Japan Debate: “From Mere Guile to Demagoguery”

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Recently, I wrote an article for the Washington Post about a disturbing trend in Japan in which prominent voices on the journalistic right, intentionally or unintentionally, are animating the activities of ideological zealots and thugs. Right wingism in Japan has been around for a very long time, but recently they have successfully achieved censorship, both overt and self-imposed, of some of Japan’s blue chip intellectuals, business leaders, and think tanks.
My article used as one of its vignettes a battle between the Sankei Shimbun‘s well-known editorialist Yoshihisa Komori, based in Washington and someone I have known for many years, and a set of public intellectuals and retired government officials at the Japan Institute for International Affairs. Not only I have written about this, but many others including Roger Pulvers in today’s Japan Times and a couple of weeks ago under the authorship of Sheila Smith and Brad Glosserman.


In the spirt of free and open debate, I am posting Komori’s full response to my own views here. While I think he is strident and escalates what is a disturbing trend in Japan to a personal battle, ignoring his own possible role — advertent or inadvertent — in what is occuring in Japan’s intellectual environment, I do intend to take him at his word that he is going to vigorously defend inquiry, vigorously defend open society, and vigorously condemn those who attempt to stifle serious debate. (In English, this is the letter — as yet unpublished — that Komori sent to the Washington Post.)
In my view, Komori’s accusations against numerous American academics and some Japanese of being “anti-Japanese” in their writing borders on the worst kind of defamation of credible intellectuals and are not consistent with the kind of free inquiry he says he too is calling for. But I have no interest in tit-for-tat gaming or personalization of a practice that is far more substantial than a couple of people nudging each other hard over tactics. If Komori is a defender of open inquiry, then fine — I accept that. Let’s meet and debate what open inquiry looks like and what it does not.
Although I think Yoshihisa Komori is substantially more open-minded than former Senator Jesse Helms or our current UN Ambassador John Bolton, the Helms and Bolton practice of sugar-coating the most virulent form of pugnacious hyper-nationalism with trappings of patriotism — and in Helms’ case a genteel and courtly manner — could not fully disguise their desire to shut down their opponent’s rights to compete against them in our civil society. Komori is different than these practiced politicians — and it is true that he is a journalist who advises the up-and-coming Prime Minister. There is some difference.
Yoshihisa Komori has mastered the art of following Japanese government money — which is the primary funder of most academics around the world on all topics Japanese — and forcing the question of whether some respective research is in the true national interests of Japan. His very senior level access as an acknowledged advisor to Koizumi successor Shinzo Abe means that he and his views matter at Japan’s highest levels. Rather than defending process and robust debate, Komori is insisting that Japanese taxpayer money be rewarded or withheld depending on the political correctness of the “outcome” of research and inquiry — not the process or of broad debate that moves beyond official blessing.
Komori has a point. We have had that same kind of debate in America over the funding of the arts and even of academia. Some time ago, some ideological zealots wanted to impose a “patriot test” against the writing and research of American academics doing writing on and researching topics related to the Middle East.
In my book, this is NOT defending free inquiry and it reflects an extraordinarily cynical view about the use of taxpayer funds to promote “new ideas” and “new directions” — something Japan is in great need of. If Japanese intellectuals were ignoring Komori and others on the right, there would be no argument — but that is not happening.
I should state a couple of things for the record.
First, I wholeheartedly applaud the Sankei Shimbun for its condemnation of the Kato home arson. I noted this in my blog on August 27th — and I do believe that the Sankei Shimbun is an excellent paper, though one that its own editors and journalists have acknowledged to me plays to the conservative-right. I have been a guest of Fujisankei Communications and have been interviewed numerous times by various parts of the Fujisankei conglomerate, including the Sankei Shimbun. It was, of course, Fujisankei Communications who set the gold standard for the multi-million dollar speaking fees some retired US presidents could expect after Ronald Reagan’s post-presidential trip to Japan hosted by the conglomerate.
I also should say that I have known Yoshihisa Komori for years, and I have frequently enjoyed and benefited from his candor. On the matter of historical memory — a topic I have written and published on on occasion — I invited Komori to speak at the New America Foundation and learned a great deal from him regarding the obsession with Japanese war atrocities and behavior that dominates a disproportionate share of Chinese school textbooks.
However, I differ from Komori — and disagree with him — regarding his role in this debate. He is one of the key players in the “historical memory” franchise and rather than working hard to open that debate in a constructive way, Komori has both written about his concerns of other’s research — and has allegedly shared his concerns with those at the helm of the Japanese government, who have injudiciously moved to suspend or threaten the suspension of funding for important intellectual programs and exchanges.
I hold nothing personal against Komori — though he may not feel the same about me. He could be playing a far more constructive role than he is working to bolster debate, in which he is a participant, and emphasizing many of the principles below in his critique of me.
This issue is far larger than Komori and Clemons or any others shocked by the effectiveness of Komori’s assault on Masaru Tamamoto and his writing and work at the Japan Institute for International Affairs. it is one about the future of Japan’s brand of nationalism. I look forward to potentially discussing — in the measured and civil tones Komori claims to prefer — these matters with him and others in the future.
I acknowledge that we should accept Yoshihisa Komori’s assertion that he is a defender of open society. I look forward to helping to watch whether in the term of his friend Shinzo Abe’s premiership whether Komori works to embrace debate about Japan’s evolving national identity and memory — or whether he uses his considerable bully pulpit and his role as an advisor to Abe to punish and constrain those he feels are at odds with Japan’s increasingly hawkish conservative national mantra.
Yoshihisa Komori’s response to my article did not run in the Washington Post so he posted on his own website:

