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Japan Reverts to Fascism

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Tsunami in Japanese politics.
This week, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partners won a two-thirds majority in the legislature’s upper house, to go along with their two-thirds majority in the lower house. A two-thirds majority is required in each house to begin the process of amending Japan’s constitution. And amending the constitution is one of the central planks in the LDP’s platform.
The constitution was imposed on Japan by the United States after the Second World War; it has never been amended. Why should it be amended now? As Bloomberg reports, the LDP has pointed out that “several of the current constitutional provisions are based on the Western European theory of natural human rights; such provisions therefore [need] to be changed.”
What has the LDP got against the “Western European theory of natural human rights”? you might ask. Well, dozens of LDP legislators and ministers — including Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe — are members of a radical nationalist organization called Nippon Kaigi, which believes (according to one of its members, Hakubun Shimomura, who until recently was Japan’s education minister) that Japan should abandon a “masochistic view of history” wherein it accepts that it committed crimes during the Second World War.
In fact, in Nippon Kaigi’s view, Japan was the wronged party in the war.
According to the Congressional Research Service, Nippon Kaigi believes that “Japan should be applauded for liberating much of East Asia” during WW2, that the “Tokyo War Crimes tribunals were illegitimate,” and that the rape of Nanking was either “exaggerated or fabricated.” It denies the forced prostitution of Chinese and Korean “comfort women” by the Imperial Japanese Army, believes Japan should have an army again — something outlawed by Japan’s current constitution — and believes that it should return to worshipping the emperor.
When, in the wake of Nazi-level war crimes, the U.S. forced Japan to become a liberal democracy, it also forced Japan’s emperor to issue the following statement denying his divinity: “The ties between us and our people have always stood upon mutual trust and affection. They do not depend upon legend and myths. They are not predicated on the false conception that the Emperor is divine, and that the Japanese people are superior to other races and fated to rule the world.”
And members of Nippon Kaigi are still mad.
In 2013, at a Nippon Kaigi party celebrating Shinzo Abe’s new appointments to his cabinet — 15 of whose 18 members were Nippon Kaigi-niks — the old imperial “Rising Sun” flag was flown, pledges to “break away from the postwar regime” were made, and the (very short and controversial) imperial national anthem was sung. The lyrics are addressed to the emperor:
“May your reign Continue for a thousand, eight thousand generations, Until the pebbles grow into boulders Lush with moss.”
The LDP’s draft for an amended constitution would eliminate the prohibition on imbuing religious organizations with “political authority,” clearing the way for the return of state Shintoism and emperor worship.
The draft would also repeal the provision that the “Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes,” along with the provision that “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.” (Not that Japan has, hitherto, been too strict about this particular rule: According to the Credit Suisse Military Strength Index, Japan currently has the fourth-strongest military in the world, behind only the U.S., Russia, and China.)
The new constitution also repeals the right to free speech, adding a clause stating that the government can restrict speech and expression that it sees as “interfering [with] public interest and public order.”
(In fact, Japan’s current government has been working on the free-speech problem for a few years now: According to the Japan Times, in 2014, the internal affairs and communications minister warned that broadcasters could be shut down if they aired programming that the government deemed was “politically biased.” The director of Japan’s public broadcasting corporation — a friend of Prime Minister Abe — has said publicly that it was his policy that the NHK (Japan’s BBC) “should not deviate from the government’s position in its reporting.”
In just the last five years, Japan’s press freedom — as ranked by Reporters without Borders — has fallen from 11th globally to 72nd.
The new draft constitution adds a warning that “the people must be conscious of the fact that there are responsibilities and obligations in compensation for freedom and rights.” These “obligations” include the mandate to “uphold the [new] constitution” and “respect the national anthem” quoted above. Also that “the people must comply with the public interest and public order,” and “the people must obey commands from the state” in times of “emergency.”
But not everyone is bound by these obligations: The Emperor is exempt from the requirement to uphold the constitution. Likewise, the Emperor is required, under the new constitution, to seek “advice” from the cabinet — but not, as he is currently required, to seek “advice and approval.”
If the new constitution is approved by two-thirds of each house of the Japanese legislature, its adoption will be voted on in a national referendum requiring a simple majority. Who can say if 51 percent of Japanese voters would vote against their own civil rights? On the one hand, it seems absurd; on the other, they did give the LDP’s coalition a two-thirds majority in both legislative chambers.
Five years ago, President Obama called for a foreign-policy “pivot to Asia.” With China seizing and militarizing the South China Sea, and North Korea testing delivery systems for its new nuclear weapons, it would probably be a good idea — “pivot to Asia”–wise — not to stand idly by while our most important Asian ally, and the second-richest democracy in the world, reverts to fascism.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437950/japans-new-fascism

July 17, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | 1 Comment

Glory to Areva, benefactor of humanity!

