Japanese Politics – Japon Online http://japononline.net/ Thu, 11 Aug 2022 15:08:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://japononline.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1-150x150.png Japanese Politics – Japon Online http://japononline.net/ 32 32 Asian cults and castes, where new religions meet power politics https://japononline.net/asian-cults-and-castes-where-new-religions-meet-power-politics/ Thu, 11 Aug 2022 15:08:29 +0000 https://japononline.net/asian-cults-and-castes-where-new-religions-meet-power-politics/ On July 8, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead while delivering a speech in Nara. The suspect confessed to killing Abe because of his close relationship with the Unification Church, which his mother joined and went bankrupt. The Unification Church was founded by Korean Messiah seeker Sun Myung Moon in 1954 and […]]]>

On July 8, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead while delivering a speech in Nara.

The suspect confessed to killing Abe because of his close relationship with the Unification Church, which his mother joined and went bankrupt. The Unification Church was founded by Korean Messiah seeker Sun Myung Moon in 1954 and entered Japan in 1956. At its peak it had 4.7 million followers, but declined after the 1990s due to donation and brainwashing scandals.

Meanwhile, in an interview on July 4, the new chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, John Lee Ka-chiu, mentioned that he had been practicing qigong for more than 25 years.


In the past, he had already stated that he no longer needed to see a doctor due to his practice of qigong, and even claimed to have reached the level of “master”. Qigong originated from traditional Chinese medicine, but by the 1970s and 80s its practice had reached cult status in China.

Negative representations

References to these alternative religious groups are not a new phenomenon today.

According to Eileen Barker, a sociologist of religions, there were already around 2,000 emerging religious movements in Europe in 1999, between 800 and 1,000 in Japan, and perhaps 10,000 in the United States, Asia, Africa and Oceania. together, for a total of more than 12 million members.

But these new religions are often associated with negative representations, ideas of sects, money laundering and brainwashing.

Such hypotheses are not difficult to formulate, as new religious movements were behind some of the most gruesome mass murders and suicides of the second half of the 20th century. For example, the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ and Heaven’s Gate committed mass suicides in the 1970s and 1990s respectively, and there was also Aum Shinrikyo, who orchestrated the Tokyo underground sarin gas attack in 1995. .

But in most cases, the new religious movements are not “wicked” enough to be anti-human and anti-social. Despite their size, the characteristics of emerging religions are difficult to summarize or describe and vary widely from region to region.

For example, in Europe and the Americas, where there are strong Christian traditions, some imported Eastern religious traditions are also considered emerging religions. In Taiwan and China, where Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism are common, many emerging religions have evolved from Buddhist or Taoist traditions. In Japan, emerging religious movements have existed since the 19th century.

It is this fragmentation, this ambiguity and this plurality that calls for a more objective analysis of what these emerging religions mean in each region.

Beijing needs political approval

In Chinese religions, there has been a tradition of distinguishing between “righteousness” and “wickedness”.

This tradition also continued in the People’s Republic of China after 1949. Although there are theoretically only five major religions in China, they have not hindered the development of various folk beliefs and spiritual movements, even under the reign of the atheistic Chinese Communist Party. In the 1980s, the government even promoted a qigong fever.

Cults are not about religion, but seem more about politics.

But once a religion is suspected of endangering local law and order, or even the stability of the regime, the government suppresses it in the name of rectifying “evil sects”, the most important of which has been the suppression of Falun Gong in 1999.

Nowadays, many traditional and orthodox religions are already required to show their loyalty to the regime. If one searches for the word “cults” in mainland China, headline keywords are often related to “chaos”, “prevention”, “rectification”, “governance”. Here, sects are not about religion, but seem more political.

This was also the case in Taiwan, where the Kuomintang also suppressed emerging folk religious groups after 1949, for example by banning the Taoist I-Kuan Tao and the Buddhist Soka Gakkai imported from mainland China and Japan.

Western religious groups have also been targeted. For example, the Presbyterian Church, which is actually a mainstream Christian denomination, was suppressed by the government due to its political advocacy.

For this reason, after restrictions were lifted in 1987, with the opening of registration for religious and social groups, new religious groups sprung up in Taiwan and sparked a wave of religious fervor.

Religion to justify power in Imperial Japan

In Japan, politics and religion have always been closely linked in history.

After the Meiji Restoration in the 19th century, the Meiji government encouraged national Shintoism to establish a new system under the authority of the emperor. Shinto was then combined with the imperial system to form the state religion, which became the unquestionable will of the state and one of the triggers of Japan’s wars of aggression.

After World War II, Japan, which had democratized and reformed, was wary of this tradition. Article 20 of the Japanese constitution expressly provided for the separation of religion and state: no religious group could receive privileges or exercise political rights from the state, and neither the state nor its organs could exempt religious education or any other religious activity.

At the request of the Headquarters of the Allied Forces Japan (GHQ), the Japanese government also abolished the Religious Associations Law, which was seen as a remnant of the militaristic system, and implemented the Religious Societies Ordinance. beginning in December 1945, providing guarantees for the nation’s freedom of religious belief and greatly limiting government interference in religious activities.

As the scholars have pointed out, post-war Japan experienced intense and unprecedented pain: economic collapse, struggling livelihoods, and a sense of disorientation were the defining elements of Japanese society in the during this period, which became good ground for promoting emerging religions. .

Tsunesaburo Makiguchi founded the religious group Soka Gakkai in 1930 in Japan

In this context, new religious groups have sprung up, with the number of groups rapidly increasing from 34 in wartime to more than 700 nowadays, including some of the largest groups with a million followers. The Soka Gakkai, the “support parent” of the Komeito Party, which is currently in coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party, is also a beneficiary of the new legislation. Founded in 1930 by educator Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, its membership has grown from around 3,000 in 1951 to 5.24 million today.

