Osaka Says ‘NO’ To Racism In Anti-Discrimination Parade

osaka-anti-racism-01

Recent protests in Tokyo and Osaka by organisations such as the Zaitokukai, that seek to alienate minorities, shook ethnic communities within Japan.

But this detailed feature from the mazgazine Gendai Business by the well-known journalist Nishioka Kensuke suggests that citizens are starting to fight back, with a parade to counter the damaging effects of far right-groups on the community taking place in Osaka this month.

On Twitter, many netizens were extremely supportive of the movement, retweeting the article to their friends and supporting the central message of the movement; however, there were also those who felt that the movement itself was discriminatory, and urged others to see the inherent double standards of the citizen’s parade.

From Gendai Business:

“NO” To All Forms Of Discrimination! “OSAKA AGAINST RACISM Be Good To Each Other Parade” Born From “Hate Speech” Counter-Movement.

The gentle rays of sunlight that had just barely shone through the gaps in the clouds at dawn had started to singe the asphalt by noon. On this day, the temperature in Osaka reached 35 °C.

Voices in unison accompanied by light music resounded along the main North-South street of the city, which was enveloped in this sultry heat.

“Let’s do away with discrimination!”

“Let’s be good to each other!”

Behind the audio truck, which was piled high with huge speakers, a banner reads “OSAKA AGAINST RACISM”. Beyond that, people walk with placards that have messages such as “Hate Speech Is Bad”, and “Get Rid Of National Boundaries In Your Heart” written on them, and a group doing the traditional Okinawan dance “Eisa”, and a sound group playing all kinds of instruments follow. Bringing up the rear of the parade is the “Choson Dynasty Music Group”, who are dressed in traditional Korean garb.

Such is the scene at the “OSAKA AGAINST RACISM Let’s Be Good To Each Other Parade”, which was held on July 14, the last Sunday before the forthcoming Upper House elections.

On the middle day of a three day holiday, people going along the roadside stop at the bustling, colourful 700-strong crowd that has suddenly appeared in Midōsuji, which is crowded with families and couples, and foreign tourists passing by respond to the crowd with peace signs.

osaka-anti-racism-02

• A Counter Movement Against “Dirty Words”

Yet just two months earlier, words of hate had been spread through this main street in Osaka.

“Murder Koreans!”

“Oust The Zainichi From Japan!”

This was the hate speech (expressions that scorn people due to their inherent characteristics due of their race or ethnicity, to incite feelings of discrimination or hate) of racists from the “Zaitokukai” (Citizens Against Special Privileges of Zainichi Koreans).

These “dirty words”, which up to now had filled internet message boards, started to flow out into the streets of Shinokubo in Tokyo and Tsuruhashi in Osaka, where many Zainichi South Koreans and North Koreans (hereafter abbreviated as “Zainichi”) and a lot of newcomers to Japan live. And these were the incidents that began to upset those who live in these areas, and those who pass through these areas from the beginning of the year.

How the “main culprits” of the hate crime, the Zaitokukai and the so called “Netouyo” (internet right-wingers) came into being, how they behave and their specific ways of thinking can be found in detail in the book The Internet and Nationalism: Following The “Darkness” Of The Zaitokukai by Koichi Yasuda (published by Kodansha), but since around February, there have been movements in Tokyo and Kansai to stop the hate speech by these groups.

People who were no longer able to simply leave the Zaitokukai to spread hate and discrimination freely throughout the city started to face up the haters in the streets, and began to try and stop them from making hate speech. This is what is often called a “counter-action”.

As the name “counteraction” suggests, the activities are organised to take on demonstrations and campaigns using loudspeaker cars, but now the numbers of participants have increased so much that it easily outweighs the number of racists.

Born out of these counter actions was the parade that took place today in Osaka.

osaka-anti-racism-03

• A “Parade” That Sends A Message

The organizers of the parade were those that belong to a younger group of Zainichi and Japanese. Mr. S(41), works as a colour coordinator and is a 3rd generation Korean, and Mr. I (32), who studies nationalism in a private graduate school in the Kansai area.

The two met at one of the counter actions against the Zaitokukai that took place in Karasumaoike and Shijo Kawaramachi, Kyoto on April 20 this year.

Mr. S says: “The first time I took part in the counter action was on the March 31 in Tsuruhashi. (Which was against a loud speaker campaign by the Zaitokukai.) Until then I did criticize the ridiculous speeches made by the Zaitokukai and Netouyo over the internet. However since work was busy, I couldn’t participate (in the counter actions) much. When I did go and experience first hand the hate speech on the streets, I strongly felt that I couldn’t let these people spread hate and racism. So I started going about once in two weeks to counteract against these demonstrations and campaigns.

