Is Japan a Democracy?

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Here is an interesting web-page that was written in Japanese and is here auto-translated by Google:

Japanese News: May week 5

There are 5 weeks in May… 😲 Let’s start with a very interesting survey by Mainichi: 次期自民総裁石破氏20%、小泉氏17%、安倍氏16%. To be honest, I don’t quite understand the article, but what interests me is the survey in itself. At the end of the article, the results are given in details.

autotranslated by Google

Inside That Japanese Book



Published on June 1, 2018  Comments 4

Japanese News: May week 5

written by Inhae

There are 5 weeks in May…

Let’s start with a very interesting survey by Mainichi:  Next LDP President Ishiba 20%, Koizumi 17%, Abe 16% .

To be honest, I don’t quite understand the article, but what interests me is the survey in itself. At the end of the article, the results are given in details.

We see at once that 48% of the people surveyed do not support Abe and that 31% do. But what is really interesting is to see the main reason why people do not support him: “I haven’t evaluated Abe” (58) %). Even more revealing is the reason given by people who support him: “There are no other good people or political parties” (46%).

People also massively (72%) wish that the opposition’s view should be taken into account when working on reforms.

In my last Friday post, I talked about a document clearly linking Abe to the Kake Gakuen scandal. The survey asked people if they believe Abe’s denial and 70% answered “no”: “Untrustworthy”.

Nonetheless, when asked who should be the next head of the LDP (elections are in September this year), Abe was in the top three. The question was: “Who do you think is suitable for the next LDP president?”

And the answers:

  • Shinzo Abe: 16%
  • Shigeru Ishiba: 20%
  • Shinjiro Koizumi: 17%

I think that I should start remembering these names as they will certainly be very present in the news until September (one might even be the next Prime Minister!).

Shigeru ISHIBA lost the election in 2012, narrowly defeated by Abe. I read on Wikipedia (English version) that he is affiliated to a revisionist organisation and wishes that Japan could build nuclear weapons.

Shinjiro KOIZUMI is a very young politician (born in 1981)! He is the son of former Prime Minister Junichiro KOIZUMI.

For the time being, I will just try to remember these names and be attentive if I see articles about them!

Kake Gakuen scandal

It is very hard to understand what is going on.

We know that the prefecture produced a document mentioning a meeting between Abe and the head of Kake Gakuen in 2015. In this document, it is said that Abe knew about the project and encouraged it.

Now it seems that Kake Gakuen claims they reported false information when they said (to the prefecture I guess) that such a meeting took place:

The person in charge at that time referred to the meeting between the Prime Minister and the president, which was not actually there, and gave incorrect information to the prefecture and the city (Imabari, the same prefecture) ( source ).

  • Rijicho: the chief director
  • To refer to (a matter or somebody’s name)

and they add: “The President has never met the Prime Minister in February 2015”.

? But, as the Mainichi editorial underlines , why did not they come with this earlier, avoiding the fuss about Abe encouraging favouritism Why did not announce from the beginning, it is an unnatural response (from Mainichi editorial:  Kake Gakuen “false The mystery that the Prime Minister does not get angry ).

Later, we learnt that the mayor of Imabari in the prefecture in question, took the defense of Kake Gakuen by saying:

Maybe I was going to get motivated (new) ( source )

With this statement, he acknowledges that Kake Gakuen reported a false meeting and, in other words, that the meeting did not take place. Moreover, he finds excuses for this lie, saying that it came out of good intentions.

The editorial also states that, if Kake Gakuen falsely reported that Abe encouraged the project, it was to push things forward by showing that Abe supported it:

If this were the case (Kake Gakuen’s false report), he would have tried to move the prefecture and city by pretending to be backed by the prime minister by reporting a fictitious visit.

  • Fictitious, incorporated
  • Support, backing: support, backing

Later, someone from Kake Gakuen apologised to the prefecture for having reported false information .

So complicated …

Moritomo Gakuen

To say a word about the falsification of the documents relative to the Moritomo Gakuen scandal, we now know that Sagawa, who was the chief of the Finance Bureau at the time, is involved in the falsification:  Falsification part decided with former director Sagawa It was to disposal also in the beginning of the week (this is an NHK article). I remember Sagawa saying at the Diet, when the whole thing came out, that he did not know who ordered the falsification.