The emergence of new religions quickly attracted the attention of political parties, and the relationship between religion and politics returned to the interdependent nature of the pre-war period, making the principle of separation of Church and of the State a mere formality.

This is first and foremost because religious groups can provide political parties with a broad and stable electoral base, and their support can be very beneficial in elections. Of Japan’s emerging religions, for example, the Soka Gakkai has been the most successful in entering politics, and Komeito’s canvassing efforts have rarely been matched by those of other parties.

On the other hand, religious groups should use the power of political parties to spread their teachings and elevate the social status of their members, to get rid of the negative image of religious groups as mysterious and obscure.

By participating in elections at all levels, Soka Gakkai members not only protect their interests by sending their political representatives to the legislature, but can also create in their members a sense of equality of political and even social status with others. members of society.

In short, instead of separating church and state, political parties and religious groups became allies, shaping the course of Japanese politics amid the undercurrents.

The trauma left by a cult

Despite their entry into the establishment and their efforts to improve their image, certain types of emerging religious groups are indeed responsible for creating tragedies in the lives of many believers and their families. These groups exert extremely tight control over their followers and once they have been initiated into the faith, it is difficult to get out.

The researchers point out that the new, larger religious groups in Japan generally have a strong organizational structure. Moreover, these new religions have a “mechanism to motivate their followers”, which compels them to preach and donate money in order to practice their values ​​and strengthen the group.

Patriotism can also be a kind of spiritual confidence.

Some emerging religious groups are particularly prone to brainwashing, such as Aum Shinrikyo, which uses physical imprisonment, severe beatings, emotional and informational control to coerce its followers into criminal activity.

Second-generation believers are a significant victim group, with their parents giving their all to the organization and raising their children in a chaotic and unsettling environment.

Yamagami, Shinzo Abe’s assassin, is indeed such a victim. It is reported that even if these second generation believers manage to escape the control of religious groups, they are often mentally devastated.

The problems associated with religious groups in Japan are slowly being recognized. Media and lawyers have accused religious groups such as the Unification Church of corruption and interference in politics. But the accused politicians have not bothered to respond, and the government is so tight-lipped on issues related to emerging religions that even Abe’s death has failed to shake that attitude.

The sad reality is that social problems caused by emerging religious groups have still not received the attention and treatment they deserve in Japan.

In our contemporary society, we all question ourselves and all seek to find a solution to the problem of living in peace.

Many choices can give people a sense of security in life, regarding financial means, social status, personal aspirations, ideology, etc. In Hong Kong society, a single apartment can be enough to solve most of your anxieties; in China today, patriotism can also be, and is even taught to be, a kind of spiritual confidence.

Thinking about it in a detached way, the choices most people make to settle are the same as those made by followers of emerging religions, but they are all based on personal needs.

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Japanese Prime Minister Kishida will replace Defense Minister Kishi – Yomiuri on Wednesday https://japononline.net/japanese-prime-minister-kishida-will-replace-defense-minister-kishi-yomiuri-on-wednesday/ Sat, 06 Aug 2022 00:32:56 +0000 https://japononline.net/japanese-prime-minister-kishida-will-replace-defense-minister-kishi-yomiuri-on-wednesday/ Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will replace Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on Wednesday due to his health in the upcoming Cabinet and party leadership reshuffle, the Yomiuri daily reported on Saturday. Kishida moved the reshuffle, originally scheduled for early September, after a key memorial service for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was fatally shot […]]]>

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will replace Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on Wednesday due to his health in the upcoming Cabinet and party leadership reshuffle, the Yomiuri daily reported on Saturday. Kishida moved the reshuffle, originally scheduled for early September, after a key memorial service for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was fatally shot last month, earlier to solidify leadership following a national COVID resurgence -19 and the escalation of the situation in Taiwan, the newspaper said.

The reshuffle would come after Kishida’s conservative coalition government boosted its majority in the upper house of parliament in a July election held two days after Abe’s death. Kishi, 63, younger brother of the late Abe, has served as defense minister since September 2020.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno in the Cabinet, as well as Liberal Democratic Party Vice Chairman Taro Aso and General Secretary Toshimitsu Motegi are likely to remain in their posts, Yomiuri also reported. .

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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The wife of an imprisoned Navy lieutenant in Japan reveals the response of a young child https://japononline.net/the-wife-of-an-imprisoned-navy-lieutenant-in-japan-reveals-the-response-of-a-young-child/ Wed, 03 Aug 2022 06:00:20 +0000 https://japononline.net/the-wife-of-an-imprisoned-navy-lieutenant-in-japan-reveals-the-response-of-a-young-child/ NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles! The wife of a US Navy lieutenant who was sentenced to three years in a Japanese prison after being involved in a traffic accident that killed two people says she is doing everything she can to reunite his children with their father. “These are really about my […]]]>

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The wife of a US Navy lieutenant who was sentenced to three years in a Japanese prison after being involved in a traffic accident that killed two people says she is doing everything she can to reunite his children with their father.

“These are really about my children, even though it is difficult for us, those who really pay the price for this and for the alliance and the policy are my children,” said Brittany Alkonis, wife of the lieutenant of the Marine Ridge Alkonis, to Fox News Digital. “They are young and in the first years of their life. They need a father.”

The family’s ordeal began after a hike on Mount Fuji in Japan shortly before Lt. Alkonis was deployed. The family had been in Japan for about a year and nine months before taking the hike as part of a three-year tour of the country, hoping to make memories for themselves and their children before he gone for most of the next year. .

But the memory turned to tragedy when Lt. Alkonis suffered a medical episode while driving on the family’s return trip, hitting two vehicles which then rammed two pedestrians who died of their injuries.

