He would be labeled a right-wing-extremist-warmonger and be crucified again.

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