After my previous post on the real political reasons for Prime Minister Junichiro’s visits to the Yasukuni shrine, some readers may be wondering, “is this guy really a maverick?” I think the examples below will show that by Japanese standards, he’s practically James Dean.
First is a translation of a brief article I found on the Sankei website a few weeks ago but never got around to posting until now.
Prime Minister Junnichiro Koizumi on the 29th at a meeting of the Global Warming Countermeasures Promotion Headquarters in his official residence made a proclamation declaring “No necktie, no jacket. He also called upon to cabinet ministers to join him in incorporating it into environmental problem.
The PM stressed to the press corps that from now on, “If ministers in public offices do not also go necktieless then it will be difficult for their inferiors to do so.” He sought approval saying, “I will also go no-necktie and no-jacket, and I would like everyone to play along. Won’t it be better for everyone?”
Regarding the no-necktie, no-jacket style, Environmental Minister Yuriko Oike said “If this concerns you so much, why don’t we just have a fashion show?” It seems that this summer the fashion sense of the Prime Minster and the cabinet will be coming into question.
Next, here is a genuinely amazing picture of Koizumi, courtesy of the Shanghai Star. Can you name another politican who would dress up as Willy Wonka to teach children about bicycle safety?
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi, wearing a suit with woven-in reflective material, rides
a bicycle in front of Japanese schoolchildren at a government-sponsored traffic safety campaign
event at a Tokyo elementary school on April 9. Koizumi visited
the school to talk to children about the importance of traffic
Curzon at Coming Anarchy also found this picture of Koizumi establishing relations with Indonesia from the ground-up.
Next, courtesy of Masa, we have a scan of the Shukan Gendai magazine’s ‘scoop’ photos of “The woman that Koizumi loved!”
Masa can of course explain the situation far better than I ever could.
Not only Clinton, but also Japanese prime minister, Koizumi also like to fuck. It’s absolutely true. following picture is Koizumi’s foremaer fcuking Geisha girl friend picture I took on the street and picked up by “Shukan Gendai” that is Japanese leading serious weekly magazine.
this geisha girl was really fucked by Prime minister Koizumi repeatedlly.
Abiru Yuu (18) who had been suspended for a comment made on a television program, reported the timeline of events and announced her return to show business on March 31 (tr: late, I know). “Now that I am returning, I would like to show some more maturity in my activities,” she explained.
Abiru got in trouble when she announced she was involved in shoplifting/theft in her past on the program “Coming Doubt”.
In other news, there’s a really good article about the “talent” scene on Japan Today’s Metropolis section that will help put the Abiru Yuu incident in persepctive:
They are everywhere—on TV variety shows, in dramas, singing at concerts, endorsing products on billboards, in commercials and attending glittery events. No matter what channel you watch or which magazine you read, you’ll see the same faces: Aya Ueto, SMAP, Yuko Takeuchi, Ayumi Hamasaki, Yukie Nakama, Becky, Papaya Suzuki and countless more.
The “talent” business in Japan is very different from the West. Someone like 19-year-old Ueto, for example, would seem to be making a fortune. After all, she is the TV commercial queen, a movie star, as well as a regular at promotional events. Yet she’s just an employee of her agency, Oscar Promotion. She is paid a wage and gets a percentage of what Oscar negotiates with its clients—the opposite of the US, where it’s the stars that pay their agents a percentage.
The production companies recruit hopefuls at a young age, train them and then supply them to the media, movies and events. When a new TV show or product endorsement is announced, the media get faxed invitations to the press conference, which they dutifully attend. The photos are then used to fill the tabloid magazines, while the TV variety shows replay the same footage four or five times on each segment. “It’s like a revolving sushi restaurant or a ‘UFO Catcher’ at a game center: There is a never-ending selection to pick from,” says Dave Spector, an American who has been a commentator on TV variety shows in Japan for 20 years.
Companies like Oscar, Johnny’s Jimusho, Sun Music and Yellow Cab have tremendous power when it comes to their talents, so much so that very few newspapers, magazines or TV stations dare carry negative stories. “The production companies are money-making machines,” says Tario Cham, who has operated the website jpop.com since 1996. “They work very hard to create an image that sells but also work very hard to protect that image.”
I encourage you to read the whole article, very interesting stuff!
Some of you may be wondering: what the hell does all this matter? Are you just using this as an excuse to post pictures of chicks?
But in all actuality, this incident is revealing of all sorts of pernicious elements in Japanese society. Let me recount some key events :
Abiru admits to robbing a market on the TV show Coming Doubt 2/15.