NAVY LIEUTENANT CONVICTED IN JAPAN CAUSES TOLEMA IN US FAMILY AND LEGISLATIVES

Lt. Ridge Alkonis and a family member.
(Screenshot “Fox News @ Night”)

“That day we started from sea level and by the end of the hike we were over 8,000 feet,” Brittany Alkonis recalls. “We walked until we thought it was getting a little too dangerous for the kids and decided to head back. We were only 5 minutes from our destination, Ridge was deep in conversation with our eldest daughter when he lost consciousness. We were only going about 25 mph, but he didn’t regain consciousness.”

Alkonis said she also felt nauseous from the changes in altitude, which caused her to tilt her seat back and doze off shortly before the crash. She did not open her eyes until the impact, while her daughter tried unsuccessfully to wake her father.

“It all happened so fast,” recalls Alkonis.

Lt. Alkonis was arrested at the scene, which his wife believed to be routine while authorities investigated the crash. But her husband was soon subjected to interrogations and solitary confinement and was never released.

TAIWAN LOSES MAJOR LAWYER IN SHINZO ABE’S ASSASSINATION

“He wasn’t a drunk driver, he didn’t fall asleep, but it just went downhill from there,” Alkonis said.

Lt. Alkonis would later be diagnosed with Acute Mountain Sickness, which is caused by climbing high altitudes too quickly and can cause sudden fainting for up to 24 hours, but the diagnosis was of little use in the system. single judiciary of Japan.

A lawyer for the family explained that it is Japanese custom to show remorse in court instead of trying to assert your innocence, leading to the family issuing a formal apology for the accident and paying a settlement of $1.65 million. They were told that more than 95% of people who follow a similar path are given suspended sentences, but Lt. Alkonis was given the full three-year sentence. An appeal in which Lt. Alkonis presented his medical diagnosis was also dismissed, leaving the family with few options for justice.

Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A.

Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-35A.
(US Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Louis Vega Jr.)

“If we knew he was going to jail anyway, we would have told them no,” Alkonis said. “The result of both trials was both beyond what anyone could have expected.”

JAPAN EXECUTES MAN FOR MASS TRUCK ATTACK, FIRST EXECUTION THIS YEAR

Worse, Alkonis believes part of the reason her husband is not getting fair treatment is that a high-ranking member of the court is a family member of one of those killed in the accident.

“One of the deceased is a family member of a Tokyo High Court prosecutor who has a lot of influence,” Alkonis said. “I believe it has something to do with his sentencing.”

Her husband’s case has drawn rare bipartisan attention on Capitol Hill, with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rep. Mike Levin, D-California, both calling on Japan to release Lt. Alkonis.

“I find it simply inexcusable that an American who has experienced a medical emergency should be treated so badly by an allied nation that he is protecting,” Lee said during a speech in the Senate last week.

JAPANESE CITY ATTACKED BY VIOLENT MONKEYS: “THEY ARE SO INTELLIGENT”

“Obviously the Japanese justice system is trying to hold up Lt. Alkonis as an example – possibly due to a history of disputes over our status of forces agreement,” Lee added. “He is being targeted because he is American – and because he was in the unfortunate position of having suffered a medical emergency that resulted in tragedy.”

The status-of-forces agreement, a treaty that governs issues between the US military and host nation governments, between the US and Japan, has long been controversial among Japanese people. While Japanese courts retain jurisdiction over crimes committed by US troops in the country, exceptions to the rules have sometimes caused negative sentiment among Japanese officials who believe US forces have additional privileges.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc)

Levin made it clear that the Pentagon should do more in this case, vowing that he would continue to work to secure the release of Lt. Alkonis.

“I won’t give up on Lt. Alkonis and neither should the Department of Defense,” he said.

ERUPTING SAKURAJIMA VOLCANO IN WESTERN JAPAN

The case also has implications for an alliance that has been stable for decades, which Lee acknowledged while also calling on President Biden to make the case a priority.

“We’ve been allies for a long time,” Lee said.

Ms Alkonis also hopes to involve the White House, noting that the support from lawmakers gives her “hope that the momentum is starting to go in our direction.”

“I’m constantly doing things to get him out of jail,” Alkonis said. “I’m going to DC in a few weeks for the purpose of talking to the National Security Advisor or President Biden, I’ll be there as long as it takes.”

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Meanwhile, Alkonis said the ordeal has taken a toll on his family. Unlike deployments, where she can explain to her children that their father is doing something meaningful and important, being in prison is something her youngest child “doesn’t understand”.

Communication is also difficult, limited to regular mail and two short 20-minute visits per month. The sad reality prompted Alkonis to focus her attention on freeing her husband.

“Hopefully something will come out of the trip to DC,” Alkonis said. “It’s important for children to see that we are fighting for justice. We are not asking for special treatment, we just want to be treated like any Japanese national would be treated.”

Fox News’ Ashley Papa contributed to this report.

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China steps up threats ahead of Nancy Pelosi’s unofficial visit to Taiwan — Radio Free Asia https://japononline.net/china-steps-up-threats-ahead-of-nancy-pelosis-unofficial-visit-to-taiwan-radio-free-asia/ Mon, 01 Aug 2022 16:24:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/china-steps-up-threats-ahead-of-nancy-pelosis-unofficial-visit-to-taiwan-radio-free-asia/ Any visit to Taiwan by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who is currently leading a congressional delegation on an Asian tour, would result in “very serious developments and consequences”, China warned on Monday, on the eve of a planned visit to the Democratic Island. While Taiwan was not on Pelosi’s official […]]]>

Any visit to Taiwan by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, who is currently leading a congressional delegation on an Asian tour, would result in “very serious developments and consequences”, China warned on Monday, on the eve of a planned visit to the Democratic Island.

While Taiwan was not on Pelosi’s official four-country itinerary, RFA sources and sources quoted by local media and CNN said she would make an unofficial trip to the island on Tuesday evening, which will not has ever been ruled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). ni is part of the People’s Republic of China.

But even an unofficial stopover would be seen by Beijing as “blatant interference in China’s internal affairs”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.

