Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara

Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara (Source: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

The excellent Japan Probe posted a video of Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara calling for the militarization of Japan:

What he said:

  • If it wants other nations to treat it like an adult, Japan needs nuclear weapons.
  • Japan needs a military regime. Otherwise, it will become the vassal state of another country.
  • Japan needs military conscription.

Perhaps the most reassuring part of this is that as Tokyo Governor he doesn’t have the power to bring about any of that. Ishihara knows what to say to different audiences: he knows what plays well at different times, even if it sounds ludicrous to the wider audience. It seems increasingly apparent that his son shares a similar ‘gift’ having recently compared Prime Minister Kan to Hitler. As a rising figure in the LDP, we can only hope that he doesn’t feel the same way as his father suggests he does above (although I think that Ishihara is intelligent enough not to believe the words coming out of his mouth). To quote an old Japan Probe post:

Here are some of my favorite Ishihara quotes:

  • “If Japanese hadn’t fought the white people, we would still be slaves of the white people. It would be colonization. We changed that.”- Source
  • In response to China’s first successful launch of a man in space: “The Chinese are ignorant, so they are overjoyed. That spacecraft was an outdated one. If Japan wanted to do it, we could do it in one year.” -Source
  • “I hate Mickey Mouse. He has nothing like the unique sensibility that Japan has. The Japanese are inherently skilled at visual expression and detailed work.” -Source
  • “I have to say that it should be no surprise that French is disqualified as an international language because French is a language which cannot count numbers.” -Source
  • “With Sangokujin(third-country nationals) and foreigners repeating serious crimes, we should prepare ourselves for possible riots that may be instigated by them at the outbreak of an earthquake. As police is not always fit for handling all contingencies, the Self-Defense forces should be ready to respond to threats to public security besides natural disasters.” -Source
  • “There is a marked increase in the number of cases in which some foreigners who enter Japan on working and other visas remain in the country illegally to commit heinous crimes.” -Source
  • “In due course, the perpetrators were captured, and, just as had been suspected, the crime was one of revenge among Chinese criminals. There is fear–and not without cause–that it will not be long before the entire nature of Japanese society itself will be altered by the spread of this type of crime that is indicative of the ethnic DNA [of the Chinese].” -Source
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A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan. His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch