A turn up for the books, and the new secrets law is a boon for foreign journalists

NHK reports that the police’s annual report highlights foreigners and crime. In the sense of foreigners being targeted by hate speech from right-wing loons.

Regarding the new secrets law, I see that English-language journalists are out in force suggesting how anything embarassing to the government can now be covered up. However, I think for the lazy or scaremongering journalist this new law is a boon. For example, if Sea Shepherd state that Taiji is training dolphins to swim around the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor pools and scoop up the nuclear fuel, no journalist worth his or her salt would currently bother asking a government official for comment, but from now they can, and when they get laughed out of the minister’s office they can “but perhaps due to the secrets law the government made no comment.”

Oh, and talking of leaking secrets, last month Anonymous (or perhaps someone using their name) said they had evidence of $850 million trade in Taiji dolphin sold as tuna. However, the numbers do not add up, and for the implied human consumption I would imagine the taste would be noticable. I can believe that pet food could contain dolphin as a mystery meat, but still I am waiting to see what is revealed; it seems, however, that the campaign has stalled.

  1. There’s a weird alternate reality developing, that is making a real meal of what should already be enough of a bad real world.

    In the real world, there’s a very worrying new secrecy law that may prevent oversight of government activities in defence, trade negotiations and nuclear security, and clearly with encouragement/pressure from that nice Mr Obama’s people, with no apparent safeguards for journalists except a judicially under-defended constitution. The LDP General Secretary turns out to be an utter arse, and major Japanese institutions and media organisations have been protesting loudly, with fairly large impromptu street protests too, although ultimately ineffective. An actor said something.

    In the alternate reality, the government has passed a bill that bans dissent in all forms, re-defines terrorism as “thinking differently”, blocks all coverage of mass deaths from radiation, and is the first stage in preparations for a military attack on China. The population, primed from birth for fascist subjugation, is either ignorant, or docile and accepting; there is nary a peep of resistance. Taro Yamamoto is Neo and can do kung fu.

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  2. In a country where misrepresenting the contents of dishes served in hotel restaurants has become a nationwide mega-scandal, trying to pass dolphin meat off as tuna for human consumption would be “playing the chimes” NHK breaking news.

    Cat food? Maybe, but even then, in the current era of hypersensitive product mislabeling jitters, if Anon has found evidence of this, why wouldn’t the domestic leftist press be ALL OVER that?

    Part of me thinks this is simply ethnic fake-rage production. “OMG Koreans eat dog”, re-worded.

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  3. @The 2-Belo: It said somewhere that the tuna dolphish was being exported to the UK, but given the scandal earlier this year about horse meat in UK burgers, etc, the UK press would be all over this story if it were true. I remember recently there was a kerfuffle about Icelandic whale ending up as Japanese cat food, so mercury-laden fake tuna would be a hold-the-front-page story!

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  4. Here’s a group campaigning for the rights of non-Japanese and the disadvantaged in the face of hate speech. It’s had national press coverage, and it’s campaigning for an anti-discrimination law.

    http://www.norikoenet.org/

    They’ve been up and running since September. Website mainly in Japanese, with English and Korean bits. They have Todai academics, a former head of the bar association, a major novelist etc. all working together as a co-operative committee.

    They seem to be focussed on issues like prejudice against Koreans and other minorities, the disabled, sexual minorities, Fukushima evacuees. One of the founders, Shin Sugok, wrote a piece for JapanFocus many years ago (about the treatment of abductees’ families) that actually made sense.

    They really look quite kosher.

    However, sadly, norikoenet don’t seem to have made statements about the rights and sufferings of white middle-aged men, which is no doubt why it does not appear to have merited any attention from Hokkaido’s Hawaii’s very own Martin Luther King.

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  5. Has anyone read a point-by-point comparison between the new secrets law and, say, the UK’s Official Secrets Act? I saw a throw-away comment by someone saying that they are no more strict; the anecdote always mentioned in the UK is that the menus at state banquets (and even just the P’s breakfast?) are actually state secrets.

    Here’s the UK permanently in force DA-Notices, and the text of the Act is here. A quick read suggests there is more similarities than differences. :???:

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