“We would like to tell the United States once again that China is here, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never stand idly by, and China will adopt resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zhao said.

“If she dares to go, wait and see what happens,” he told a regular press briefing in Beijing.

The Trump administration announced in January 2021 that the United States was lifting restrictions that had been in place since Washington severed ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing in 1979, saying Washington would no longer “appease” Beijing.

President Joe Biden has previously said China is ‘flirting with danger’ with its ongoing threat to annex Taiwan, saying the United States is committed to defending the island in the event of a Chinese invasion, a statement by officials Americans later presented as an interpretation of the existing terms of the Taiwan Relations Act requiring Washington to ensure that the island has the means to defend itself.

But Biden struck a more conciliatory note in a phone call last Friday with CCP leader Xi Jinping, saying US policy had not changed and Washington did not support full international recognition of Taiwan’s sovereignty. Xi warned Biden that “those who play with fire get burned.”

Taiwan’s presidential office and foreign ministry both declined to comment on any visit by Pelosi, though Premier Su Chen-chang said the island’s government, which still uses the name Republic of China of 1911, would welcome all foreign VIP guests.

“We welcome foreign personalities who come to visit our country; we will make the best possible arrangements for their visit, and also respect their plans when arranging the program,” Su told reporters.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (R) shakes hands with US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the Istana Presidential Palace in Singapore during a visit to the Asia-Pacific region, August 1, 2022. Credit: Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information /AFP

No more saber noise

Drew Thompson, a former US defense official and senior visiting scholar at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said via his Twitter account that he expects Pelosi to make an unannounced stopover. official in Taiwan after his visit to Malaysia.

While Beijing privately considers this an acceptable outcome, Thompson said the PLA could launch high-level reconnaissance flights around Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). , a form of sword-clapping that has become commonplace in recent years.

Former Taiwan civil aviation director Chang Kuo-cheng said Pelosi’s plane would not be allowed to enter Taiwan airspace, so take a circuitous route through Taiwan-controlled airspace. the Philippines, the United States and Japan.

“It won’t cross our airspace,” Chang said. “If it tries, China might take action, something it has been preparing for a long time.”

Tao Yi-fen, an associate professor of politics at National Taiwan University, said Pelosi’s visit could still spur Xi to action, regardless of which route Pelosi takes if she visits.

“The CCP is about to hold the 20th Party Congress, so if Xi Jinping does nothing after issuing all these warnings, it may negatively impact his candidacy for another Party Congress term,” he said. Tao.

Taiwan resident Hsiao Wu said the war of words is largely manufactured by Beijing, created by the CCP’s insistence on annexing Taiwan, by force if necessary.

“From time to time, Chinese friends ask me if [Taiwan] really wants a war,” Wu said. “But no, we don’t. Our camp is peaceful.”

“If the PLA is really struggling to fly alongside [Pelosi’s] steal or lock their missiles, then that would be an overreaction,” he said.

“[Nonetheless]if a person of his rank comes to Taiwan, no matter what he wants to talk about, it will show support and a good attitude towards Taiwan, and strengthen his [international] picture,” Wu said.

External distractions

Meanwhile, a Chinese student in Canada said the CCP needed an external distraction amid an implosion in the property market and weak economic performance in the wake of Xi’s zero COVID policy.

“Social conflicts are more acute in China now…it needs to engage in provocations…and strengthen internal controls in order to consolidate social stability,” the student said. “The more the conflicts at home escalate, the more they will project them outward.”

News commentator Fang Wenxiang agreed.

“I think that [China’s] The wolf-warrior diplomacy has now touched all areas of government,” Fang said. “Spokespersons for the Ministry of Defense were very cautious, but now they are coming out with unreasonable statements, which will be difficult to reverse. “

Wu Qiang, an independent researcher at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said the official response seems to be changing day by day since the row over Pelosi’s trip exploded.

“[The official line] is changing day by day, and it is colored by opportunism and ambiguity,” Wu said. unrest in China ahead of the 20th Party Congress.”

“They also don’t want an expansion of popular nationalism following Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan…the CCP is wary of nationalist sentiment ahead of the 20th Party Congress,” Wu said.

Wu said many in China see the current standoff as the starting point for a longer-term struggle for Taiwan.

International relations scholar Zong Tao agrees, saying further immediate deterioration in China-US relations is unlikely.

“Basically, China won’t take big steps, because its main focus is still the 20th CPC National Congress,” Zong said. “Taiwan isn’t: it’s more a way for them to channel as much popular support as possible.”

If Pelosi decides not to make his unofficial trip, it would not play well in Japan, where many want to see broad international support for Taiwan, according to a political analyst.

“If she doesn’t go to Taiwan, it will be seen in Japanese political circles as a case of the United States saying one thing and doing another…and as an indication that the United States is not firmly committed. to defend Taiwan or Japan,” Yang Haiying, a professor at Shizuoka University, told RFA.

“September marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, so if Pelosi does not make a clear statement, Japan and China will definitely use the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations to downplay of the U.S.-Japan Army Alliance,” he said.

Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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Long after the Tokyo trial, the Indian judge retains a place of honor in the political memory of Japan https://japononline.net/long-after-the-tokyo-trial-the-indian-judge-retains-a-place-of-honor-in-the-political-memory-of-japan/ Sat, 30 Jul 2022 16:41:15 +0000 https://japononline.net/long-after-the-tokyo-trial-the-indian-judge-retains-a-place-of-honor-in-the-political-memory-of-japan/ Fifth of 6 parts Among postwar Japanese political leaders and thinkers, many have long considered Judge Radhabinod Pal an icon. Indeed, he remained a touchstone of the culture wars surrounding the Tokyo trial. While debate is still open as to why the US and Britain appointed Justice Pal, elements in the US were known to […]]]>
Japan Racing Association

Fifth of 6 parts

Among postwar Japanese political leaders and thinkers, many have long considered Judge Radhabinod Pal an icon. Indeed, he remained a touchstone of the culture wars surrounding the Tokyo trial.

