The translated interview has already been featured on The Wall Street Journal's JapanRealTime blog (Link) and skewered by Our Man in Abiko (Link). Nevertheless, I cannot help but link to the deliciously weird battle of non-sequiturs in between crackpot Motoya Toshio and Liberal Democratic Party ideologue and now Minister of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology Shimomura Hakubun. (Link)
If and when the South Korean and Chinese news complexes come up with translations of this exchange and/or if it gets wide discussions in the Euro-American policy circles, it will come bouncing back into Japan like a 10,000 kilogram rubber ball. It could even be as helpful to Shimomura's career as Motoya's essay contest was for the career of Air Force General Tamogami Toshio. (Link)
If Shimomura is thoroughly and deservedly humiliated by this exchange of absurdities, the floodgates open for looks at the writings and remarks of Minister of General Affairs and Communications Shindo Yoshitaka and State Minister for Administrative Reforms Inada Tomomi. The pair inhale the same vapors as Shimomura, going farther than him in acting out their fantasies of defending Japan. They were a part of the trio of Diet members (the other was the former commander of Japan's forces in Iraq) who tried in August 2011 to enter South Korea in order to visit Ulleung Island, the South Korean territory closest to the disputed Dokdo islets. They were sent packing by ROK immigration officials (Link). In August this year Shindo was a member of the motley crew of Diet and local assembly members who sailed to the Senkakus to conduct an insincere and insulting memorial service for Okinawans who had starved to death on Uotsurijima. (Link)
Shimomura, Shindo and Inada are archetypal Friends of Shinzo. They are in the cabinet because Abe Shinzo wanted them there. Each one of them is a time bomb ticking away.
The PM is probably serious about a focus on the economy, the economy and the economy in the run up to the July House of Councillors election. He does, after all, want to lead the LDP to a further thumping of the Democratic Party of Japan.
The appearance in English of this bit of idle banter in between brother revisionists, however, has the potential to distract him.
The Leaderboard: Robert Holleyman
6 hours ago