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Letters from Tokyo
Japan under Ishihara Must Not Be Given the 2016 Olympics
By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent
Shintaro Ishihara (石原 慎太郎), who was on Sept. 30, 1932, is a Japanese author, politician and the governor of Tokyo since 1999.

The Olympic Committee must be given all the facts about the Governor of Tokyo because Shintaro Ishihara is not only a denier of history; he is a dangerous maverick who installs anti-Korean and anti-Chinese hatred. Not only this, we are talking about a rampant sexist who made an alarming comment about the role of women in society. Ishihara also belittled Africans in another tirade and the only reason he remains so silent recently, is because the nationalist leader of Tokyo understands that he is under the international spotlight. Therefore, it is essential to enlighten people about this individual who stokes up hatred towards others via un-logical outbursts of inhumanity.

We must all remember that the spirit of the Olympics is about unity and all nations unifying under the banner of sport. In the past the Olympics was sometimes hijacked by both ideological sides during the Cold War. However, in recent times the Olympics is back on track but if Ishihara emerges victorious then the games will become tarnished.

I stated in an earlier article that "Ishihara desires to leave a legacy but the real legacy of Ishihara is being anti-Korean, anti-Chinese, and anti-foreign in general. I am not talking about mild nationalism but an extreme version of anti-Korean and anti-Chinese nationalism which is based on dangerous grounds. This applies to historical revisionism and when this applies to an important political figure like Ishihara, it is clearly dangerous. Therefore external forces must notify others about the consequences of awarding Tokyo the Olympics under such a blatant revisionist of history."

Given the reality of the Governor of Tokyo, then surely this issue must be raised because it is in complete contradiction to the Olympic ideal. I also wonder why the Olympic Committee is even entertaining the current Tokyo 2016 bid under such a blatant nationalist.

Therefore, my conclusion is that the Olympic Committee does not understand the true nature of Ishihara and the same applies to the other bidders of the 2016 Olympic Games. Also, it would appear that people who are in the know are not raising their voices loud enough. Yet just imagine if Tokyo was awarded the 2016 Olympics. It would mean a victory and a legacy for a nationalist leader who denies the real impact of the Rape of Nanking and he supports other forms of revisionism.

In 1990, Ishihara clearly denies one of the worst massacres of the 20th century, and we are talking about a century which had numerous terrible massacres. Ishihara made it known in a Playboy interview that the Rape of Nanking was merely fiction because he claimed that "People say that the Japanese made a holocaust but that is not true. It is a story made up by the Chinese. It has tarnished the image of Japan, but it is a lie." Also, more recently he backed the film The Truth about Nanjing, which also claims that the Nanking Massacre was Chinese propaganda and based on false history.

So would the Olympic Committee award Germany if the local governor denied the Jewish and Gypsy holocaust during the NAZI period? Of course not, indeed the individual would face criminal charges for inciting hatred. Yet sadly, and to my amazement, both the Olympic Committee and the people of Tokyo are not speaking out enough against such an important political leader.

Of course I am not saying that Tokyo should not be awarded a future Olympic Games, certainly not; however, Tokyo should be prevented from holding the 2016 Olympic Games under the current political leader. If Tokyo emerges victorious then clearly it will become "a very dark day" in the chapter of the Olympic Games.

Other obnoxious comments by Ishihara include an extremely sexist statement and just think about what he said. For in 2001 Ishihara stated in the Shukan Josei magazine that he subscribed to the theory that "old women who live after they have lost their reproductive function are useless and are committing a sin." He is therefore implying that women are no longer fit to be alive and that they are useless once their reproductive function is over.

It is surely hard to surpass such a terrible and cold-hearted comment but of course Ishihara did not apologize. So I wonder what he thinks about female sport stars?

Turning back to the often used "racial card" by Ishihara, then he clearly understood what he was implying when he stated "Atrocious crimes have been committed again and again by sangokujin and other foreigners. We can expect them to riot in the event of a disastrous earthquake."

For people who do not understand the real meaning of this statement, then let me enlighten you a little. During the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake many massacres took place whereby Koreans were killed like lambs to the slaughter. These brutal killings took place because some Japanese newspapers made terrible false rumors. Therefore, thousands of Koreans were butchered and other ethnic groups, notably Okinawans, also suffered at the hands of nationalists.

For Ishihara, he fully understood what he was implying and this sums up the character of this person. So what would happen today if an American leader stated that slavery was ok? Yes, he or she would rightly suffer the consequences but for Ishihara he wants to keep nationalism alive and in its worse form.

So if you are alarmed by the rants of Ishihara and the menace he poses to foreign nationals and the stereotyping of women, it is vital that you contact your respective member of the Olympic Committee and your local politician. Ishihara may win if people remain silent but if Tokyo does win the 2016 Olympic bid then it will be a sad day for equality and the international global village. Therefore, it is up to individuals and organizations to campaign against Ishihara.

LEE JAY WALKER
leejayteach@hotmail.com
THE SEOUL TIMES



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Lee Jay Walker serves as Tokyo Correspondent of The Seoul Times. He specializes in int'l relations and geopolitics. He is also involved in analyst work and research on business. After finishing BA degree in East European Studies at the University of London, He earned MA degree in Asia Pacific Studies in Nottingham Trent University. He also studied business at London Institute.

 

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