Now the Finance Ministry concluded that Sagawa gave instructions to falsify the official documents: “The Ministry of Finance has determined that Mr. Sagawa has instructed falsification and will dispose of it at the beginning of the week.”

It seems that it is Sagawa’s subordinate who falsified the documents. But he consulted with Sagawa appropriately and together, they decided which parts to change: “Mr. about it”.

Women in the Lower House

I don’t know how long it will stay available, but I found this useful article on NHK: Will  Japan change 158th place ? The “male society” of the Diet .

On the 16th, new legislation was passed, it is called “Law on Promotion of Gender Equality in the Political Field”.

  • In: I think that it is a formal way of saying “in”.
  • Participation / Sankaku: participation (in planning)
  • Promotion / Promotion: promotion

When it comes to women participation rate in parliaments, the article says that Japan is ranked 158 (of 193) according to IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union) and is ranked last of the 35 member nations of the OCDE!

According to the IPU = Inter-Parliamentary Union formed by parliaments around the world, the percentage of female members in the Japanese House of Representatives (House of Representatives) is 158th among 193 countries (as of April 1, this year).

OECD = The lowest among the 35 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

  • Member nation: a member nation

Eugenic Protection Law

This is something that I didn’t know existed (I still have so much to learn about Japan history and society!)

source: kotobank

The Yusei Hogoho or “Eugenic Protection law” (I think this is the right translation in English) was established in 1948 and lasted until 1996 (!) When it was amended into the Maternity Protection law Botaihogoho.

In 1948, the authorised sterilisation to prevent:

  • Genetic disorder: genetic disorder
  • Hansen’s disease / leprosy: leprosy
  • Mental disorder: mental disorder

Around 84000 operations were conducted during the period the law was active. Among these 84000 sterilisations, around 16500 were “without the person’s consent, or to say it plainly, were forced sterilisations. I can’t believe that the other 70000 gave their consent, can we rely on these numbers?

  • Sterilization / Funinshujutsu: sterilisation

I found an article in English on Reuters that gives completely different numbers. It says: “Of the estimated 25,000 people sterilised during this time, at least 16,500 did not give consent”. The article also states that the victims were in their teens when they They were sterilised so they may not have been aware of what was done to them. Also, the article says that the consent was “unneeded if a eugenics board signed off on it after an often cursory review”.

I recommend reading the Reuters article if you are interested in this question.

I am so under shock right now…

To come back to Mainichi, on Wednesday disabled persons and association of support demonstrated to ask for apologies under the slogan “The country apologizes to the victims of forced sterilization!” ( Source ).

We also learn that:


  • 国家賠償請求訴訟・こっかばいしょうせいきゅうそしょう: a suit seeking redress from the state.
  • 義姉・ぎし elder sister in law (elder brother’s wife)

The sister in law of the woman who sued for an apology for the first time and received compensation was also present during the demonstration (this case of this woman is also cited in the Reuters article).

Another demonstrator regrets that the government keeps an ambiguous attitude on the matter: “裁判が始まっても、国の態度はあいまいなまま。同じ障害者として何とかしてほしいと強く願う”.


This last news really shocked me, I should read a History book in English or French on Japan, at least to cover the 20th century. I realise that if I have some knowledge about Japanese History when it comes to international relations before and after the war, I don’t know much about Japan internal politics.

So many things to do…


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

What do you think?

-1 Points
Upvote Downvote
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sue Rarick
January 28, 2021

So you are shocked that a country before WW2 thought binding feet was a good idea would have a problem sterilizing people they find unfit to reproduce? Really?
Ask yourself this one simple question – What do you do in your life others from different cultures would find odd, perverse, criminal, etc.

Reply to  Sue Rarick
January 30, 2021

IIRC it was China that bound feet. I can’t remember Japan doing the same; care to confirm?

Free Julian Assange Says Nobel Peace Prize Laureate!

Another lawsuit targets Telegram, wants Google to remove app from store