Japanese conservative praises South African apartheid


Pictures from Japanese neo-Nazi Kazunari Yamada’s website show him posing with Shinzo Abe’s internal affairs minister, Sanae Takaichi, and his party’s policy chief, Tomomi Inada. Photograph: Guardian

This photo shows prominent politicians of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s ruling party smile happily at a photo op with the fuehrer of Japan’s neo-nazi movement.

From The Economist:

Japan and immigration: Bad timing

February 21 2015

The Sankei Shimbun, a Japanese daily, has a reputation for illiberal commentary. Last week it outdid itself by running a column that lauded the segregation of races in apartheid-era South Africa-and urged Japan to do the same.

Ayako Sono, a conservative columnist, said that if her country had to lower its drawbridge to immigrants, then they should be made to live apart. “It is next to impossible to attain an understanding of foreigners by living alongside them”, she wrote.

Ms Sono’s views got an airing as the government of Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, appears set to promote immigration in all but name. They caused a stir in South Africa, whose ambassador to Japan called them “scandalous”. In Japan, however, the reaction has been oddly muted. The media scarcely picked up on the ambassador’s letter. The Sankei initially greeted criticism with bemusement. It then issued a pro-forma reply defending its right to run different opinions.

Japan’s government is considering allowing 200,000 foreigners a year to come to Japan to help to solve a deepening demographic crisis and shortage of workers. The population fell by nearly a quarter of a million in 2013. An advisory body to Mr Abe says that immigrants could help stabilise the population at around 100m, from a current 127m. Not since the ancestors of Japan’s current inhabitants arrived in the islands from Korea two millennia ago has there been an example of immigration on the scale of that proposed. In this largely homogeneous country, just 2% of the population is of foreign origin-and that includes large numbers of residents with roots in Korea, a former Japanese colony, whose families have lived in Japan for generations.

Ms Sono is hardly a fringe figure. A bestselling author and conservative activist, she recently sat on a government panel on education reform; she is quoted in a textbook on morals for secondary school students, alongside Mother Theresa.

5 thoughts on “Japanese conservative praises South African apartheid

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