Dienstag, 21. Oktober 2014

Osaka's Mayor Hashimoto Vs Right-Extreme Sakurai On Hate Speech

For years the right-extreme group Zaitokukai could march through neighborhoods in Japan and shout "Death to all Koreans", long ignored by the Japanese mainstream, and with tacit support by some ultra-conservatives and nationalists. But the sudden focus on hate speech seems to drive a wedge into the conservative forces.

Whereas Japanese ministers and ministresses and prime minister Shinzo Abe still did not come out strongly against this group, the mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto, and even the yakuza, the self proclaimed bearer of Japanese tradition and traditional ally of the Japanese right, are distancing themselves from the Zaitokukai more clearly.

Hashimoto even confronted Makoto Sakurai, the leader of the Zaitokukai, in a "debate", in which he told his opponent that hate speech is not welcome in Osaka. Rare to see in front of cameras in Japan: Lots of shouting and insulting going on. Here a "full version" of the verbal fight, longer versions run for 30 minutes, including Sakurais talk to the media, his waiting for Hashimoto and some afterplay.

But I doubt that giving the Zaitokukai a forum is the right way to deal with them. Reason can't win a shouting match.

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