To the Editor
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC
In an op/ed by Steve Clemons (The Rise of Japan’s Thought Police, Sunday, August 27, 2006; Page B02), the author crosses the line from mere guile to demagoguery with a grossly unfair personal attack on my integrity. In statements that are completely untrue, he suggests that my newspaper and I are part of “an increasingly militant group of extreme right wing activists who yearn for a return to 1930’s style militarism.” Clemons writes that “Komori has no direct connection to those guilty of the most recent
(terrorist) acts, but he’s not unaware that his words frequently animate them — and that their actions in turn lend fear-fueled power to his pronouncements, helping them silence debate.” In this, he is accusing me, a newspaper reporter and commentator, of deliberately and willfully trying to inspire acts of terror in Japan. He cites incidents entirely unrelated to me or my newspaper including the recent deplorable act of arson that burned the house of Koichi Kato, a known political opponent of Prime Minister Koizumi.
To set the record straight, my newspaper immediately published an editorial severely condemning this act. Mr. Kato personally expressed his gratitude to the editors. In the past Sankei Shimbun also criticized any violence as a means of addressing political issues. If there are any activists in Japan who yearn for a return to 1930’s style militarism, both Sankei and I would denounce and oppose such efforts. Mr. Clemons also mischaracterized my regular newspaper column published on Aug. 12 in which I reported on a government-funded institute using Japanese taxpayer funds to dispatch non-objective criticism and misrepresentations of Japanese people, government policies and leaders, written exclusively in English for an overseas audience. My column maintains a calm and objective tone throughout and seeks no apology from anyone.
Modern Japan is democratic, peaceful, and committed to the rule of law. It is also a strong ally of the U.S. The Sankei Shimbun is one of Japan’s mainstream newspapers with daily circulation of approximately 2.2 million copies distributed nationally. There is nothing “ultra” conservative about my writing or the paper, in contrast to Mr. Clemons’ claim. For example, our newspaper is a leader in editorial support for Japan’s cooperation with the American effort to fight global terrorism. Although I frequently criticize government policy myself, in over thirty years of reporting I have never once advocated Japan’s return to militarism. If Mr. Clemons does not like my views, that is fair game. But he should not forget that I also have a right to express my views and that is not an assault on free speech. I have consistently criticized moves that would in any way undermine open government, free speech and multi-party democracy. I fervently condemn violence against anyone for their political views, including those who share the views of Mr. Clemons. Mr. Clemons has no basis to imply otherwise.
Sincerely yours,
Yoshihisa Komori
Editor-at-Large (Washington)
The Sankei Shimbun

I will be in Japan in mid-October and look forward to addressing the problem that I discussed in my Washington Post article then.

— Steve Clemons

Comments

32 comments on “Japan Debate: “From Mere Guile to Demagoguery”

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    Reply

  2. soudenjapan says:

    Hello, I’ve reached your blog by following a link embedded in the Wikipedia article on Mr. Komori of the Sankei Shinbun.
    I’m not at all concerned about the current state of the rise of Japan’s thought police, at this point, that you alarmed in the column in Washington Post. But if you are indeed right about your interpreation of the trend, if indeed the rise exist as you pointed out, there have to be consequences of some kinds in Japanese society in the near future, unless the rise is insignificant in the first place.
    My question is:
    What would be the most important potential consequence in your view?
    Do you want to speculated on that? Any prediction? If indeed something does happen as you predicted, eveyone has to agree that you were right about the opinion. If not, something might have gone worng in your interpreation.
    Frankly, I don’t feel such a trend at this point.

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  3. hirotami says:

    Hi Steve,
    It was very impressive to hear your background in and knowledge of Japan.
    This is the very reason I like to hear more from you about what Mr. Komori is accusinig your statement as a fabrication about Komori’s action.
    We like to hear from you something we don’t know about Mr. Komori.
    We think you owe us the explanation, not only what you want us to believe.
    Whatever it is or it was, I believe some day we get to know the truth, even you don’t speak out.
    Always, the truth shows up with a period of time.
    What puzzles me is that why it takes so long to tell the truth when you once started it.

    Reply

  4. Steve Clemons says:

    Dan in Kyoto – -thanks for your passionate note. I read some Japanese, but it is rusty — but my understanding of Japan is pretty balanced and deep. You and I simply disagree. I also value the Sankei on occasion and have known the chairman of Fujisankei, Hieda-san, for some time. I have also known Komori for a long time. I find these arguments regarding whether I’m qualified to comment on things and issues Japanese tiresome. I went to high school in Japan. I studied Japanese politics and language. I directed the second largest Japan organization in the United States for seven years. I have traveled to Japan some 70 times….that kind of gaming is not helpful.
    You and I simply disagree on the intent of some of the clamor in these articles. I have read Komori’s material carefully — and not just this piece, many of them. I have a file of others he has gone after, using the vehicle of government funding of research as his hook. I find this strategy as distasteful as the battles in America over National Endowment for the Arts funding or Title VI funding in American universities.
    So….thanks for your long note. You are welcome to post more — but we are on opposite sides of this. I think that you should acquaint yourself with the frequent practice in Japan of delivering together an implicit message or expectation covered by a more explicit veneer.
    Best wishes,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  5. Dan says:

    Just a question Steve. Do you read Japanese? Do you read Mr. Komori’s articles? Do you read Sankei in the original? Everyday? Did you read Sankei’s editorial after Mr. Kato’s house was burned down? Can you point to one editorial or article that would motivate this kind of criminal act? You can’t. It doesn’t exist. Politically I’m a person on the reasonable Left. Nevertheless, I read Sankei in Japanese everday. Why? Because as someone who believes in an open society I fully appreciate the civility that this newspaper and especially Mr. Komori bring to the other side of the debate. This article and a quick look at your other work points to one thing: Japan is your straw-man and your safe because you can claim expertise (of which you really don’t have much). You also come across as having so much invested in a certain understanding of the history and politics of Japan (and Asia) that any challenge to this perspective can only be met with demagoguery. “Thought police” indeed. Mr. Komori says things I agree with and some things I don’t agree with, though even when not agreeing I realize he makes his points civilly and based on a coherent worldview backed up by facts and not demagoguery. Something I hope someday I can say about you. The Left is in trouble when a person like Mr. Komori and for that matter Prime Minister Abe becomes the enemy. Proves they can’t quite grasp who the real enemies are on both the far right and the far left. A very big problem. The Left’s biggest problem thise days, in my opinion. But I guess for those like yourself to not build straw-men and rant and demagogue just might not pay the bills or make the final cut at the Washington Post. Sad.
    Dan, Kyoto

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  6. TokyoTom says:

    Dear Mr.hirotamin:
    I made a long response to you yesterday, but it has not posted yet. Perhaps they will put it up later.
    In any case, let me say that you misunderstand my point in #1, which was a joke that was intended to Mr. Komori. Of course I think Mr. Tamamoto must like Japan (like me!), so I meant to show my disappointment that Mr. Komori called Mr. Tamamoto`s article “anti-Japanese”. Please forgive me for not being more clear.
    I do think that probably Mr. Clemons went too far in implying that Mr. Komori was supporting the far right-wingers. My guess is that Mr. Clemons is worried that Japan may become more like the US, where the political discourse has deteriorated during the Bush administrations. If so, then it may be unfair for Mr. Clemons to transfer his fear to Japan unless he has a clear basis.
    Personally, I think that both Mr. Clemons and Mr. Kobori may have gone too far. I am also very disappointed that Mr. Sato did not defend JIIA better. Perhaps Mr. Komori was also surprised that the Commentary portion of JIIA was closed so quickly with an apology by Mr. Sato? In any case, it seems very easy for people to interpret this event as a lack of courage by JIIA and an attack on free speech. It would have been better if some alternative had been found, such as JIIA publishing a different view from Mr. Komori.
    Unfortunately, it does seem to have been difficult for Mr . Tamamoto to find Japanese capable of writing good English essays for JIIA, so when Mr. Tamamot took the risk of writing his own essays, he should have been more careful to write his essays and include references and footnotes.
    Sincerely,
    Tom

