PhD. Special Lecturer at Kanda University of International Studies. Japan's Politics/Nationalist Activism/History Disputes/Pop Culture. RT/Likes ≠ endorsements
Nov 29 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
ANN aired this report that highlights how the LDP/Komeito-backed relief bill for Unification Church victims is useless to many victims. The UC apparently already has a manual on how to collect proof that can be used to argue donations were not coerced.
This includes having people sign statements agreeing that they freely made the decision without being pressured by anyone. They also sometimes ask donors to write out a statement expressing their willingness to donate, or film videos that prove their belief in UC teachings.
Nov 6 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
New JNN/TBS Poll: Prime Minister Kishida's approval rating has dropped to 39.7% (down 3.1 from October). Disapproval has risen 3.8 to 57.7%. It is worst JNN/TBS poll result since Kishida took office a year ago.
The poll also asked people about the economy. 77% had a negative appraisal of the Kishida administration's response to rising prices. 72% answered that the price increases were negatively impacting their households.
Sep 22 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
The Unification Church held a press conference earlier today in Japan, blaming negative reporting about the UC's exploitative fundraising tactics on "left-wing lawyers." They insisted that the Church ended all of that years ago.
As the linked video shows, children of UC members have testified that highly aggressive fundraising is still taking place and that the Church really has not changed its ways. Journalist Suzuki Eito also doubts the Church is actually reforming itself.
Sep 21 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Minister in Charge of Economic Revitalization Yamagiwa Daishirō has been caught (again!) for not disclosing ties to the Unification Church. Photos have been found of him attending a UC event with Church leader Hak Ja Han.
Yamagiwa has repeatedly failed to mention ties to the UC, only admitting specific facts after they are discovered by the media. For example, he could not "remember" attending a UC event in Nepal until after the media found photos of it.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kihara Seiji reported to the LDP that he had no ties to the Unification Church. After someone pointed out his participation in a 2016 UC-sponsored event, he miraculously remembered and now admits it. lol.
The same report contains footage of LDP lawmaker Doi Tōru sending a message to a church event in 2021 in which he calls UC leader Hak Ja Han the "true mother" who can unify and bring peace to the world. Doi participated in 5 such events over the years.
Aug 24 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Nakayama Mineo stepped down as leader of the Kumamoto Kishida Association, but has also denied he knew another group he chaired was related to the Unification Church. Prime Minister Kishida continues to deny any relationship with the church.
The organization in question was the Japan-Korea Tunnel Association, which supports a project to dig an undersea tunnel between Japan and Korea. The Unification Church is the principle supporter of this project in Japan, and it is hard to believe Nakayama did not know it.
Jul 31 • 65 tweets • 29 min read
A #JapanPolitics thread (Part 2): The assassination of former Prime Minister Abe has led to greater attention to the controversial relationship between conservative Japanese politicians and the Unification Church. Let's look at what is being reported... 2/ My previous thread on this topic, with 100 tweets following developments between July 22nd and July 31st, can be read at this link: threadreaderapp.com/thread/1550337…
Jul 27 • 20 tweets • 11 min read
A thread: What do Japanese people think about religion? Here are some charts I made using 2017-2022 World Values Survey data, with a few other countries for comparison. First off: the percent of people who picked "no religion" when asked to pick their religious denomination. 1/ 2/ So Japanese people are mostly atheists? No. Only 19.1% describe themselves as atheists, compared to 14.3% who answered that they are "religious." More than half - 55.7%- were "not religious."
Jul 25 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
A Fuji TV national poll conducted over the weekend asked people about the government's plan to hold a state funeral for former PM Abe Shinzo: 50.1% supported it, and 46.9% were against it. #国葬fnn.jp/articles/-/393…
Another poll making its way around Twitter today claims 72% opposition to Abe's state funeral. While the Fuji TV poll was a randomized telephone poll, the 373news poll did not use a random sample and was based on responses from its LINE followers. 373news.com/_kotimina/arti…
Jul 22 • 99 tweets • 36 min read
A #JapanPolitics thread: The assassination of former Prime Minister Abe has led to greater attention to the controversial relationship between conservative Japanese politicians and religious groups, particularly the Unification Church. Let's look at what is being reported... 1/ 2/ This is an offshoot of my older thread, which was more focused on media treatment of the assassination. This thread will be more focused on political news, but I recommend you check out the older thread, particularly from post #29 onwards.
