Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sakurai Yoshiko's think tank (reprise)

The Foreign Correspondent's Club of Japan has a write up on Monday's presentation by Sakurai Yoshiko and friends on relations with the DPRK. "Japan Institute for National Fundamentals" is not nearly as fluid a translation of Kokka kihon mondai kenkyūjo as "Center for Research on the Fundamental Problems of the Nation"--but what can you do?

It is a good thing I am not an angry, skeptical, fly-by-night, weather-beaten, crypto-Socialist FCCJ member with no sense of decorum. Otherwise I might have taken up the microphone (unwise, unwise) and asked a rather lengthy question:

"I am very glad you are taking this stand against persons being taken away from their families and held captive--making it impossible for parents to see children, grandparents to see their grandchildren and siblings to see each other. I am sure that since you are in Japan and are influential citizens, you are of course helping the victims of foreign kidnappings committed by Japanese, yes?

There are dozens of cases of children every year being abducted by Japanese citizens where the kidnappers, rather than being brought to justice, are sheltered by the Japanese state. You are, of course, working hard to end this horrible violation of international law happening right now--because you know Japan runs the risk of being seen as a lawless, isolated, insular, pig-headed state, yes?

Because if you weren't willing to stop the kidnappings of foreign nationals being carried out by citizens of Japan--something you could, as influential Japanese citizens, really could do something about--then one might be led to think that your highlighting the events of over 30 years ago is merely an attempt to sow discord in international relations and create a climate of fear on the domestic front which you hope to exploit in order to achieve your real goal, which is political power. Yes?

And if we are talking about states protecting kidnappers as a form of terrorism, then Japan should really be on the State Department list of states that sponsor terrorism, yes?"

Hmmmm....that last concept would be a fun little legal avenue for the parents of abducted children to pursue, yes?


Anonymous said...

Excellent points. On this one I completely agree.

MTC said...

anonymous from the other day -

Well thank you.

In my other post I was planting a flag, eschewing "might" and "seems" when the deployment of more temperate, cautious locutions was in order.

I recognize such recklessness is not everyone's bowl of rice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all this.
But what is to be done? Do these people have any real clout in the Japanese political system?