Monthly Archives: July 2013

A literal "false flag" operation, it seems

You’ve probably all heard about the kerfuffle over the big banner at a recent football match in Korea, which was all Japan’s fault:

The Korean Football Association also posted a statement on its website that blamed Japanese supporters at the match for the banner, linking it to display of a "rising sun" Japanese flag, considered by many Koreans as an emblem of Japan’s historical militarism and occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945.

Skipping over the illogic in that statement, according to someone who appears to be an official photographer or something for the JFA:

As for the flag on Sunday, can you tell me where in the stadium that was? Because I can tell you. It was right next to the Italian flag that was on the upper deck (and fuck knows what that was all about), far removed from the main group of Japan supporters who have condemned the Rising Sun flag. You can see it here.

The guy flying the giant Japanese flag in that picture is the same guy who flew the Rising Sun flag. He’s a Yokohama F. Marinos supporter (top right) who’s actually banned from their stadium for doing some stupid shit. He’s also been waving the giant flag for several years – I know this because he told me while we were waiting in line at the airport on Monday. He’d mentioned that someone had tried waving the Rising Sun flag but it didn’t register that he was talking about himself until I caught up on sleep and got a better look at all the photos.

Furthermore, it has been discovered that he is also a Shit-Back-That-Racist Crew member, these ultra-leftists looking to give law-abiding patriots a good kicking.

Illegal gaijins – go home or face arrest!


Picture of a gaijin detector van courtesy of (ie nicked from) the Daily Fail. There’s a great big RFID gaijin card scanner in the back there.

Even the ultra-rightist (phrase courtesy of every English newspaper writing about Japan) UKIP said it was too much. Illegals might even be offered repatriation bribes of free flights.

In other gaijinisation news, spouses of flyjin will not be allowed to join them until they find a well-paying job.

Trolls or media watchdogs? Nope, neither

The spiralling of the Japan Times down the drain and into the gutter occupied by Japan Today and Rocket News continues apace, with this hack job from an author who seems to be channelling our favourite reporter.

Have the foreign media got it in for Japan? Do they unduly focus on, and sensationalize, Fukushima radiation leaks, alleged racial intolerance and the self-aggrandizing policy pronouncements of the reborn Liberal Democratic Party? Worse still, are non-Japanese journalists prejudicing perceptions of Japan in the wider world, further eroding the nation’s global significance?

In order, too open a question, most certainly, what’s "self-aggrandizing policy pronouncements"?, perhaps. Furthmore, it would be nice if the article actually answered these questions.

Though right-wing Japanese apologists

Apologism is not an exclusive trait of the right-wing, and indeed Level3, for example, used to get frequently booed for his right-wing libertarian stance here and elsewhere!

Banded behind a small but deafening band of bloggers, YouTubers and citizen journalists of sorts, this informal alliance generate legion online comments, blog posts and video channel chat-fests that systematically seek to discredit media they say are bent on fear-mongering about the country.

:facepalm: What utter, utter nonsense!

But the fact that this damning account of Japanese immigration procedure was covered in such an internationally significant publication

I need a :stiflelaugh: or :snort: emoticon here!

The publication claimed that it fact-checked Johnson’s story as much as possible

That’s stretching it a bit: they actually said "It must be considered as unverified, despite The Economist’s attempts to check relevant facts with the Japanese and Canadian governments".

VKay, a typically anonymous pro-Japan voice

VK, please! And how can you be "typically anonymous"?

The Canadian, who says he had never heard of these blogs before the Gaijin Gulag episode

Just like many of us hadn’t heard of the Canadian before his gulagging.

In ways, these foreign-born cyber-warriors parallel the infamous netouyo ("Internet right") — nationalistic Net trolls who hunt Japan’s critics online. When Miki Dezaki

Funnily enough, I supported him (although I cannot find the story again), and I find equating apologists with the netouyo bordering on defamation.

This band of non-native Japan apologists often stress that they are not mouthpieces of the Japanese right.


Nevertheless, some contend that pro-Japan blogs such as Japan Probe and Japologism, which Inoue posts on, push a highly circumscribed agenda.

Ahh, the good old "some"!


Yes, it’s an anonymous commenter. :facepalm:

@Kamo quoted another foreign blogger in Japan, Our Man in Abiko, real name Patrick Sherriff, who called Japan Probe "the self-appointed lapdog of the Japanese establishment."

Anyone familiar with Ourmani would recognise that as sarcasm, I would guess. Indeed, Ourmani admits to having written it a few sheets to the wind.

But reasonable "soft" apologists such as Hikosaemon

Aww, Hiko-chan is a cuddly-wuddly twoll!

‘BS’ is a term often employed in these pro-Japan forums as the truest marker of Japan-related media bias and negativity.

:roll:   :headdesk:

For the neo-apologists

Now we have "neo-apologists". :roll:

The view that the neo-apologists rely on anonymous "embittered trolls" to bully journalists online

Whose view? Whose quote?

YouTube shows and sundry blogs also expose netizens to the pro-Japan narrative via predominantly light-hearted entertainment. On YouTube channels such as 2.5 Oyajis, the expat presenters wear funny hats and discuss human interest curiosities in Japan.

Oh not, it’s cuddly-wuddly Hiko-chan again up to his old tricks as a gateway drug to neo-apologism!

Are foreign bureaus in Japan actually spooked, and has open debate been stifled? (A number of journalists approached for this article did not want to comment.)

I suspect they too noticed the all-too familiar tone of Japan’s greatest journalist and decided not to get involved. :roll:

UPDATE: Indeed, after I wrote the above sentence, but before publishing the story, I saw this Twitter thread. In it, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hiroko Tabuchi says:

I can’t believe JT printed it. Standards?

And this:

@jtben @stevenshayman IMHO, your page gives such a bad name to @JapanTimes & tramples on hard work of paper’s other reporters & editors.

Furthermore, here is a reddit thread on it.

Oh, and I liked this comment:


It will be interesting when this hits 2ch…

It feels funny to be defending Rola, but…

I was genuinely shocked by this turn of phrase in the Japan Times, in an article about the reports on Rola’s father’s alleged health insurance fraud [my emphasis]:

Unlike other similarly talent-challenged female model-idols, whether wholly Japanese or mongrel

:shock: WTF! She may very well be talent-challenged, and she fair annoys me whenever she appears on telly, but that "mongrel" comment is way out of line! I’ve posted to that effect on JT.