2ch explodes with anger at her, angry e-mails follow.
Japan’s daily tabloids make a fuss over it.
Nippon TV and Hori Productions apologizes, explaining that “she blew out of proportion a shoplifting incident that happened when she was 11.” Nippon TV says that it was “inappropriate” to use someone’s criminal record as a question on a quiz show.
Abiru is suspended and her manager fired.
Nippon TV releases the results of an internal investigation: According to a report of an internal investigation by Nippon TV, the story of Abiru’s past theft came up during a meeting between the TV Station and Abiru’s agency, after which it was used on the show. It is said to have aired without the management’s approval at either a program meeting or at editing.
The police question Abiru over her involvement.
The English language media seem to take some notice, but totally miss the point.
It was the concerted effort of 2ch that made this the scandal that it became. 2ch users sent “more than 200 e-mails” calling for the girl’s arrest and punishment. I find this tactic extremely distasteful because it reminds me of the US’ Religious Right complaining about supposed indecency on American TV. Continue reading Abiru Yuu Wrapupあびる優について最後の一言
Police questioning girl who confessed to theft on TV
An 18-year-old TV personality who revealed during a TV quiz that she stole something when she was an elementary school girl is being questioned by police on suspicion of theft, law enforcers said.
The girl, whose name is being withheld, took part in a quiz on a Nippon Television Network show titled “Coming Doubt,” which was aired late on Feb. 15. The idea of the show is to guess whether confessions the participants make are true or false.
During the show the teenage participant said she had stolen an item from a cardboard box in a warehouse in the past, calling this a “true story.”
Officials from talent agency Horipro said the girl had blown out of proportion an experience from her elementary school days in which she shoplifted candy.
“I did something terrible,” the girl was quoted as telling police investigators. “I really regret it.”
Japan’s juvenile law states that those under the age of 14 can’t be held criminally responsible for crimes, but police said they were questioning program officials to determine whether the incident was true or not.
She’s already been suspended, her manager fired, and for what? A big nothing. I feel bad for the girl.
Daily Sports reports that Nippon TV now knows just how Abiru Yuu’s scandalous past made it onto the quiz show:
According to a report of an internal investigation by Nippon TV, the story of Abiru’s past theft came up during a meeting between the TV Station and Abiru’s agency, after which it was used on the show. It is said to have aired without the management’s approval at either a program meeting or at editing.
Now, what I think is so strange is how quick the station is to melt under any kind of pressure. Whatever happened to free speech? I realize that Japanese TV, while somewhat more liberal about showing naked breasts (thought they’ve grown far more conservative recently) and English swear words than the US, is still extremely sensitive to “inappropriate” broadcasting, which includes political speech, mention of the mentally ill or ethnic minorities, and various words for sexual organs or behavior. But what, really, is so “inappropriate” about mentioning someone’s checkered past?
Strangest of all is the fact that these TV stations are so careful without the threat of government fines, as in the US. There is a law in Japan stating that TV broadcasters must refrain from broadcasting “harmful and inappropriate” material, but there is no enforcement provision at all. Can someone with some knowledge about this clue me in please?
UPDATE：映像だ！映像きたー！Watch the video here!
Blowing up the headlines at 2ch news is the case of Abiru Yuu (18), the Japanese idol who admitted to robbing a supermarket, leading to the store’s eventual bankruptcy. The admission came on a Feb. 15 broadcast of Nippon TV’s “Coming Doubt” where secrets are revealed about certain stars and other celebrities have to guess whether the allegations are true. You can see a screen capture (with convenient subtitles) here. Here is a translation of the captions:
(A still of Abiru smiling) Abiru Yuu once participated in a group theft that bankrupted a store.
Upper right caption: True or false? Abiru Yuu once participated in a group theft that bankrupted a store.
ABIRU: Well, it was a while ago… we took out whole boxes.. it went on for about 6 months…
SOMEONE ELSE: A BAND OF THIEVES?!
ABIRU: Oh, I guess (the shop) did close down… I can’t say for sure whether the place closed as a result of what we did…
(Still of Abiru) Is Abiru’s confession TRUE or FALSE???
(Abiru hangs head in shame and holds up a placard saying “True”)
What’s so offensive, apparently, is that she didn’t seem at all remorseful, laughing and joking about it the whole time. She has made a name for herself as a character who offends people, so she perhaps thought this was just a part of the act. (More background [Japanese] can be found here)