Areva, you’d better venerate it or it’ll retaliate. When it comes to evoke the French nuclear corporation, you’d better choose your vocabulary in the praise glossary, if you do not want to be dragged into court.

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Areva has filed a libel suit against Jean-Jacques Mu, a former blogger on Club Mediapart, just for having relayed a critical article from the Anti-Nuclear Southeast Coordination.

Already in 1974, the anti-nuclear environmentalist newspaper La Gueule Ouverte, which did not mince words, warned its readers: “Corporations, fascism without borders. “

Heil Areva! Today’s freedom of reporting on the nuclear machinations and horrors is exerted only at the risk of citizens who believed to be in democracy.

 And since we need to know that no one is too small enough to dare challenge Areva, Areva is taking out a sledgehammer to crush a gadfly: Jean-Jacques Mu, retired, blogger, not belonging to any group or any party. Jean-Jacques Mu is now dragged into court by Areva for defamation. His offense ? To have relayed an article of CAN-84 (Anti-Nuclear Southeast Coordination) on his blog hosted by Mediapart.

On 27 July 2014, Areva spotted the article relayed by Jean-Jacques Mu on Mediapart. Areva’s lawyers found some terms that could be taken for libel into court: they contacted Mediapart which immediately removed the offending article. The matter could have stopped there. But a few days later (July 31, 2014) Areva finds that Jean-Jacques Mu released a new blog post, which though having removed the offending words, gave the link to the same article of the CAN-84 (Anti-Nuclear Southeast Coordination).

In August 2014 (the traditional summer month holiday in France), the lawyers of the Areva Corporation were not idle: they hired a bailiff who traced the IP code of the administrator of the CAN-84 (Anti-Nuclear Southeast Coordination) website as well as the one of the blogger Jean-jacques Mu.

CAN is a collective, there is no single author of the article: who cares, Areva filed a complaint against X and … against Jean-Jacques Mu, based on the Law on the Freedom of the Press of 29 July 1881, which states that if one can not condemn the author of the allegedly defamatory words, then the editor of the words, its media, its distributors, its peddlers, and therefore in the twenty-first century the bloggers-relayers will be the ones to be condemned.

Jean-Jacques Mu faces a condemnation for having posted on his blog an article from the Anti-Nuclear Southeast Coordination, which he considered important to inform the public of.

What was it about? It was about the municipal council of Avignon and the signing of a contract between the city and the Areva Foundation. Like all the corporations, benefactors of humanity, Areva has a foundation that funds, among other things some educational projects.

Better to stuff early into the heads of the “children of a parent–teacher association” the propaganda conditioning them to worship profit ogres who will exploit them their whole lives while destroying the planet: It is cheap and pays off. And as the Ministry of Education’s pockets are increasingly empty, money even radioactive has no odor.

The article of CAN84 roundly blamed some EELV elected officials (Green Ecology Party) to have not voted against the signing of this contract with the Areva Foundation: they did not vote at all, they just got out of the room at the appropriate time.

Areva was only a secondary point of the article relayed by Jean-Jacques MU, which was aiming at the municipal council of Avignon. Yet Areva attacks the CAN84 and the blogger Jean-Jacques Mu, for a handful of forms as it considers defamatory because they are critical.

To be mentioned as the “giant of nuclear death” is bad for the image of Areva, and never mind if from its dirty uranium mines to its power plants operations its nuclear is nothing clean nor favorable to the bright future that its advertisements are promising us.

Good people, never mention “the Areva crimes” nor the permanent ongoing risks that this flagship of French industry poses to entire populations. Forget Chernobyl, forget Fukushima, forget the thyroid cancers that strike massively contaminated populations of children during the nuclear disasters that destroyed their cities, do not use the words “contaminate and kill children”, they could be badly perceived by susceptible Areva which will not hesitate to stick you with a court case.

It is obvious that the relay, in extenso for only 24 hours of a CAN84 article on the blog of Jean-Jacques Mu, has not infringed the notoriously booming business of the nuclear corporation. Areva, which manages to get in economic jeopardy while stirring billions, is very intolerant of criticisms from ordinary citizens and shows a much greater exigency for words in an article relayed by a blog that for the safety of workers in its uranium mines in Niger.

Since it is the freedom of information and expression that Areva is threatening through this libel case to be held in a Paris court on August 30, 2016, it is our responsibility to support Jean-Jacques MU, by raising awareness about this case, by being present in court on the day of the trial, by participating in the kitty that will give him the means that he does not have to prepare his defense.

At a time when corporations want whistleblowers to be condemned and track down the ordinary people who dare to criticize them, we answer: no, we will not be silenced!

https://blogs.mediapart.fr/juliette-keating/blog/300616/gloire-areva-bienfaitrice-de-lhumanite

July 11, 2016 Posted by | France | , , , , | Leave a comment