    Reply

  7. TokyoTom says:

    Dear Mr. hirotami:
    “1 & 2. I thought I made it clear that I am an American. Maybe YOU are Mr. Tamamoto? If so, can I ask why do you hate Japan so much?”
    I am sorry that I wrote this, or did not save it for last, because you have missed my joke, that I thought you might enjoy and agree with!
    If you had read the rest of my post first, perhaps you would have realized that I am a moderate, and completely agree with you that calling people names often reflects the state of mind of the person using such names. In fact, that was my point, because surely you realize that Mr. Tamamoto does not “hate Japan” or, as Mr. Komori has stated, is “anti-Japanese”. I don’t believe you feel that way, so, you see, I was not intending to put words in YOUR mouth. Rather, I was making a comment about the position that Mr. Komori seems to have taken.
    As your English is very good, I thought you would appreciate my point. So I apologize for not being more direct. Oh well …
    I agree with you that Japan is an extremely peace-loving country, and I believe that most Americans share that view. I also believe you are right that neither the extreme left or right will become the mainstream, but I disagree with you that silence is the best policy – it seems to me that silence is the policy that allows the extreme views to take control, or at least to do damage to domestic political discussion. We have seen that happen too much in history, with bad results – most recently in the Bush administration’s ill-conceived “war on terror” and how it has been used as a political weapon in the US.
    My own view is that Mr. Komori’s attack on the JIIA has damaged political discussion in Japan, even though I take his word that he is not a part of the right wing extremists who are also damaging debate by acts of physical intimidation and violence. I think moderates have an obligation to stand and say something when they think extremism is on the rise – and think you must agree, which is why you are here asking Mr. Clemons to be more moderate himself.
    By the way, you might have noted that the Yasukuni matter about which Mr. Tamamoto wrote (and so offended Mr. Komori) is one that has concerned many foreigners and Japanese as well. Were you aware of the large symposium that Temple University Japan sponsored on this topic in Tokyo last Sunday at the American Club? http://www.tuj.ac.jp/newsite/main/news/specialevents/events_2006/20060924_icjs.html
    Or have you seen this essay by former ambassador Togo (whose father was convicted as a Class A war criminal)? http://www.feer.com/articles1/2006/0606/free/p005.html
    I think these show that the main point in Mr. Tamamoto’s essay – that the LDP’s policies towards Yasukuni have damaged Japan’s reputation – is correct. Do you agree that making that point is not anti-Japanese?
    Sincerely,
    TT

    Reply

  8. hirotami says:

    >1 & 2. I thought I made it clear that I am an American. Maybe YOU are Mr. Tamamoto? If so, can I ask why do you hate Japan so much?
    TT, your statement such as this is the beyond of my comprehension.
    You have showed your ability to put your words into someone’s mouth again and again, and that get old quick to have an intelectual debate.
    Which I am debating to Mr. Clemons through you in my mind sinse you know so much about him, how busy he is and so forth.
    >Mr. Clemons is a busy guy, and he often does not have time to respond to comments in his blog – but his behavior shows it to be serious and responsible. If he were reckless, he would not be giving Mr. Komori space here on this blog.
    I can guess what people like you think just any other American people can guess, and if you are a leftist or rithtist, it does not make any difference what I say.
    If one calls someone is a extream leftist, that make the person said so a oposite person, in this case, he is a extream rightist.
    Did I make it clear, Mr. Clemons and Mr. Komori ?
    My problem is that a quite few Americans, free minded democrats, still think Japan has those who think like 30’s millitarists.
    I would not deny it, so does communists in America.
    And the biggest problem is that many Americans do not realize the difference the millitarism of now and then in 30’s.
    In 30′ was the time of Colonization of Asia by Western Countries and Japan did the same to other Asian countries, to survive the vital war which should be reconized as a war of invasion .
    I, here, am talking about the background of world in 30’s, Japan was drove by millitarists to the war to survive in mentarity of somewhat of North Korea’s now.
    Now, Japan is enjoying the richness of their lives financially, with longevity, high tecnology and abundance of material in their society.
    Under unbrella of the US power, Japan did not have any war for 60 years and I enjoyed heck out of it with watching the same generation of young Americans sacrificing their precious lives.
    I felt sorry for those young Americans loosing their lives in Vietnam not knowing for what, and I was thankful Japan did not win the war in spite of my grand parents’ great loss in finance.
    Japanese government taxed people to support Gulf war so they didn’t have to sacrifice their own people.
    Can American call that coward ?
    I would prefer you call me coward than I have to send my grand children to war to kill someone.
    We are the people of the generation knows the value of peace time, as long as we live any other country needs NO worry about Japan goes back to 30’s millitalism.
    In Japan, like the USA, majority opinion do not pick a radical couse change.
    You may hear strong harkish voices in Japan now and then and it is rising now, however give it time and watch, I bet you $ 1 Japan never spend the badget for millitarization more than half of China’s.
    Remember, if you are worried about Japan’s extream leftists or rightists, because you are the extream rightist or leftist.
    Always we hear the noise from them, however they remain let or right never become a main stream.
    Silence is the best policy for them to make, as far as my concern goes.