While debate is still open as to why the US and Britain appointed Justice Pal, elements in the US were known to have strong sympathy for the anti-colonial struggle taking place in India at that time.

General Douglas MacArthur attributed Pal’s appointment to the fact that the US State Department changed its mind at the time. He observed that US diplomats thought it was prudent to address the stark diversity imbalance by adding a few more Asian judges while building out the court’s slate of judges. And, so, the Allied Powers added one judge each from India and the Philippines.

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Justice Radhabinod Pal, Photo from the collection of Judge Bert Röling at the National Archives of the Netherlands.

In Indian memory

Justice Pal is known in India across his political spectrum till this day for his opinion, his role and his final decision, in which he captured that momentous moment in history which is engraved with his name. India’s former foreign minister during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term, the late Sushma Swaraj, captured this story when she addressed the Indian community in Japan during her visit in March 2018.

Swaraj referred to the historical ties that Japan shared with India and said that at that time the modes of communication to distant lands were limited and not so accessible. Despite these constraints, people traveled from Japan to India and vice versa.

In his speech in Tokyo, Swaraj recalled three Indian names that automatically crossed his mind when thinking of Japan and India. They were Justice Radhabinod Pal, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Rash Behari Bose. “To this day, the Japanese have immense respect for these three figures in Indian history,” Swaraj said.

Leaders exchanging parliamentary remarks

Subsequently, during a visit to India in August 2007, Shinzo Abe, the former Japanese Prime Minister ー and the first prime minister to be born after World War II ー paid tribute to Judge Pal when he was addressed to the Parliament of India in 2007. He said, “Judge Pal is highly respected even today by many Japanese people for the noble spirit of courage he displayed at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. “

Subsequently, Abe traveled to the eastern city of India, Calcutta, to meet Pal’s octogenarian son, Prasanta Pal. It was a meeting to honor the latter’s father, whom Japan continues to remember and honor.

At the meeting, Pal showed Abe a picture of his father with Abe’s grandfather, former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, during a visit to Japan in 1966. Kishi is said to have greatly admired Judge Pal. In response, Abe acknowledged, “Your father is still respected by many in Japan.”

Earlier, in December 2006, former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave a speech to the Japanese Diet. He was referring to Judge Radhabinod Pal’s “principle judgment” after the war that is still remembered today in Japan.

Singh said the events reflected the depth of India’s friendship with Japan and the fact that the two nations had supported each other at critical times in their history. He also pointed to when India signed a separate peace treaty with Japan in 1952 in which all war claims against Japan were dropped.

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Judge Radhabinod Pal

Peace between India and Japan

Consideration for Japan by independent India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, became known when he overturned the advice of his sister, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, then India’s Ambassador to the United States, and Girja Shankar Bajpai, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Business.

Nehru refused to sign the US-sponsored peace treaty with Japan. Instead, India went ahead and signed a separate peace treaty with Japan on June 9, 1952. Nehru felt that this offered Japan a position of honor and equality within the community of free nations. Through this peace treaty, India waived any claim for reparation against Japan.

Standing next to each other

In April 2005, Prime Minister Singh highlighted the relationship in his remarks at a banquet in New Delhi honoring then-visiting Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Stating that although India and Japan have gone through different phases in their relationship, Singh noted that in times of difficulty, the two nations have supported each other.

Importantly, Singh recalled that India refused to attend the San Francisco Peace Conference in 1951 and signed a separate peace treaty with Japan in 1952. Singh again pointed out that the dissenting judgment of the judge Radhabinod Pal was well known to the Japanese people and would always symbolize the affection and respect Indians had for Japan.

Next: Continuing Echoes of Justice Pal

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Author: Monika Chansoria

The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of any organization with which the author is affiliated. She tweets @MonikaChansoria. Find more articles from Dr. Chansoria here on JAPAN Striker.

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Arab Americans rise in politics and polls: Jim Zogby https://japononline.net/arab-americans-rise-in-politics-and-polls-jim-zogby/ Thu, 28 Jul 2022 11:06:50 +0000 https://japononline.net/arab-americans-rise-in-politics-and-polls-jim-zogby/ CHICAGO: Arab Americans have faced decades-long challenges to being recognized as a community, and while several obstacles continue to exist, they are making tangible progress on the political front and in elections, Jim Zogby, President and founder of the Arab American Institute, said Wednesday. During an interview on The Ray Hanania Radio Show, Zogby explained […]]]>

CHICAGO: Arab Americans have faced decades-long challenges to being recognized as a community, and while several obstacles continue to exist, they are making tangible progress on the political front and in elections, Jim Zogby, President and founder of the Arab American Institute, said Wednesday.

During an interview on The Ray Hanania Radio Show, Zogby explained that while the progress may not seem like it, it is certainly measurable and has resulted in significant changes that have strengthened the Arab-American community.

Zogby noted that Arab Americans now have a national month, April, in which their culture is recognized and celebrated in most states. There is also progress regarding the presence of Arabs in the upcoming US census, despite the persistent slowness on this issue over five decades of activism.

He said the appointment of Hady Amr — by President Joe Biden as deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli and Palestinian affairs in the department’s Office of Near Eastern Affairs, a year after Biden became president — has opened important doors that move the interests of Arab Americans forward.

“Having Hady Amr as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (as an envoy) is a huge thing. It was inconceivable. This position has always been Jewish. Still Jewish. And now he’s an Arab American,” Zogby said.

“And of course he didn’t change Biden’s policy. He did not change the policy of (Secretary of State Antony) Blinken. But if you look below the surface and see the little things that Hady was able to do that wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been there, that’s huge.

Amr is one of several dozen Arab Americans to have won senior positions in the White House and the US State Department that put the community “at the table” where decisions are made.

“There are things going on there that wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been there,” Zogby said.