A thread: Let's revisit the 2022 Japan Upper House Election poster thread and see how each candidate performed. Who won and who lost? 1/ 2/ It turns out the first candidate I featured, Kuwajima Yasufumi, came in dead last in the Tokyo vote: 1,913（0.0%）- LOSS
More reports about the assassin's motivations, with more vague wording about a "certain group" (特定の団体) that he hated and associated with Abe. This is even more vague than earlier reports that suggested it was a religious group. 1/
2/ Many social media users are filling in the blanks and guessing: one of the trending terms on Twitter in Japan is "Unification Church" - the name of a religious organization founded in Korea that had its Nara branch at the station where Abe was shot.
Jul 8 • 38 tweets • 10 min read
NHK is reporting that Abe Shinzo was apparently shot in the chest while delivering a campaign speech in Nara. A reporter is saying they heard 2 gunshot sounds and saw him fall over, bleeding from his chest. He has been taken away in an ambulance.
The alleged gunman is said to be a middle-aged man and has been apprehended by police.
Jul 6 • 7 tweets • 4 min read
Trouble for the LDP/Komeito coalition? In Okayama Komeito is not endorsing LDP lawmaker Onoda Kimi's re-election campaign. Earlier this year she tweeted that she didn't need Komeito's support. yomiuri.co.jp/election/sangi…
Onoda is a strong supporter of constitutional revision and has aligned herself with the more conservative/nationalistic wing of the LDP. Accordingly, Abe Shinzo and Takaichi Sanae are going to Okayama to help mobilize the conservative vote for Onoda.
Jun 22 • 46 tweets • 22 min read
Interesting Posters of the 2022 Japan Upper House Election- a thread - Over the course of the next couple weeks, I will share what I find to be the most unique, cool, and/or strange candidate posters. First up: the "Nuclear Fusion Party" guy running in Tokyo!
As the name of his party suggests, Kuwajima Yasufumi wants Japan to build fusion reactors. You might recognize him from the unsettlingly weird soundtruck he has driven around Tokyo for years:
Jun 18 • 11 tweets • 7 min read
Japan's 2022 Upper House election is coming up, and there were some political speeches at my station today. This is a photo Matsuda Manabu, a former lawmaker of Ishin no Kai, who is now running as one of the leaders of a new political party, Sanseito. Who are they? 1/
Their website and pamphlets I received today describe Sanseito as a grassroots "DYI" party representing people who support no major parties. If one digs deeper, however, one finds a party consisting of nationalists who think the LDP is too far to the center. 2/
Oct 16, 2021 • 4 tweets • 4 min read
You've probably heard about the Nazi-themed host club that opened in Osaka in September...but have you heard of the Antifa host club? It apparently also opened in September, is 1 minute away from the Nazi host club, and has a similar color scheme for its logo. Coincidence?
The phone numbers are different, and the lists of hosts is different too. Still, it would be a pretty wild coincidence if there was absolutely no relationship between these two host clubs. star-guys.jp/kansai/osakami…star-guys.jp/kansai/osakami…
Oct 31, 2019 • 16 tweets • 11 min read
History Thread: There was a fire at Shuri Castle in Okinawa today - causing great damage to the UNESCO World Heritage site. As many have pointed out, most of the castle dates to 1992. It had to be almost completely rebuilt after being destroyed in World War II.
 During the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, Shuri Castle was a major strong point in the defensive positions set up by the Imperial Japanese Army. When American forces reached the Shuri Line in late May, they encountered some of the toughest fighting of the Okinawa campaign.