    Reply

  9. hirotami says:

    >1 & 2. I thought I made it clear that I am an American. Maybe YOU are Mr. Tamamoto? If so, can I ask why do you hate Japan so much?
    TT, your statement such as this is the beyond of my comprehension.
    You have showed your ability to put your words into someone’s mouth again and again, and that get old quick to have an intelectual debate.
    Which I am debating to Mr. Clemons through you in my mind sinse you know so much about him, how busy he is and so forth.
    >Mr. Clemons is a busy guy, and he often does not have time to respond to comments in his blog – but his behavior shows it to be serious and responsible. If he were reckless, he would not be giving Mr. Komori space here on this blog.
    I can guess what people like you think just any other American people can guess, and if you are a leftist or rithtist, it does not make any difference what I say.
    If one calls someone is a extream leftist, that make the person said so a oposite person, in this case, he is a extream rightist.
    Did I make it clear, Mr. Clemons and Mr. Komori ?
    My problem is that a quite few Americans, free minded democrats, still think Japan has those who think like 30’s millitarists.
    I would not deny it, so does communists in America.
    And the biggest problem is that many Americans do not realize the difference the millitarism of now and then in 30’s.
    In 30′ was the time of Colonization of Asia by Western Countries and Japan did the same to other Asian countries, to survive the vital war which should be reconized as a war of invasion .
    I, here, am talking about the background of world in 30’s, Japan was drove by millitarists to the war to survive in mentarity of somewhat of North Korea’s now.
    Now, Japan is enjoying the richness of their lives financially, with longevity, high tecnology and abundance of material in their society.
    Under unbrella of the US power, Japan did not have any war for 60 years and I enjoyed heck out of it with watching the same generation of young Americans sacrificing their precious lives.
    I felt sorry for those young Americans loosing their lives in Vietnam not knowing for what, and I was thankful Japan did not win the war in spite of my grand parents’ great loss in finance.
    Japanese government taxed people to support Gulf war so they didn’t have to sacrifice their own people.
    Can American call that coward ?
    I would prefer you call me coward than I have to send my grand children to war to kill someone.
    We are the people of the generation knows the value of peace time, as long as we live any other country needs NO worry about Japan goes back to 30’s millitalism.
    In Japan, like the USA, majority opinion do not pick a radical couse change.
    You may hear strong harkish voices in Japan now and then and it is rising now, however give it time and watch, I bet you $ 1 Japan never spend the badget for millitarization more than half of China’s.
    Remember, if you are worried about Japan’s extream leftists or rightists, because you are the extream rightist or leftist.
    Always we hear the noise from them, however they remain let or right never become a main stream.
    Silence is the best policy for them to make, as far as my concern goes.

    Reply

  10. TokyoTom says:

    Mr. hirotami:
    1 & 2. I thought I made it clear that I am an American. Maybe YOU are Mr. Tamamoto? If so, can I ask why do you hate Japan so much?
    3. Yes, Chavez and Bush are a different subject. However, while no country LIKES foreign criticism, it may be useful and in addition it is an indication that our country matters enough that someone cares to criticize us. Same with Japan, except I would have to suppose that Mr. Clemons and others who have expressed similar views, such as George Will (of course Mr. Tamamoto loves his own country) actually care very deeply for Japan and its future.
    4. Thanks for your efforts to assist my understanding about the JIIA articles. Have you read them yourself by any chance? Perhaps you don’t know that someone has collected them and put them back on the internet? You can find them by following the links from Mr. Clemons, but if you send me an email I’d be more than happy to give you the website.
    The articles that I have reviewed in the “commentary” section that Mr. Komori criticizes do not seem to me to be “anti-Japanese”, but I gather that Mr. Komori’s view of what is anti-Japanese is very broad. Perhaps others could just as well say that it is Mr. Komori’s views and actions that are “anti-Japanese”. But that is not my position – I just think that this type of labeling is childish and designed to win a debate by throwing a tantrum rather than by persuasion and rational discussion. What type of discussion is best, especially for a democracy?
    By the way, it seems to me that J Wiki simply very briefly summarizes what occurred, and does not describe the nature/contents of the JIIA articles themselves. I am aware from the links Mr. Clemons and others have provided as to what Mr. Komori claims and how JIIA/Mr. Satoh responded.
    In my view, both are shameful – and should cause the Japanese right to reflect on how it by itself is doing a great job of besmirching the reputation of Japan abroad (just as the Bush administration, Republican party and neocons have done for the US). This is not cause for rejoicing anywhere.
    “They call this kind of act as “Match and Pump”in Japan – someone set fire and watch it with others.”
    That’s the first I’ve heard that term (how do you write it in romaji?), but I don’t think that it applies here. Mr. Komori’s actions, the reactions of the JIIA and the commentary by Mr. Clemons are all serious matters. Mr. Clemons thought this was serious enough to write about it on his blog the WaPo and elsewhere, and he further posted Mr. Komori’s response here so that the discussion would remain open.
    Mr. Clemons is a busy guy, and he often does not have time to respond to comments in his blog – but his behavior shows it to be serious and responsible. If he were reckless, he would not be giving Mr. Komori space here on this blog.
    Can you confirm whether Mr. Komori has shown the same seriousness that Mr. Clemons has shown, by linking to Mr. Clemon’s gracious post and discussion of Mr. Komori’s response?
    As for Mr. Komori, I look forward to finding out more about him. He sounds like an interesting guy. Of course I know nothing about his wife either. What can you tell me?
    By the way, I do think that Mr. Clemons may have gone a bit overboard, but it is difficult to say because it is very difficult for me to understand why Mr. Sato of JIIA so quickly decided to remove the articles that Mr. Komori had complained about. At least in Mr. Komori’s public letter he requested no such action, and Mr. Sato’s complete capitulation was very shocking. It is difficult for me to understand why he did not make a public statement against Mr. Komori’s pressure, so I blame him as well.
    My knowledge is limited, so I find my view somewhere between Mr. Clemons and the skepticism expressed here: http://biglizards.net/blog/archives/2006/09/is_japan_danger.html#trackbacks
    Sincerely,
    TT
    PS: Yes, Ichiro is a true great (and seems quite happy since last year), but don’t forget Matsui!

    Reply

  11. TokyoTom says:

    Dear Mr. len:
    You request “please don’t slander Komori”. I’m not sure who you are addressing or what you think is slander. Can you clarify? I don’t think anyone has slandered Mr. Komori, including Mr. Clemons in his WaPo article.
    Just so we are clear on our definitions, to slander someone is to say something untrue about them, not to disagree with them or their actions. If one tells the truth, it is not slander.
    Rather, what do you think of this statement by Mr. Komori in his letter to WaPo, which Mr. Clemons graciously posted on his own site for purposes of open discussion:
    “he [Steve Clemons] is accusing me, a newspaper reporter and commentator, of deliberately and willfully trying to inspire acts of terror in Japan.”
    Other than Mr. Komori’s statements that he is a reporter and commentator, what parts of that sentence can be deomonstrated to be factually correct, based on Mr. Clemon’s WaPo article?
    Sincerely,
    TT
    PS: Thanks for the link to your website, which apparently Mr. Komori likes.

