Normally, I wouldn’t deign to be defending the Japanese people against their own government, but even I have my limits. Just how many elected ministers will go down in flames insulting their own disaster victims? This is ridiculous.
Here’s the latest example at the Daily Telegraph. Now look, I have some small sympathy for his calling someone who didn’t take shelter with tsunami warnings blaring “idiots,” but that’s not the sort of thing that people want to hear from their elected leaders. Let the idiots rest in peace. Deliberately jabbing the eyes of the living with needles is not just bad politics; it’s terrible for the country.
I will not list the numerous examples of other ministers being idiots themselves in their insulting or mocking disaster victims, or saying things like they’re not sure anyone does have a right to a radiation-free life. (Keep in mind, I’m a nuclear power moderate here, but downplaying the legitimate concerns of ordinary people is in extraordinarily poor taste.)
More to the point, this minister replaced a predecessor who had to step down a mere three months ago for being a jackass to the governor of tsunami-battered Miyagi prefecture. Supposedly the minister berated the governor for being late (I have no idea if he was or not) and refused to even shake the man’s hand.
Notice the American-style apology at the end of the article. That’s one piece of Western culture that should never have migrated eastward.