Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Other Hatoyama

Yes, there was a reason why back in August I labelled his appointment "a comedian's dream"

...'cause I figured, it was only a matter of time until...

Machimura Warns Japan Minister About Al-Qaeda Remark

By Stuart Biggs and Takashi Hirokawa - October 30 -- Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura cautioned Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama over comments he made yesterday suggesting a ``friend of a friend of his'' is a member of the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

``It's very regrettable that he gave an impression Japan's justice minister knows such terrorists,'' Machimura said at a press conference today. ``I think his remarks were careless, so I warned him before the Cabinet meeting.''

Hatoyama told the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan yesterday ``a friend of a friend of his'' is an al-Qaeda member involved in bombings on Bali and that he was warned to stay away from the Indonesian island because it was being targeted for attack. Hatoyama did not specify which attack he was referring to. Bali has suffered other attacks since terrorists killed 202 people in a bombing at the beach resort of Kuta in October 2002.

Hatoyama retracted the remarks at a later press conference, saying his friend received the warning about the 2002 bombings, and that he heard about it months after the attack, Kyodo News reported. Hatoyama made the comment in response to a question about the introduction of biometric fingerprinting of foreigners entering Japan from Nov. 20...

"Let me explain this to you, in simple terms, so that you'll understand. You all have to be fingerprinted because there are idiots like me who actually have information about the identities of Al-Qaeda terrorists and advance knowledge potential bombing targets who will just sit on the information for five years, not telling anyone, not even after being named Justice Minister. I mean, at that point only biometrics can save us...because if we have to rely on persons like me to lead the fight against terrorism, the job I was appointed to do, then we're all doomed."

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