Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I met Tony Laszlo today who pointed out an analysis on Isshoof an article by Governor Ishihara which appeared on the front page of the Sankei Shimbun (one of Japan's biggest newspapers) back in May. I didn't see it covered in any English media so I thought I'd point it out.

Ishihara has done some great things for Tokyo, but he is still publicly anti-foreigner in case you had any doubts. Can you imagine Mayor Bloomberg getting away with saying this on the front page of the New York Times? And the Sankei has more circulation than the NYT...

Like Don Park, this makes me want to apologize on behalf of my country.

Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara

"Japan - Defend your Internal Flank!" (Nihon yo - Uchinaru Bouei wo), a column by Tokyo Governor ISHIHARA Shintaro which appeared on the front page of the May 8, 2001 Sankei Shimbun

In due course, the perpetrators were captured, and, just as had been suspected, the crime was one of revenge among Chinese criminals. There is fear--and not without cause--that it will not be long before the entire nature of Japanese society itself will be altered by the spread of this type of crime that is indicative of the ethnic DNA [of the Chinese].


I would love to ask Ishihara about the Yakuza.


I just saw this news:

and this:

I don't think it's simple a case about anti-foreigner. I've ever talked frankly with some Japanese friends about history and future, also about Ishihara . If such guy and his remark is the mainstream of Japan's policitics, I won't believe there is bright future for Japan's building good relationship with other Asian countries.

BTW, although I appreciate Joi's attitude, I'm skeptical about other's in Japan.

Had a great time chatting with Joi. Very happy to see that his moblog trigger finger caught me with both eyes open rather than in mid-blink.
We touched upon, among other things, some copyright-related topics. I am currently preparing articles on copyright and the Internet, you see. The "Hotel Junkies" decision of last year is one that I find particularly intriguing; I am now taking a closer look at the case. It turns out that there is a short English news story up on the web, here.
Is there a place for a system utilizing Creative Commons in Japan?

As Chinese, I have to say,70 years ago,all japanese had "war criminal DNA"!

I am a college student, also a weblogger .In China,It may happen that most of Chinese youth are chasing after Japan's pop culture;but the point is that we all Chinese never forget the history!

yes,maybe it's true that "Japan is reinventing superpower—again".But when it came to Japanese attitude towards history,Japan is nothing !

JOI , you should visit this one :

Gas victims demand Japan compensation!!!

Speaking of genetics, equal distribution of idiots and assholes across national and ethnic boundaries is a good indication that they are common genetic defects.

Don Park,

Nice rebuttal!


Ever hear of Tibet?


Ishihara-san is always doing this kind of stuff so this one does not come as a surprise. I followed your link but could not find the article mentioned. Also what was the context? I'm going to guess it was regarding the recent crackdown on illegal immigrants and gang violence in Shinjuku's Kabukucho district.

While it may not be policially correct to point this out, the fact is the overwhelming majority of shootings, stabbings and robberies in this area are traced back to Chinese gangs. Does that mean Chinese have "criminal DNA"? Obviously not.

I'd also be willing to venture that Ishihara-san's while attitude may be reflective of his generation, attitudes are changing.

BTW, since when is Sakei Shimbun one of Japan's biggest newspapers? Last time I checked it was a "sports paper" and a right wing one at that. Most of its age 50+ readers may well agree with Ishihara-san's comments. He may not be "PC" but he knows how to play to his target audience.

Chris, there is a translation if you follow the link.

The Sankei Shimbun has over 3M circulation I think. 3X of USA Today. They are the newspaper of the Fuji-Sankei Group which also owns FujiTV.

Ishihara's statement of "minzoku-teki DNA" is just a fancy word for 'culture'. I see no assertation of inherent criminality in the Chinese individual, but the age-old Japanese mistrust of Chinese "cultural" corruption -- graft, and random street-crime.

Having lived in Tokyo 1992-2000, I can safely say the #1 street-crime issue was Chinese-national cutpurses.

Of course, the yakuza and whole sex-worker subculture is a serious cultural issue that the Japanese themselves have yet to deal with.

Hi~ nowadays here are lots of talks about 'Blogging' and 'Moblogging' in Korea. Googling 'Moblogging' leads me to Joi Ito's Web, full of interesting topics and comments. Happy to be connected with this blog.

You know if this guy was a US politico they would be roasting him like takoyaki.

Hmmmm,,, reminds me of another 'Ishihara-ism'

‘The most harmful thing that civilisation has brought about is baba (old hags). It is sinful for a woman to continue to live after she loses her reproductive capacity’
Shintaro Ishihara, Governor of Tokyo

And who supports this small minded, ignorant fool?

I think that this is a very sad, scary comment, especially given the denial that the Japanese government is still showing over the crimes committed in and before World War II. He has a lot of nerve. I hope that some intelligent Chinese person tells him off like he deserves. If I were Japanese I would vote to have him impeached for his insensitivity. This is up there with the shrine visits and rape parties as a huge embarassment to Japan, I'd guess. Joi, thank you for mentioning this.

Joi (and others interested), you might find a posting I made about this month's (October) issue of Bungei Shunju which you may have seen advertised here and about. I wrote a (perhaps overly long) article on 4 of 25 historical essays found in the issue here:


Ive read so much about ishihara. Now that small first letter in his name is intended. why? because he has got such a small brain i cant believe most japanese continue to vote for him.

i dunno if his stinging comments are a way to gain popularity (remember, bad publicity is still publicity) or just plainly unbased, unresearched and unintellectual. japanese people voting for him shows a very clear picture of how the nationalistic japanese people can easily be swayed by a nincompoop. ishihara really knows how to play his cards, or should i say pry on the nationalist pride of the japanese. so sad.

if the japanese dont realize that an idiot is in top office, i wonder what will happen to japan in the near future regarding their relations with other countries.

So many other nationalities love japan, her culture and her people, but japan is driving them away! now what do you call that? self-infliction of doom.

Amusingly, it turns out that a large proportion of ethnic Japanese have a gene linked to anti-social behavior in other societies. The research is Western, mind you. For me, two conclusions follow: first, this is really the pot calling the kettle black, and second, it's really commendable that the crime rates in Japan are so low.

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