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Interesting, odd, outrageous or informative quotes about Japan

Taro Aso- quotes from the mafioso-looking former foreigner minister

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Taro Aso has called Japan a “one race” nation, an expression similar to a controversial statement in 1986 by then Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, sources close to the minister said Monday.
In a speech during a ceremony at the new Kyushu National Museum in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Saturday, the sources said Aso described Japan as having “one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture and one race. There is no other nation (that has such characteristics).”

Two decades ago, Nakasone stirred controversy by publicly calling Japan a “homogenous nation,” drawing criticism particularly from the indigenous Ainu people who live mainly in Hokkaido.

Following Aso’s remarks, Mitsunori Keira, head of the citizens’ group Yaiyukara-no-Mori, which works to preserve Ainu culture, criticized the minister.

“The fact that top government officials have repeatedly made similar remarks shows the government has never sincerely listened to our protest,” Keira said.

The Japan Times: Oct. 18, 2005

 “Nobody else in the Koizumi administration during the last four years has made as many inconsiderate remarks as Taro Aso.”
Takashi Oda, political news editor at the Yomiuri Shimbun, on a spate of controversial remarks by Foreign Minister Taro Aso.

Aso was recently forced to apologize over a flippant remark about Alzheimer’s disease, and he stirred anger in the two Koreas in 2003 for remarks seen as praising Japan’s 1919-1945 colonization of the peninsula. Earlier this year, he criticized U.S. policy in Iraq and said Japanese with their “yellow faces” would be more successful at Middle East diplomacy than “blond, blue-eyed Westerners” since Japan had never exploited the region.

His grandfather, then-prime minister Shigeru Yoshida, negotiated the peace treaty ending World War Two. Aso’s father-in-law was also a prime minister and his sister is married to a cousin of Emperor Akihito.

Foreign Minister Taro Aso said Saturday that Taiwan’s present high educational standards resulted from compulsory education implemented during Japan’s colonisation of the island and that he believes Japan “did a good thing.”

“Thanks to the significant improvement in educational standards and literacy (during colonization), Taiwan is now a country with a very high education level and keeps up with the current era,” Aso said in remarks that risk sparking criticism from Taiwan and other Asian countries that suffered from Japanese wartime aggression.

“This is something I was told by an important figure in Taiwan and all the elderly people knew about it,” Aso told an audience in Fukuoka. “That was a time when I felt that, as expected, our predecessors did a good thing.”

He also for good measure called Taiwan a ‘country’ and also suggested that the former President Lee Teng-Hui could be invited to come visit Japan.

Comments
On Japan-based Crisscross

michael888
Taro Aso makes remarks that dig himself into a deeper hole every day. I guess this is just another contribution to the Aso hole.

Shinji
Why can’t this old fool just shut his mouth? These old men of Japanese politics should learn to just be satisfied with all the money and status and not pretend that they are in any way competent or qualified to make statements about world affairs, or even about Japan for that matter.

genkikun
Once again we have leaders totally out of touch with the people. What positive purpose could remarks like that have? This guy is taking his lessons from Rumsfield.

kks
Aso and Ishihara should be holding hands and skipping down the street. I dread reading the news every day now because of this guy. If he becomes the next PM … at least Mori was just and idiot, this guy is a certified a**hole.

gifuken
Just because what the future PM says is dumb, does not mean he himself is. It seems very calculating to me – if he gets Japan’s neighbours angry, then relations will sour. If relations sour, there will pressure to build up Japan’s military (or even send them overseas for “peacekeeping” exercises) to protect the Homeland.
Aso & Co have an obvious wish to return Japan to a nationalistic and military-oriented society. What better way to do that than to make Japan’s neighbours so angry that the country has to use its military, rather than its collective intelligence and goodwill, to protect itself?

themaniac
Man! Could Hitler have been a worse foriegn minister? This guy continually says the most idiotic things.

Hikozaemon
This guy is on a roll – The emperor MUST visit Yasukuni (oh, sorry, not now…), can’t have a woman Emperor who can marry a blue eyed gaijin, and now a bit of “our empire did the natives a lot of good”.
What a fantastic job he is doing as Japanese foreign minister.

devils advocate
I’m tired complaining about Japanese politicians… so tired…

mr. blather
It was former Trade Minister Hiranuma who said the blue-eyed foreigner line, not Aso.
Frankly, I love Aso. He keeps me supplied with juicy quotes to mail to the folks back home.

Nessie
“Just because what the future PM says is dumb, does not mean he himself is. It seems very calculating to me”
I agree, although I’d say the calculation is more for domestic political capital than for the calculation you stated. But there no possible way he could not be out to push people’s buttons.

teck
Well, I would admit that Japan did help to improve some standards in her former colonies and countries that she occupied. But then, would Japan admit that she did some wrongs in those countries too, like mass killings, letting the Kempeitai terrorise the civilians, etc?
Maybe if Japan is so good at improving standards, she should offer her services, go occupy a few Third World countries, and improve the standards there? Maybe that is what she wants now? Take over a country, all in the name of “improving standards of living, education, blah blah” there.
Maybe some country can occupy Japan, to “improve the economy”.

japansucks
Does this “aso-le” have any common sense?

WMD
This is the foreign minister? You just have to laugh at the things these “politicians” say.

soapbox
You see, Aso didn’t have a cabinet post before like “foreign minister” to broadcast his “co-prosperity” blurts. I bet he’s busily hunting through his diaries to find more nuggets of enlightened visions. And the Japanese press just soaks it in without protest.
CrissCross.com

In 2001 he said a member of the burakumin, Japan’s underclass, could never lead the country. He later angered Japan’s indigenous Ainu population by describing the country as unique in being “one nation, one civilisation, one language, one culture and one race”. While economics minister, he said he wanted to turn Japan into a country where “rich Jews” would want to live.

In 2003, he sparked protests when he praised imperial Japan’s often brutal colonial rule of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, and last month he described the US post-invasion plans for Iraq as “very immature”.

his grandfather was the great postwar Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, his great-great-grandfather was Toshimichi Okubo, one of the key figures of the Meiji Restoration. His wife is the daughter of former Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki, and his sister married Prince Tomohito of Mikasa (6th in line to the throne). His father ran the Aso Mining Company, which used forced labourers (including PoWs) during the war

“We can’t let burakumin like Nonaka become the Japanese Prime Minister.” – Regarding Hiromu Nonaka, a descendant of the lowest caste of Japanese society (the untouchables if you will), the buraku.

“It’s most desirable the Emperor visits… to pray. Why isn’t it possible? It hasn’t been possible since visits sparked a dispute over whether such visits were personal or official.” – Regarding Yasukuni.

“One of the first things Japan did there was introduce compulsory education. Because of its high standard… Taiwan is catching up with the modern world.” – About Japan’s colonial control of Taiwan.

“To be blunt, the agricultural cooperatives should thank China.”
-TARO ASO
after insecticide-tainted dumplings from China sickened at least 10 people in Japan, on the scandal’s benefit for local farmers

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