    Reply

  12. hirotami says:

    Hi TT,
    1. To be honest, I don’t know you, Mr. Clemons and Mr. Tamamoto, also Mr. Komori.
    However, you know so much about this matter as if you were Mr.Clemons. ( That’s all I said, I never said you were Mr. Clemons, did I ?)
    Since you know it so much and since you are not Mr. Clemons, are you Mr. Tamamoto ?
    Haha, just kidding ! 😀
    2. Very good to hear that. I stand at the same as you do.
    Still it doesn’t mean you are not Mr. Tamamoto. 😀
    Ok, I said it enough.
    3. I could not have shaken off what Chavez said about the President of USA. the day.
    Chave didn’t have a class whatsoever in UN.
    And decente Americans reacted against Chavez’s act.
    This is what you get, when you denounce about other country’s matters, by the countryman.
    You can say it, if you are one of us, but he can not say that, because he is not one of us.
    Whatever wrong is with Bush, he is the President of the USA elected by them.
    So is the mayor of the southern city, they deserve it.
    I don’t mind talk about J.F.Kenndey or Nixon, two President rouined the Demo. and Rep., this is a history.
    Especially, Kennedey. Every Democrat candidates for Prs. wanted to be a Kennedey.
    Well, this is a different subject.
    4. The following is in J.Wikipedia, this should explain better about QUALITY of essays in JIIA.
    2006年8月、外務省管轄下にある財団法人日本国際問題研究所(Japan Institute of International Affairs)のホームページにJIIAコメンタリーとして掲載された玉本偉「論文」における問題点を産経新聞紙面にて公開質問状の形で指摘した。結果、研究所は、理事長名で当該「論文」の問題点、編集体勢の杜撰さを認め、「厳しく反省」し「編集体勢を一新すると」表明し、JIIAコメンタリーの中止とバックナンバーの公開中止に追い込まれた。
    Aug. 2006 Mr. Tamamoto posted his comment on JIIA under D. F.A of Japan. Mr. Komori acussed in Sankey Mr. Tamamoto’s as an opinion against Japanese interest and should not have been on the website of JIIA since JIIA’s run by tax money. As the result, the head man of JIIA admitted some problem of Mr. Tamamoto’s article on it’s site and the problem of checking sysystem of the editor’s, then erased Mr. Tamamoto’s article.
    This is not an exact translation word toword also I’ve added some content so readers could understand better which was in the site of the Wikipedia.
    You know, TT.
    We are talking about this for a while, and I guess Mr. Clemons would not talk anymore about this.
    As if he could care less what others say, or that’s all he wants.
    He said what he wanted to say on WP, and let Komori to say on Clemons site.
    It does not make any sense to me.
    They call this kind of act as “Match and Pump”in Japan – someone set fire and watch it with others.
    You know what I mean ?
    Who loses more ? Mr. Clmons or Mr. Komori.
    Do you know anything about Mr. Komoi’s wife ?
    Wikipedia also mentioned about his wife as an activist for American Indian’s right and she used to work for Jimmy Carter.
    Doesn’t that make her an liberal person ?
    I was wondering why his wife is an activist for American Indian’s right,
    you’ll know the reason why when you know of Mr. Komori.

    Reply

  13. len says:

    please don’t Slander Komori.

    Reply

  14. TokyoTom says:

    Hirotami-san:
    Let me make a few small points:
    1. You quote the following from my prior post:
    >>The problem is that Mr. Komori’s attacks on JIIA and on Mr. Clemons are very strident. Apparently Mr. Komori achieved his purpose as to the JIIA, but fortunately Mr. Clemons has a little more fortitude. As I noted, some at JIIA appear to fear for their personal safety, and they are clearly under political attack from Mr. Komori and others within the LDP. If Mr. Komori does not want to seem to be supporting right-wing nationalists who want to quelch the voices of their political opponents, then he should stop acting like one.<<
    And then you state: “I am sorry to say this, but this sounds rather emotinal statement for a seasoned journalist.”
    Please understand that the above statement is my personal one (not from Mr. Clemons). In addition, I am not a journalist of any type, but a private citizen in Japan.
    2. I stand by my statements and opinion, and I have not written at the request of anyone.
    3. You say that “if you can not show a smoking gun to support what you said, you should not talk about other country’s affair.” Well, naturally I disagree and have to say I find your attitude puzzling. We all live in the same world and I happen to live in Japan, as noted.
    I will not only concede that you (and anyone else, for that matter) have the same right to describe your views and concerns about the US, but I will also encourage you to continue to tell Americans your opinion. We need to be aware of what others are thinking about us (despite Pres. Bush’s recent statement, in response to some criticism by Colim Powell, that “it is unacceptable to think” that the US might be wrong in important aspects of the “war on terror”).
    4. Finally, you note that the Japan Wikipedia suggests that the changes at JIIA are about “quality control”. I think that any rational observer would have to acknowledge that the changes are not about QUALITY of essays at JIIA, but about disagreement over the CONTENT of such essay. (The two are the same only if one take that position that a “quality” essay is one which contains content that the basically reader agrees with.) Do you disagree?
    Thanks for sharing your views with me.
    TT

    Reply

  15. hirotami says:

    I’m sorry I’m making a lots of mistakes.

    Reply

  16. hirotami says:

    >>We have leaders who are happy to foment long-term international strife for short-term partisan gain and to run expensive international wars and defense programs that benefit only a very few, without consideration for paying for costs of these actions, are happy to run the country as if citizen’s rights, the Constitution and the rule of law mean nothing, and to paint all those who disagree with them (whether Republican or Democrat) traitors to the country.>That being said, is Mr. Clemons or others wrong to express concern that Japan may be heading in similar directions? I think not.>Even more to the point, the open discussion of policy is vital to the health of a democracy, especially in the time of a conflict. In that context, I am afraid that I see Mr. Komori’s actions (which of course must also find support within the LPD leadership) and the rapid surrender of the JIIA to be indefensible.>As a matter of law, the JIIA is not a branch of the government, but a private foundation. The government of Japan is of course free to attach whatever conditions it wishes to its contributions to JIIA, but it has no direct claim over JIIA policy.>Moreover, Mr. Tamamoto’s article was really quite moderate and in some ways very sympathetic to the position of those seeking to “normalize” Japan’s role in the internation community. It is quite a puzzle that it attracted such strong negative comment from Mr. Komori.>Personally, I can understand the desire and see the need for Japan to normalize. But surely it is important advice for those who favor such a policy to understand how it may be perceived and even deliberately manipulated by others abroad, and to act in ways that minimize the negative consequences to Japan of negatives views. Surely you can also see that squelching debate in Japan is hardly conducive to an improved image of Japan abroad, and that Mr. Komori has very deliberately acted to squelch debate. Words are actions, Mr. hirotami. We can all recognize that Mr. Komori’s actions and speech fall within the bounds of law, even while other acts of physical violence and intimidation do not. But these actions all xxx along a spectrum, and all are directed towards silencing poilitical opponents. Mr. Clemons is absolutely correct (and within his rights) to point out the similarities.>That these rather obvious points do not seem to resonate at all with Mr. Komori make one wonder if his aim is to promote normalization, but rather to encourage international frictions for the purpose of punishing political foes at home. Again, I would have to admit with chagrin that the US has hardly been a good role model during the Bush administrations.<<
    I believe I’ve said all I needed to say.
    hirotami

