Reiwa Era and Japanese Democracy

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Quelle:  The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 17 | Issue 17 | Number 3 | Sep 01, 2019
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von japan Focus.


Reflections on the Remaking of the Imperial Image in the Reiwa Era and Japanese Democracy

Medoruma Shun, Watanabe Osamu, Kihara Satoru and Satoko Oka Norimatsu

We introduce Medoruma Shun, an Akutagawa-Award winning Okinawan author, Watanabe Osamu, a constitutional scholar in Tokyo, Kihara Satoru, a freelance journalist in Fukuyama, Hiroshima, and Satoko Oka Norimatsu, an Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus editor as rare voices of dissent over the media hype concerning the changeover of the Japanese emperor and adoption of the new era name Reiwa.


Medoruma Shun
Translation by Steve Rabson

Day and night, over and over, the media repeats the same propaganda broadcasts about the emperor and the new reign name "Reiwa," No matter what TV channel you turn to, it shows the same images. This can only be called brainwashing, the same method used by Aum Shinri-kyo and the Unification Church. It's unbearable!

Is there no other news worth reporting? How about the murder of a woman by an American soldier at Chatan? Or construction for the U.S. military that is estroying the ocean at Henoko and the forests at Takae? How about the way the overnment-declared ten-day holiday is resulting in staff shortages preventing urgent medical treatment in nursing homes? The media is ignoring all these issues.

I've said this before, but the Okinawan media has been grossly negligent. Koseki Shōichi has written about how Articles 1-8 in the Constitution, which outlines the emperor's status, and Article 9, which prohibits Japan from going to war or maintaining a military, are related to the concentration of U.S. bases in Okinawa. But today's reporters seem to lack such critical perspective.

The media declares, "Today Reiwa marks the beginning of a new era." What foolishness! What stupidity! When the ten-day holiday ends, new base construction will start again at Henoko, and at Miyako and Yaeyama where Self Defense Force bases are being forced on the residents. Nothing will change in Okinawa's buildup as a fortress to confront China; in its military colonization by the U.S. and Japan; or in the structural discrimination by Yamatu. So what the hell is new in the era of Reiwa?

The "Emperor's Message" in 1946 telling the U.S. it could keep Okinawa remains in effect today. Only fools would be swayed by the media's support-the-emperor broadcasts. And it is they who will suffer in the end.

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