“I look at the things that Hady was able to do. It’s not great. Not perfect. But if that hadn’t happened, those hospitals in East Jerusalem wouldn’t have received the money. UNRWA would not have had the money. The partnership program would not have gotten the money. There are things he really helped bring about. It’s always better to have someone sitting in the room at the table than not to be in the room at the table.

Zogby has held many high-level positions in the Democratic Party and former Democratic presidents.

In September 2013, President Barack Obama appointed Zogby to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. He was reappointed for a second term in 2015 and ended his service in May 2017 after serving as the agency’s chairman twice.

Zogby was also personally active in American politics as deputy campaign manager and senior adviser to Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in 1984 and 1988.

In 1988, Zogby led the first-ever debate on Palestinian statehood at that year’s Democratic National Convention held in Atlanta, Georgia. And, in 2000, 2008 and 2016, he served as senior campaign adviser to former Vice President Al Gore, Obama and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Arab Americans, Zogby said, are often restricted by being stereotyped or “restricted” in American society. When they rise to positions of influence, they are often forced to talk only about ‘Arab’ or ‘minority’ issues rather than the larger national issues of public concern.

“When you get a narrowcast, you’re typed. Coupled with the fact that being of Arab descent means that if you have the opportunity to speak out about anything other than that (the Middle East), you are afraid of the ADL or a group that will come after you saying: “Do you know who he is? One of the first breaks I had to do something beyond the narrow scope was (with) the National Italian American Foundation. And (the former executive director) Fred Rotondaro, a great friend of mine, called me back in the early 80s and asked me to co-chair a group that Jeno Paulucci, the guy who founded Jeno’s pizzas, was creating to deal with the ethnic issues across the board, things that affected ethnic immigrant communities,” Zogby recalls.

“And one of them was media stereotypes. Because the Italians have problems with that. We have problems with this. Lots of people do. He asked me to chair the group. The ADL went ballistic (saying): “If you include them, we’ll have nothing to do with you.” Fred stayed by my side, but that was always a problem. If you were in that box, they had you cornered. If you got out of that box, they tried to push you back into that box. It hurt a lot of people. »

Zogby said that despite many decades of efforts to count Arabs in the US census dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, progress is being made. He defended the use of the term “MENA” which stands for Middle East and North Africa rather than “Arab” which is being pushed by Biden for inclusion in the census.

MENA is a broad census definition, but that doesn’t exclude being identified as “Arab,” Zogby insisted.

“That does not mean that we are MENA Americans. Some people clung to that. But this is nonsense. There is no such thing as a MENA American,” Zogby said.

“We decided to create the category on that of Ancestry (in the census). You would ask Ancestry MENA. But then, below, they would say, what country. We would still have an Arabic category, but that would allow Turks, Iranians, maybe also Armenians to be counted. And the Israelis to be counted in there. But that wouldn’t say there was a MENA group. It looks like there is a MENA, simply a rubric under which these unique ethnic groups are counted. So we can still draw a Lebanese number, an Assyrian number. And a Libyan number. But we could also get an Arabic numeral by grouping them all together, which gives us an idea of ​​the number.

Failure to do so, Zogby said, would reduce the census tally by more than 60%, census officials told him.

“Progress,” Zogby said, “often comes in small steps” and the Arab-American community is moving toward greater successes.

Republican activist and former GOP candidate for Michigan Legislature Paul Sophiea also appeared on the radio show, which discussed the challenges Arabs face in the Republican Party.

Sophiea said Arab Americans are traditionally conservative, but the largest populations of Arabs thrive in Democratic Party-dominated areas like Dearborn and Detroit.

The Ray Hanania Show airs live every Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. EST on WNZK AM 690 radio in Greater Detroit, including parts of Ohio, and WDMV AM 700 radio in Washington DC, including parts of Virginia and Maryland. The show reairs Thursdays at 7 a.m. in Detroit on WNZK AM 690 and in Chicago at 12 p.m. on WNWI AM 1080.

You can listen to the radio show’s podcast by visiting ArabNews.com/rayradioshow.

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From manga to politics – Book and Film Globe https://japononline.net/from-manga-to-politics-book-and-film-globe/ Mon, 25 Jul 2022 15:03:25 +0000 https://japononline.net/from-manga-to-politics-book-and-film-globe/ Writer Ken Akamatsu’s election victory offers insight into Japanese artistic discourse On July 26, the famous manga author Ken Akamatsu will take his place in the House of Councilors of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. In a country known for its apathy towards politics, Akamatsu is an exceptionally popular figure. He received 528,029 votes, […]]]>

Writer Ken Akamatsu’s election victory offers insight into Japanese artistic discourse

On July 26, the famous manga author Ken Akamatsu will take his place in the House of Councilors of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. In a country known for its apathy towards politics, Akamatsu is an exceptionally popular figure. He received 528,029 votes, the most of any individual candidate on the national list, securing his victory as Japan’s first manga author-turned-legislator. His platform? The artistic freedom of comics.

Whether you think this sounds like a sincere desire for free speech or a bigoted dog whistle may depend on whether you’ve ever heard of an American cultural movement called Comicsgate. All you really need to know is that yes it was similar to Gamergate and yes it was extremely dumb as well. Where Gamergate has turned the idea of ​​ethics in gaming journalism into a nonsensical troll of concern, Comicsgate, for some sectors of popular culture, has had the same effect on the idea of ​​aesthetics trumping politics in comic writing.

Renowned manga creator Ken Akamatsu’s political platform is narrow: to preserve current artistic mores and standards.

In Japan, the pop culture landscape is no different, with hardcore comic book fans unsurprisingly having much stronger opinions of their existing artistic merit than people who would like to change them. Enter Akamatsu.

