Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Far More Magnificent Despot

It seems that Watanabe Tsuneo (not that Watanabe Tsuneo, the other one, the one who looks like turtle) pipped Liberal Democratic Party President Tanigaki Sadakazu in comparing Osaka City mayor Hashimoto Toru to Hitler. Watanabe makes the connection in the April edition of Bungei Shunju, which went on sale ten days ago.

According to the Mainichi Shimbun:
"I'm reminded of Adolf Hitler," Watanabe was quoted by the magazine as saying. "Soon after Hitler became German chancellor, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act giving him absolute power. This act became the basis of fascism (in Germany). I think it's an extremely dangerous sign."
Hashimoto gives as good as he gets, however. In a Twitter tweet on Sunday, the same day that Tanigaki was comparing him to Japan's 1930s gunbatsu leaders, Hitler and Mussolini, Hashimoto replied:
"With Mr. Watanabe's control not just of the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, but also in the political, financial and even baseball worlds, he is a far more magnificent despot (gyujiru dodotaru dokusai)!"

Incidentally, in the same issue of Bungei Shunju are interviews with three former prime ministers: Nakasone Yasuhiro, Murayama Tomi'ichi and Aso Taro. The title of Aso's interview, "Japan will not collapse!" (Nihon wa zettai hatan shinai) reconfirms my judgment of him as a conservative who loves his country, warts and all, unlike the fantabulists, who could hardly give a fig whether contemporary Japan failed or not. Indeed, they would welcome it as a chance to rebuild the country upon their Meiji-inspired lines.

1 comment:

sigma1 said...

Hashimoto should take such childishness as a positive sign. If we were going to get precious about things, then it would not be too hard to draw a line backwards and find the fortunes and influence of any number of establishment politicians and influencers were connected to people who benefited greatly from Japan's 1930s militarism. In fact it is well known and one has to wonder whether the public are going to fall for such rich and cynical posturing. There are plenty of other ways to trip Hashimoto up - I would recommend right now just leaving him to his own devices. The more pushback from the establishment he gets the more likely the public will forgive his transgressions, as long as he doesn't cross certain red lines.