A Very Special New Year Interview with Your Friend Ishihara Shintaro

The Japan that Can Beat China
Ishihara getting down and dirty
I decided to print this from the Shukan Post (Weekly Post) because it seems like the English-language media only print what he says out of context. While I don’t agree with the man, he does have some provocative things to say that make it obvious why he’s so popular. Take a look:

Foreign Relations, The Economy, Territories — How long can Japan stand being the country that everyone dumps on?

Prime Minister Koizumi has announced his intentions to get Japan a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. As Japan reaches the 60th anniversary of the end of the War, it is making an attempt to enter a new era. However, even if Japan’s structure changes, it cannot be said that that will get Japan respect from the rest of the world. China and North Korea repeatedly challenge Japan. Why did Japan become “the country that does not fight”? Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro outlines in detail the good and bad of postwar Japan.

Interviewer (Non-fiction writer Tazawa Takuya): At soccer’s Asia Cup Chinese fans were burning Japanese flags and energetically booing the Japanese team, but despite all that they pushed aside all that heavy pressure.

Ishihara: They sure did a good job. The Japanese level have play has certainly increased from the “Comedy of Doha“, and they have grown strong under pressure.

However, the brouhaha from that all stems from the low cultural standards that China has. In the face of all that Japan didn’t object at all. A public official’s car destroyed, Japanese fans trapped in the stadium, but (then-) Foreign Minister Kawaguchi wouldn’t even comment. If I were there, I’d wave the Hinomaru proudly, run in and attack.

Both China and North Korea must be underestimating Japan, thinking, “They won’t take a hard line.”

Hasn’t the NK Vice Foreign Minister already announced that “We have finished developing nuclear weapons”? Since it’s such a big weapon, I guess that they can’t just send it over to Japan on a Tepodong, but they can do that with chemical or biological weapons. They can attack Japan if they put their mind to it. However, the moment they attack, they will be surrounded and the Kim Jong-il regime will fall. That is why Japan should not be afraid to impose sanctions on them. That way Kim’s government will fall within a year. Kim’s fate might be sad and pathetic, but the people of North Korea will be saved. We shouldn’t make NK suffer. To get rid of KJI we should institute sanctions. But the Japanese government doesn’t even try to say things powerfully. I don’t know what Prime Minister Koizumi is thinking.


Things have been getting somewhat tense in Japan’s relations with China, what with the nuclear submarine invading our waters and all.

I don’t see why we don’t react strongly to the events surrounding Senkaku Island and Okinotori Island. We have the strength. However, Japan doesn’t do what it needs to do because we don’t have the proper sensibility regarding our territories. We can’t go crazy and overreact, but this is the exact same method they used to make Tibet theirs. They are now setting their eyes on Vietnam and the Phillippines’ Nansa (?) Islands. Just like in Senkaku, there are lots of small islands and uninhabited islands, so they are just putting up houses and saying they are for fishing purposes, etc. It is nothing less than illegal occupation. We must come at this with the attitude that we might have a small war over it. If we prepare our military and let China know that if they don’t straighten up this might turn out very badly for them, even China won’t be able to come at us with the whole world watching.

So China is messing with us because we aren’t prepared?

That’s right. Japan must let the world know that we will fight those who invade our territorial waters and airspace. Then if there is a little conflict then America will come out to get our backs. The other side is clearly in the wrong, so if they think that when Japan retaliates then it just might become an even bigger war, they won’t do anything else against us. Isn’t the whole point of sending the SDF to Iraq so that we’ll have that hedge? Japanese-American friendship is a simple thing. We sent them there as collateral for when Japan gets in a fight.

2005 is the 60th anniversary of the end of WW2. Is Japan still not displaying its own power?

Ex-Diplomat Okazaki Hisahiko once said that “Japan is a sleeping lion.” Today it is still Japan, not China, who is a sleeping lion. Japan’s potential energy is something to behold. The country that requests the most patents in America is Japan. The country that buys the most American patents and makes them into products is also Japan. America cannot take the objects it invents and make them into products. Japan is more into developing technology venture capital than Europe.

A chinese company bought IBM’s PC division, surprising the world. People are predicting that China will overtake Japan.

That’s nonsense. China might use Americans to develop that area, but that’s not China’s knowledge or technology. There are 3 streams in the economy: the upper stream, where original products are envisioned, technology developed for the products, models made, modifications made, and then the finished product is ready to go. The middle stream is where those products are made in large quantities, and the lower stream is where those products are brought to market and advertised. In today’s China there is only the middle stream, a bunch of low-wage labor for mass-production. They don’t even have the lower stream. If you market a product as Chinese no one is going to buy it. The wonderful shoes that the Nike company sells all over the world were conceived and designed by Nike, and all the Chinese do is make them. The IBM PC Division was recently on the decline anyway, and they had tried to sell it off but couldn’t. But for a Chinese company to buy an upper flow company directly as is from America and then improve it, I don’t think it’s possible. The Chinese are only good at mimicking or ripping people off. Personally, I don’t think China can over take Japan for at least the next 20 years.

That is why I must say that there is nothing for people to get all scared over China. To have any illusions over China’s economy is missing the mark.

OK, there’s more about how Japan needs to collaborate with Russia and America to exploit Siberia, what Japan needs to do to make it so the youth can have complex thoughts (he wants to send them to war), and how to do the same for its politicians (centralize and clearly delineate power). I’m too tired to translate them now, but if someone asks me to I will.

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