Akamatsu’s work

His seminal work, Love Hina, revolutionized harem-style comedy somewhat paradoxically by doing away with the high-concept sci-fi and overarching narratives common to such works to present the story of an ordinary guy living with a group of girls in a dorm as they get ready. to take employment exams. As it happens, Love Hina was popular purely based on characterization and fan service. But the fan service was inevitably racy, given that almost all of the characters were teenagers.

Harem comedies are mostly out of fashion now. Ideally, this would mark Japanese society as a whole turning against fan service and sexualizing teenagers. The reality is simply that aesthetic trends have changed. The market these days is all about Isekai stories, in which a real-world person is transported to an alternate fantasy universe.

Which brings us back to Akamatsu’s rise to Japan’s House of Councilors. While Akamatsu’s work as an author is more important historically than in current pop culture, this story is about a Japanese political system that underwent massive economic changes in the 1990s. made it much more difficult for men to find partners and start a family. Manga and anime have played an increasingly important role for these young men. (Life in the United States is undergoing almost exactly the same pop culture shift as we speak.)

Given that the LDP was directly responsible for many of these societal changes and stood by these political decisions, Akamatsu running on its roster might seem a bit strange. But that’s only if you look at his career in political terms. Akamatsu considers himself and his fellow manga authors to be artists. Therefore, Akamatsu considers almost all political developments of the past decade to be relevant only insofar as they threaten art.

Platform boards

Akamatsu fought against the LDP as a reasonably known author when the LDP considered legislation that risked harming artists. The proposals involved expanding the definitions of copyright and pornography, which meant that artists working on the fringes (that is, most of them) couldn’t really work without risking harm. ‘break the law. The Japanese manga industry isn’t a free market, but it has a long history of turning a blind eye to copyright infringement and is open enough about its pornographic elements that, for the most part, authors stay where they are sure to be wanted instead of trying to sell boredom or smut to people who won’t appreciate it. Akamatsu joined the LDP in part to get a first look at such legislation to preemptively protect other writers in his field.

Akamatsu is unique among famous politicians in that he doesn’t shy away from his past career, or claims he uses his platform to fight for everyone else because it’s the right thing to do. He simply promises to protect the artistic sanctity of comics from what he calls an outside influence. Translation: international standards that would be disastrous for Japan’s indie comic-focused subculture.

Much of the work of Akamatsu champions could reasonably be described as borderline child pornography. Yet it is also true that the Byzantine production structure that creates Japanese comics is essential to its success. Manga and anime are household names around the world, in part because the industry is so competitive. Big distributors don’t have the power to crush the competition like they do in the United States, and it’s no coincidence that for decades Japanese comics have outsold American comics, even in the United States, even though they now have blockbuster films running as advertisements. for them.

Support the fan base

Akamatsu is, in this vein, the amateur candidate. The fact that Akamatsu joined the LDP instead of just trying to start his own political party is remarkable, as Japan’s parliamentary elections meant there was a decent chance he could have won on his own platform. . But Akamatsu doesn’t want to overhaul the system like most small parties in Japan are doing. He just wants people to be able to indulge in their leisure time in peace.

Akamatsu’s promises may seem ridiculous, but for a certain segment of the population they are both a big deal and probably all they can reasonably hope to achieve. A few days after confirming its election victory, Akamatsu promised legislation to confirm the playability of retro video games. It may not seem like much, but it’s a huge problem for enthusiasts within these communities. For very old video and computer games dating back to the 80s and beyond, few copies exist, and collectors often hoard those that do and refuse to dump the data, risking losing them forever. Akamatsu supports treating games as safe for digital libraries.

Minimal controversy

It’s a small gesture, but it does save the childhoods of people more used to seeing them as destroyed. Fandoms in Japan and elsewhere have come to regard these pop culture institutions as guardians of their collective identity. We can’t rely on our families, we can’t rely on our jobs, we can’t rely on the government, but at least we can rely on the comics.

Akamatsu helps restore trust in society by at least forcing the government to take comics seriously. As absurd as that sounds, it’s also surprisingly commonplace. There is no real culture war opposition to his program in Japan like there is in the United States. Of course, Made In Abyss made some questionable creative choices regarding its child characters. But it’s highly unlikely that anyone outside of his core fan base will notice or care.

There is a realism in understanding the limits of pop culture discourse. Akamatsu walked to that line and now he’s just standing on it, surprisingly causing little controversy. There’s no plotting on his part to try to boost his career or brainwash the kids. Akamatsu is the most annoying celebrity contestant we’ve ever seen – and really, that’s for the best.

Fittingly, manga characters anchor Akamatsu’s campaign materials.

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Perrottet takes advice from Japan, but the high-speed train is just a “dream” for now https://japononline.net/perrottet-takes-advice-from-japan-but-the-high-speed-train-is-just-a-dream-for-now/ Sat, 23 Jul 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/perrottet-takes-advice-from-japan-but-the-high-speed-train-is-just-a-dream-for-now/ Tokyo: The best route for high-speed rail in New South Wales would be from Newcastle to Parramatta and up to Badgerys Creek, a leading international expert has told Premier Dominic Perrottet. As part of its business mission to Japan, Perrottet took the Shinkansen, or bullet train, owned by JR Central from Tokyo to Hiroshima on […]]]>

Tokyo: The best route for high-speed rail in New South Wales would be from Newcastle to Parramatta and up to Badgerys Creek, a leading international expert has told Premier Dominic Perrottet.

As part of its business mission to Japan, Perrottet took the Shinkansen, or bullet train, owned by JR Central from Tokyo to Hiroshima on Saturday for an onboard briefing from company director Torkel Patterson, who also sits on the Vice President of the International High Speed ​​Rail Association.

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet poses next to a Shinkansen bullet train at Tokyo Station.Credit:AAP

Patterson, who has spent a lot of time in Australia, said he was confident NSW would eventually provide high-speed rail as it was the best way to connect major cities, particularly Melbourne and Sydney – one of busiest air routes in the world.