    Reply

  17. hirotami says:

    >>A good start would be for Mr. Komori to call on JIIA to put the suspended commentary back up on its website, to criticize JIIA for being so craven and spineless, and to perhaps call on JIIA to expand the debate by publishing opposing views – such as a “letters to the editor” column.>Your suggestion that perhaps the US also needs a healthy nationalism is exactly the context from which Mr. Clemons expresses concerns about what is happening in Japan – these days the US is serving as exactly the WRONG kind of role model to the rest of the world.<<
    No, Tokyo Tom. What I am suggesting is that if you can not show a smoking gun to support what you said, you should not talk about other country’s affair.
    Because, most American people believe you, whatever you say and whatever I say, and that is wrong in this case.
    I am willing to drop this matter long time ago, but it seems that Tokyo Tom, you would like to talk about it more and more.
    If you saw CNN today, you must have seen a bunch of Democrats denounced Hugo Chavez for calling President a diablo many times.
    That’s what I call nationalism.
    CNN’s caster said that
    We call call our Pres. anything we want, but Chavez better not call him a devil, Chavez is not one of us.
    With internatioanl matters, the best is not to call someone by name, unless you absolutely have a reason to do so.
    The best Nationalism is no Nationalism in politcial world.

    Reply

  18. hirotami says:

    >>The problem is that Mr. Komori’s attacks on JIIA and on Mr. Clemons are very strident. Apparently Mr. Komori achieved his purpose as to the JIIA, but fortunately Mr. Clemons has a little more fortitude. As I noted, some at JIIA appear to fear for their personal safety, and they are clearly under political attack from Mr. Komori and others within the LDP. If Mr. Komori does not want to seem to be supporting right-wing nationalists who want to quelch the voices of their political opponents, then he should stop acting like one.<<
    I am sorry to say this, but this sounds rather emotinal statement for a seasoned journalist.
    The word of ” appear to fear for their personal safety. and under political attack ” suggests really nothing happened and political attack means everything but fisical attck will be accepted, I suppose.
    I do think Mr. Komori is a right-wing, however he opposed Shintaro Ishihara, Kenichi Ohmae and others on FSX by calling them ” New Nationalists”.
    You can not paint a person he is a right or left, because I am far left from Bush but I am far right from Kerry.
    If Mr. Tamamoto feels fear for his personal safety, why he could make it open, at least he could have wrote on his blog ?
    No one seems to know about it (Mr. Komori or someone else’s physical thread to Mr. Tamamoto) in Japan.
    Did Mr. Tamamoto ask you to stir this up ?
    According to Japanese Wikipedeia, Mr. Seki Tomoda, the head man of JIIA, whe was a ex-Sankei journalist, made the correction of the system to check articles, such as Mr. Tamaki’s, after questioned the quality of the articles on Sankei pater by Mr. Komori.
    If this is all correct, you and Mr. Clemons are barkxxg wxxxg txxe.

    Reply

  19. hirotami says:

    >>The problem is that Mr. Komori’s attacks on JIIA and on Mr. Clemons are very strident. Apparently Mr. Komori achieved his purpose as to the JIIA, but fortunately Mr. Clemons has a little more fortitude. As I noted, some at JIIA appear to fear for their personal safety, and they are clearly under political attack from Mr. Komori and others within the LDP. If Mr. Komori does not want to seem to be supporting right-wing nationalists who want to quelch the voices of their political opponents, then he should stop acting like one.>A good start would be for Mr. Komori to call on JIIA to put the suspended commentary back up on its website, to criticize JIIA for being so craven and spineless, and to perhaps call on JIIA to expand the debate by publishing opposing views – such as a “letters to the editor” column.>Your suggestion that perhaps the US also needs a healthy nationalism is exactly the context from which Mr. Clemons expresses concerns about what is happening in Japan – these days the US is serving as exactly the WRONG kind of role model to the rest of the world.>We have leaders who are happy to foment long-term international strife for short-term partisan gain and to run expensive international wars and defense programs that benefit only a very few, without consideration for paying for costs of these actions, are happy to run the country as if citizen’s rights, the Constitution and the rule of law mean nothing, and to paint all those who disagree with them (whether Republican or Democrat) traitors to the country.>That being said, is Mr. Clemons or others wrong to express concern that Japan may be heading in similar directions? I think not.>Even more to the point, the open discussion of policy is vital to the health of a democracy, especially in the time of a conflict. In that context, I am afraid that I see Mr. Komori’s actions (which of course must also find support within the LPD leadership) and the rapid surrender of the JIIA to be indefensible.>As a matter of law, the JIIA is not a branch of the government, but a private foundation. The government of Japan is of course free to attach whatever conditions it wishes to its contributions to JIIA, but it has no direct claim over JIIA policy.>Moreover, Mr. Tamamoto’s article was really quite moderate and in some ways very sympathetic to the position of those seeking to “normalize” Japan’s role in the internation community. It is quite a puzzle that it attracted such strong negative comment from Mr. Komori.>Personally, I can understand the desire and see the need for Japan to normalize. But surely it is important advice for those who favor such a policy to understand how it may be perceived and even deliberately manipulated by others abroad, and to act in ways that minimize the negative consequences to Japan of negatives views. Surely you can also see that squelching debate in Japan is hardly conducive to an improved image of Japan abroad, and that Mr. Komori has very deliberately acted to squelch debate. Words are actions, Mr. hirotami. We can all recognize that Mr. Komori’s actions and speech fall within the bounds of law, even while other acts of physical violence and intimidation do not. But these actions all xxx along a spectrum, and all are directed towards silencing poilitical opponents. Mr. Clemons is absolutely correct (and within his rights) to point out the similarities.>That these rather obvious points do not seem to resonate at all with Mr. Komori make one wonder if his aim is to promote normalization, but rather to encourage international frictions for the purpose of punishing political foes at home. Again, I would have to admit with chagrin that the US has hardly been a good role model during the Bush administrations.<<
    I believe I’ve said all I needed to say.
    hirotami
    In an effort to curb malicious comment posting by abusive users, I’ve enabled a feature that requires a weblog commenter to wait a short amount of time before being able to post again. Please try to post your comment again in a short while. Thanks for your patience.
    Dear Taly,
    Thanks for your reply.
    My phone number is 252-796-4678
    I’ll be at this number from 7:30 ~ any time.
    Await your help.
    hirotami

    Reply

  20. hirotami says:

    This is just a check.

