Along with the recent news that the Chinese army has been told to ‘prepare for war’, it seems that the political posturing of both Japan and China is not over yet. With both nations seeing in new administrations, it’s clear that neither side is prepared to stand down at the risk of damaging their domestic influence.
Japanese defense minister Onodera Itsunori is the latest politician to enter the fray by calling former prime minister Hatoyama Yukio a ‘traitor’ on a television programme. Onodera’s remark came after Hatoyama commented to Chinese officials that the Senkaku Islands should be recognised as disputed territory, rather than Japanese territory, during his trip to China. Interestingly, Hatoyama caused further controversy this week when he apologised for the Nanjing massacre.
The two articles below are extremely short, but both garnered the most comments online when they were published, demonstrating a clear concern among some netizens over Hatoyama’s seemingly reasonable remark.
From MSN Sankei News:
Defense Minister Calls Hatoyama a ‘Traitor’
On the evening of January 17, defense minister Onodera Itsunori gave a scathing criticism of Hatoyama Yukio, who met with Chinese officials in Beijing, for his acknowledgement of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture as being a disputed territory between Japan and China. Onodera stated, ‘This is a huge negative for Japan. At this, China will announce to the world that there is a dispute, and form international opinion. For the first time in a long while, the word ‘traitor’ came to mind’. Onodera spoke on a BS-Fuji news programme.
Defense Minister Onodera: Former Prime Minister Hatoyama is a ‘Traitor’
On the evening of January 17, defense minister Onodera Itsunori appeared on a BS-Fuji television programme, and said that ‘This is a huge negative for Japan. I shouldn’t really say this, but for a moment the word ‘traitor’ came to mind,’ strongly criticising former prime minister Hatoyama Yukio’s remark that ‘It is important to recognise that the Senkaku islands are a disputed territory’.
The defense minister showed his anxiety, saying ‘Although there is no dispute, and (Senkaku) is native Japanese territory, the Chinese will announce to the world that this is what a former Japanese prime minister thinks, and indeed world opinion will be formed as though there really is a dispute’.
Comments from Twitter:
Hatoyama Yukio is a true traitor! Get out of Japan! Let the whole of the Japanese people make it so that there’s no place he can go in Japan. You’ll never open your wise-cracking mouth again.
Damn, so many retweets w. Still, the media are going to ignore it?”
For the Chinese side, there’s no one better than Hatoyama to do exactly as they think he will, he was just the target they were aiming for.
I want them to arrest him, seriously. QT @vmx12f:…so, you’re saying that there’s nothing we can do about the traitor? If we leave him to it, he’ll just carrying on doing the same thing, the fool.
Are there actually any Japanese people who don’t think that Hatoyama’s behaviour, actions or remarks during his visit weren’t traitorous? I think that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration even if you called this an act of terrorism.
I think it would be lovely if he went to live forever on a fishing island as the lighthouse keeper. With his wife. Dove [The 'hato' of Hatoyama's name means 'dove' or 'pigeon'] can make friends with the goats, can’t he.
I understand how he feels, but I don’t think it’s something he should say in public.
Onodera, you said it best! Hatoyama’s absurd remark will bring harm to Japan, it’s a traitorous remark. He should be arrested for treason.
It’s a pretty severe thing for Onodera to say, but it’s true so it can’t be helped.
They’ll just carry on going around apologising for things like the comfort women, the hijacking of JAL flight 472, nuclear power….
I can’t believe Hatoyama…the LDP can relax in their place.
‘Traitor’ means ‘someone who disturbs the nation, someone who harms the nation’
Doesn’t seem like something someone sane would say! His behaviour has been incomprehensible since the moment ex-PM Hatoyama quit his position as a Diet member.
I’m so pissed off.
Good job ～ヽ(‘ω’)ﾉ
It’s really awful if a politician doesn’t think of the influence his remarks will have when made in another country. Japan’s always been shit at diplomatic maneuvering.
Comments from Yahoo!Japan:
He’s exactly right. When he comes back, arrest him and imprison him immediately(ー人ー)
‘Traitor’ — Agreed.
Yes! Hatoyama Yukio is a traitor!
I feel exactly the same way.
Isn’t it obvious [that he's a traitor]!
That idiot former Prime Minister Hatoyama, still causing trouble even though he’s quit as a Diet member.
You said it well, Onodera.
China insists: It’s important to acknowledge that the Senkaku islands are disputed territory. Hatoyama insists: It’s important to acknowledge that the Senkaku islands are a disputed territory. Japanese people insist: The Senkaku islands are not a disputed territory. Hatoyama’s not Japanese.
As Onodera said, Hatoyama’s a traitor.
I guess they can’t suspend his passport～ The sins of the Democratic Party he led are great indeed.
Exactly right. I want to say, don’t come back to Japan, you bastard idiot, but they have to string him up good and proper the minute he gets back.
This man is a monster. A monster who will devour Japan. This situation won’t be over just by saying ‘Hatoyama is an alien, so we don’t know what he’s thinking’ anymore. This is a serious crime, on the same level as that Asahi Shimbun reporter who faked the ‘comfort women’.
So Hatoyama shows his true colours. I wish he’d just disappear with a shout of ‘Long live China!’.
This isn’t just a comment on a television programme, just as Japanese government experts say it, Hatoyama should be formally blamed. I can’t bear to see Japan demeaned any more than this.
Sound argument. That’s how it is.
He’s exactly right.
Even if he comes back to Japan, there’s nowhere for him to go.
( Д) ゜ ゜（gpg…）さん:
He’s worse than a traitor. There’s no word to describe him.