The JR Central bullet train runs at 285 km/h. The company says its trains emit one-twelfth the CO2 emissions of air travel and one-eighth the energy consumption.

The state government committed $500 million in the June budget for upgrades to provide fast train. It is not the same as high-speed rail, such as high-speed rail in Japan, which cannot run on existing tracks with curves that would be dangerous at maximum speeds.

JR Central reports that its average annual delay per train is 12 seconds. Sydney Trains services can be up to five minutes late and still considered on time, while NSW TrainLink services can be up to six minutes late. So far in July, only 79.3% of trains were on time.

‘[High-speed rail] will take time and I think it’s important that you…dream of what travel might look like decades from now.

Dominic Perrottet, Premier of New South Wales

The new NSW investment will be matched by federal funds for upgrading the Sydney-Central Coast link, improving the Tuggerah-Wyong connection, and new electrified tracks and station upgrades.

Rather than building new dedicated lines, NSW is preserving corridors for future use and upgrading existing lines.

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Over 30 endangered sea turtles found with fatal stab wounds to neck on Japanese beach https://japononline.net/over-30-endangered-sea-turtles-found-with-fatal-stab-wounds-to-neck-on-japanese-beach/ Wed, 20 Jul 2022 11:05:04 +0000 https://japononline.net/over-30-endangered-sea-turtles-found-with-fatal-stab-wounds-to-neck-on-japanese-beach/ A heartbreaking case of animal cruelty has sparked an extensive investigation after more than 30 Sea turtles have been discovered stabbed on the shore of a beach in the main island of Okinawa prefecture, Japan. The sea creatures in question were found with serious neck injuries on Thursday, July 14, 2022, The Independent reported. The […]]]>

A heartbreaking case of animal cruelty has sparked an extensive investigation after more than 30 Sea turtles have been discovered stabbed on the shore of a beach in the main island of Okinawa prefecture, Japan. The sea creatures in question were found with serious neck injuries on Thursday, July 14, 2022, The Independent reported.

The endangered reptiles were found by locals after low tide on the beaches of Kumejima and were said to be “on the verge of death”, according to Vice. Many appeared immobile upon discovery and close to fishing nets, others were bleeding and some were sadly dead. Staff employed at the local sea turtle museum were the first to care for the animals.

Although the island’s police have proposed and opened an animal cruelty investigation (with no confirmed findings yet), a local fishing operator admitted to stabbing the sea ​​turtles in the Japanese national newspaper, Mainichi. The act would have been done to remove them from the fishing nets in which they were accidentally caught.

“Many of them were tangled in fishing nets. I untangled some and released them back into the sea, but couldn’t free the heavier ones, so I stabbed them to get rid of them,” the fisherman reportedly said.

Much conservation work has been implemented in Okinawa and Kagoshima to protect green sea turtles and their nesting (or nesting) habitats. And it works. But according to Yuji Tabata, president of the Kumejima Fishery Cooperative Association, this increase in the reptile population has only been troubling to local fishermen. Speaking to Vice, he said: “They get caught in people’s nets or can collide with boats and cause accidents.”

Although they cause a problem, stabbing them is of course not the way to go, Tabata clarified. In fact, according to the president, this is unheard of.

“As a sea turtle community that has been transmitting the conservation of the marine environment and the importance of living creatures through sea turtle conservation activities since day [one], this situation is extremely painful and disappointing,” the Kumejima Sea Turtle Museum said via its Facebook page. “We are very sorry to have caused you all this trouble.”

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Dozens of sea turtles stabbed to death off the island of Japan https://japononline.net/dozens-of-sea-turtles-stabbed-to-death-off-the-island-of-japan/ Tue, 19 Jul 2022 09:26:12 +0000 https://japononline.net/dozens-of-sea-turtles-stabbed-to-death-off-the-island-of-japan/ A frustrated fisherman has confessed to stabbing dozens of protected sea turtles to death on a southern Japanese island after they got caught in his fishing nets, according to local officials. Between 30 and 50 green sea turtles were found dead or dying last Thursday, with stab wounds to their necks and elsewhere, on a […]]]>

A frustrated fisherman has confessed to stabbing dozens of protected sea turtles to death on a southern Japanese island after they got caught in his fishing nets, according to local officials.

Between 30 and 50 green sea turtles were found dead or dying last Thursday, with stab wounds to their necks and elsewhere, on a beach on the remote island of Kumejima, some 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) to the south -west of Tokyo.

It was “an extremely macabre scene”, according to Yoshimitsu Tsukakoshi, a senior official with Kumejima Umigame-kan, a local sea turtle conservation organization.

“Sea turtles are gentle creatures and they move away when humans approach them,” Tsukakoshi told AFP on Tuesday.

“I couldn’t believe that could happen these days.”

Yuji Tabata, the head of the local fishermen’s cooperative, told AFP the man in charge confessed to stabbing the animals after dozens became entangled in his gillnet.

The fisherman, whose name has not been released, told the co-op that he released many entangled turtles, but after struggling with the animals he began stabbing them to try to weaken them.

“He said he had never seen so many turtles on his nets. He regrets it now,” Tabata said.

“He said he felt in physical danger.”

The city’s local government and police are investigating the deaths, a city official told AFP, declining to say whether the fisherman could face any penalties for the incident.

An editorial in the local Okinawa Times newspaper on Tuesday condemned the deaths and the manner in which the protected animals were left to perish on the beach.

He also urged local officials to look into fishermen’s claims that the turtles are causing economic damage.

Local reports indicated that some fishermen in the area believed the turtle population was increasing.

The creatures can collide with fishing boats, hurting themselves and damaging the propellers of the boats.

Tabata said the community is also concerned about the turtles eating the seagrass beds that are home to the fish they depend on for their livelihood.

He pointed out that the incident was rare and that fishermen routinely untangle turtles caught in their lines.

“We are coming up with ideas to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he added.

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