    Reply

  21. TokyoTom says:

    Steve, I hear that this is not a new incident and that type of pressure has been increasingly brought to bear on JIIA over the last year or two, and that some members of the staff fear their physical safety.
    Dear Mr. hirotami:
    The problem is that Mr. Komori’s attacks on JIIA and on Mr. Clemons are very strident. Apparently Mr. Komori achieved his purpose as to the JIIA, but fortunately Mr. Clemons has a little more fortitude. As I noted, some at JIIA appear to fear for their personal safety, and they are clearly under political attack from Mr. Komori and others within the LDP. If Mr. Komori does not want to seem to be supporting right-wing nationalists who want to quelch the voices of their political opponents, then he should stop acting like one.
    A good start would be for Mr. Komori to call on JIIA to put the suspended commentary back up on its website, to criticize JIIA for being so craven and spineless, and to perhaps call on JIIA to expand the debate by publishing opposing views – such as a “letters to the editor” column.
    Your suggestion that perhaps the US also needs a healthy nationalism is exactly the context from which Mr. Clemons expresses concerns about what is happening in Japan – these days the US is serving as exactly the WRONG kind of role model to the rest of the world.
    We have leaders who are happy to foment long-term international strife for short-term partisan gain and to run expensive international wars and defense programs that benefit only a very few, without consideration for paying for costs of these actions, are happy to run the country as if citizen’s rights, the Constitution and the rule of law mean nothing, and to paint all those who disagree with them (whether Republican or Democrat) traitors to the country.
    That being said, is Mr. Clemons or others wrong to express concern that Japan may be heading in similar directions? I think not.
    Even more to the point, the open discussion of policy is vital to the health of a democracy, especially in the time of a conflict. In that context, I am afraid that I see Mr. Komori’s actions (which of course must also find support within the LPD leadership) and the rapid surrender of the JIIA to be indefensible.
    As a matter of law, the JIIA is not a branch of the government, but a private foundation. The government of Japan is of course free to attach whatever conditions it wishes to its contributions to JIIA, but it has no direct claim over JIIA policy.
    Moreover, Mr. Tamamoto’s article was really quite moderate and in some ways very sympathetic to the position of those seeking to “normalize” Japan’s role in the internation community. It is quite a puzzle that it attracted such strong negative comment from Mr. Komori.
    Personally, I can understand the desire and see the need for Japan to normalize. But surely it is important advice for those who favor such a policy to understand how it may be perceived and even deliberately manipulated by others abroad, and to act in ways that minimize the negative consequences to Japan of negatives views. Surely you can also see that squelching debate in Japan is hardly conducive to an improved image of Japan abroad, and that Mr. Komori has very deliberately acted to squelch debate. Words are actions, Mr. hirotami. We can all recognize that Mr. Komori’s actions and speech fall within the bounds of law, even while other acts of physical violence and intimidation do not. But these actions all lie along a spectrum, and all are directed towards silencing poilitical opponents. Mr. Clemons is absolutely correct (and within his rights) to point out the similarities.
    That these rather obvious points do not seem to resonate at all with Mr. Komori make one wonder if his aim is to promote normalization, but rather to encourage international frictions for the purpose of punishing political foes at home. Again, I would have to admit with chagrin that the US has hardly been a good role model during the Bush administrations.

    Reply

  22. hirotami says:

    Tokyo Tom
    I am not so sure that you are talking to me or not.
    I did not disagree anything Mr. Clemons said on his blog and he knows about Japan and Japanese there far more than I do.
    I have tremendous respect to his knowledge of Japan and I’ve learned from his articles, as long as it’s true or could be true or even may not be true.
    However, we can not learn anything from a not-true, and Komori is accusing Mr. Clemons that he fabricated about Mr. Komori.
    Mr. Clemons had, I think, enough time to post some words here to defend himself against Mr. Komoi’s refutation, especially someone called him a xxxx.
    I’ve read what Mr. Clemons had to say very carefully and I did not find what I was lookong for.
    I would not have said this, if you did not bring it up to me.
    Tokyo Tom, I agree what you’ve written on here, my problem is, I hope you undersstand this time, Mr Clemons is taking too long time to explain himself, may be you can point it out where I’ve missed.
    Again what I would like to remind American people about Japan is that Japan is the size of Cal. and pop.140 mil.about half of the USA’s.
    Can you imagine 1 out of 2 American people moved to Cal ?!
    And top of that, 90% of the pop. live on 10 % of Japanese land !!
    And half of the 90% live on the narrow land facing ocean from Tokyo to Kita-kyushu, in the USA some Boston to N. Carolina about 600 miles plus.
    60 million people ! on a strip land.
    And can you imagine the seven rockets droped on their head ?
    If WTC were in Tokyo instead when it were attacked, I would guarantee you they must’ve had fur more casualties than 3,000.
    You know North Korea is under the influence of China, in other words China can make it or break it.
    If you can believe drug money goes to Terorrists, you can believe Walmart money goes to Chinese rocket and may be to N.Korea.
    I just want you to thing about Nationalism in the world.
    I hope I never see Japan chage Article 9 as long as I live, I’ve got pretty good chance.:D
    Japan has bigger fish to fillet than to worrey about who chose to silence opponents in Japan, or than to worry about who is lying to whom when it comes to choose critical future.
    It may be true Japan has the extreamlists right-wing and they could be dangerous, though Japanese society is healthy as a country and most Japanese believe we can choose healthy future.

    Reply

  23. TokyoTom says:

    Mr./Ms. hirotami:
    Unfortunately, most US citizens have very little real insight into your country. You might consider that Mr. Clemon’s insights are limited, but he clearly knows more than most – so even if you disagree with what he has to say you should consider it very carefully.
    Obviously, the issue of “normalization” of Japan as a member of the international community, in the context of a rising China, tensions with North Korea, greater threats to energy security and a less predictible and potentially less reliable US as an ally, is a complex topic that is difficult to summarize (and on which there is quite a range of opinion and confusion).
    However, Mr. Clemons is quite right to focus on the disturbing and clearly visible trends in Japan to dampen the debate there. You are just as right to point out the the US has very similar problems with “hawkish, strident” nationalism. In both countries, those who chose to silence opponents should themselves be perceived as subverting the democracy that the profess to love.

    Reply

  24. hirotami says:

    Correction:
    The debate between Clemons and Komori is one thing, the other is, more importantly, what the most Anericans think about Japan.
    An elementary teacher conserns about an incident in Japan at WWII.
    Mathew thinks that Clemons blog is an insight into Japan.
    Rising Sun, Thought Police, Guile, Demagoguery – these words doesn’t fit to the majority of two countries, the USA and Japan.
    Mr. Clemons’ insight is not into Japan, but it may be a personal thing between Clemons and Komori.
    The extream rightists in Japan often echoe with Yakuza-Japanese Mafia and many connected with right-wing politicians.
    However, they are well controlled by police force under democratic society.
    Lunatics are everywhere not only in Muslim or the USA but in Japan too.
    There are more Communists than Catholics in Japan and they have a close relationship with Chinese Communist.

    Reply

  25. hirotami says:

    It sounds very reasonable tone about Mr. Komori on this blog witten by Mr.Clemons.
    However, the headline “The Rise of Japan’s Thought Police” by Mr. Clemons and the smear tacktics of his article on WP is beyond reasonable and fair game for Sankei Shinbun and it’s Komori.
    When you read Komori’s response, you can believe that Komori is telling you the truth, according to Sankei claims Mr.Clemons’ statement in WP about demanding an apology from Yukio Satoh is untrue.
    Clemons described several recent incidents in Japan and the assasination of Japanese Prim Minister in 1932, and then went on saying that today’s intimidation by the right is working.
    Then Clemons says Komori has no direct connction to the act but his words animate them.
    Is Clemons saying that Komori did not do it by himself but just said it to do ?
    I know he did not say that, then why do I get the impression ?
    The debate between Clemons and Komori is one thing, the other is, more importantly, what the most Anericans think about Japan.
    An elementary teacher conserns about an incident in Japan at WWII.
    Mathew thinks that Clemons blog is an insight into Japhe extream rightists in Japan aften echoes with Yakuza-Japanese Mafia and many connected with right-wing politicians.
    However, they are well controlled by police force under democratic society.
    Lunatics are everywhere not only in Muslim or the USA but in Japan too.
    There are more Communists than Catholics in Japan and they have a close relationship with Chinese Communist.
    The most of Japanese would like to hold on to
    Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution
    Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
    In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
    However, the increasing tention of between China, both Korea and Japan, as you know, is compelling Japan to discuss the need of further millitalization of Japan.
    Sankei is more right than far left Asahi and Nikkei on this issue.
    Mr. Clemons says,” Japan needs a healthy nationalism.”
    There is no healthy nationalism in intermational world.
    It is like a safe sex, no sex.
    If I change Japan to the USA in Mr Clemons’ words,
    America needs nationalism. But it needs a healthy nationalism — not the hawkish, strident variety that is latley forcing many of the country’s best lights to dim their views.
    Now, in which country does it make better sense ?
    This blog of Mr. Clemons’ make far better sense than “The Rise of Japan’s Thought Police.”
    And now on, some Japanese may remember Mr. Clemons as ” The Rise of Japan’s Thought Police Police.”
    by hirotami

    Reply

  26. TokyoTom says:

    Steve, thanks for this follow up. Has there been anything but radio silence from the JIIA, Mr. Satoh or Mr. Tamamoto? How do you interpret the lack of any response from them?
    Mr. Komori’s rather emotional response shows that he knows full that his criticism of Tamamoto and the JIAA is playing into the hands of the nationalists (even while you gave him some uncessary room to take offense that you were intending to equate the Sankei and him with those who are actually making physical threats).
    The game of intimidation should be attacked wherever it is played. Unfortunately, this is what the Bush administration has knowingly unloosed for purposes of political gain at home, and reactions abroad are quite predictable. There is both a cycle of nationalism/jingoism and circling the wagon against perceived external threats, action to undercut and silence critics as unpatriotic, and the cynical political manipulation of the situation for narrow partisan purposes and other dubious benefits.
    Those who can see the negative dynamics of these spreading circles of suspicion have an obligation to try to dampen them, otherwise the slouching beast will be loosed. I think holding a mirror up to the phenonmenon is one of our main weapons. While there is no small demagoguery from those countries we perceive as threats, we simply empower the demagogues by focussing on and responding emotionally to their words.

    Reply

  27. Terry says:

    Your original article showed incidents by right wing criminals and some examples of those who revised their opinion after criticism.
    It had the headline “The Rise of Japan’s Thought Police” and seemed to me demagoguery.
    If one criticised someone else, who then admitted the criticism, and criminals hailed it, would it be laballed “thought police”? This laballing itself is closer to a thought police.
    This blog post is much better.
    You have reason to worry about threat one could feel when one says something in Japan, but I think opinions you want to defend are as loud as their opponents.

    Reply

  28. Mike says:

    So would it be fair at all to compare Komori to, say, David Horowitz??
    Also, please feature some more Japan-related posts! As an above posted stated, it can be difficult to find quality Japan-related analysis at times.

    Reply

  29. Steve Clemons says:

    Paul — the WP did offer to print Komori’s response, but not in the length he wanted.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  30. paul says:

    how could this letter not have been published? Surely he has a right of reply to Steve’s article. I don’t know enough to know for sure who is right or wrong, although my sympathies are definitely with Steve, but I do know that it would be most unfair if the Post’s decision stands.

    Reply

  31. Matthew says:

    Another fascinating article on Japan. Japan is the most important country that our media routinely ignores. Thanks for providing some insight into the World’s Second Most Important Country.

    Reply

  32. elementary teacher says:

    Just today, after reading Steve’s post, this headline caught my eye:
    Nurse Breaks Silence, Reveals WWII Atrocity
    A wartime nurse has broken more than 60 years of silence to reveal her part in burying dozens, perhaps hundreds, of bodies there as American forces occupied the Japanese capital.
    The way experts see it, these were no ordinary casualties of war, but possible victims of Tokyo’s shadowy wartime experiments on live prisoners of war – an atrocity that has never been officially recognized by the Japanese government, but is well documented by historians and participants.
    http://tinyurl.com/osy3f

    Reply

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