There, I met Mr. I, and got to know him, and around May, after the Golden Week I asked him if we could “organize something like a parade”. Although I think that counter actions are important, the main goal is to stop hate speech. So it is hard to convey to those around us why we’re doing this and there’s no time for it. So I thought that there needs to be a chance for us to send out our own messages.”

On the other hand, Mr. I says that he first attended a counter action on February 24, where the Zaitokukai and others went on a ”National Parade for Japan Korea Diplomatic Relations Severance” that took place in Tsuruhashi.

During the demonstration, a middle school girl made a speech saying “I hate (the Zainichi) them so much. I want to kill them”, “If you keep behaving like this, I will start not a Nanjing Massacre but a “Tsuruhashi Massacre”.

The public was shocked by the tender age of the speaker and its horrid content, which drew attention of the public to hate speech.

“Since then, i continued to participate in the counter actions on March 24 in Midosuji, and on March 31 in Tsuruhashi. What surprised me was that even in Tsuruhashi, once you go one street deeper into the town, there were people who didn’t have any idea that these demonstrations and campaigns even took place.

However, when I show the locals the videos of the demonstrations and campaigns that actually took place in Tsuruhashi, they all are surprised.

Since I thought it would be important to let the locals know what the Zaitokukai is saying and the contents of the hate speech, I agreed to the suggestion by S san about a “parade” which would allow us to send out our own message.”

osaka-anti-racism-04

• “We Don’t Allow Racism”

However, in the mere two months between Mr. S suggesting to Mr. I at the beginning of Golden Week that they have a parade and July, when the parade was actually held, the situation around them changed dramatically.

On May 7, when the Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo, was asked about hate speech in the House of Councillors, he answered that “It is highly regrettable that there are acts and speech that try to exclude certain nations and ethnic groups”.

Furthermore, the Minister of Justice, Tanigaki Sadakazu also stated on the 9th May that “This is highly concerning. This goes right against the notion as a noble nation”.

He later stated at a press conference that “Not only does this give people anxiety and disgust, it may also beget racism. This is extremely regrettable”.

As if to respond to these statements by the ministers, the police started to strengthen security measures against the demonstrations and campaigns by the Zaitokukai, and even against the counter actors that try to stop their hate speech.

During the Zaitokukai demonstration that took place in Shinokubo, Tokyo on June 16, 200 members of the Zaitokukai and the 350 counter actors faced each other, with some of them getting into skirmishes.

Together with 4 members of the Zaitokukai including their head, Takada Makoto (known as Sakurai), 4 members of the counter actors were arrested on the spot by police for violence.

“STAND AGAINST RACISM” — This flag was born through the counter action in Shinokubo, Tokyo.

On the day of the parade, Mr. I, who led the parade at the front told us:

“Since the arrest of the Zaitokukai members and the counter actors, 4 of them each, made the impression to the media and internet that “both the Zaitokukai and the counter actors are both to blame”.

This is despite the fact that all 4 members of the counter actors are all victims.

There is no way that the racists that repeat hate speech calling the Zainichi “cockroaches”, “parasites”, using words such as “die”, “kill them”, and those who are trying to stop them are “both to blame”.

Since such a thought is spreading, it is important for us to spread our thought through a “parade”, which is not a counter act.”

Mr. S, who was at the very end of the parade heading the “Choson Dynasty Music Group” said the following:

“As Mr. I says, even in Tsuruhashi, there are people who do not know about the Zaitokukai campaigns. Even more so for Osaka city.

I also live in the south part of Osaka city, but most people haven’t even heard of the name Zaitokukai.

However, when I tell them about the contents of hate speech (by the Zaitokukai), they all of course say “That’s not good”.

So I thought for a start I wanted the Osaka people to learn about what crazy things they are saying, as well as sending out a message to the world that ‘we don’t allow racism'”.

osaka-anti-racism-05

• “Osaka City Does Not Allow Any Kind Of Discrimination!”

As the parade neared the end, around 2pm, another disabled people’s group were asking passers by to donate for a event in the Nanba crossing that the parade went through.

It was the secretariat members of the “Senshu TRY 2013”, a parade that aims to legsilate anti-discrimination against disabled persons.

They are aiming to legislate “anti discrimination law against disabled persons”, and to stop the train stations in “Nankai Dentetsu”, which was previously private, to become unmanned. The parade will start on the 25th of August and will take place over a week, where they will walk over 60 km from Misakimachi to Nanba in Osaka.

As the parade crossed the Nanba crossing, when the parade’s MC saw the wheelchaired members, waved and called out to them.

“We are not just against racism! We are saying “NO” to all discrimination, be it sexism or against disabled people! Osaka does not allow any kind of discrimination!”

As if to answer, a woman on an wheelchair went forth up to the street, pushing the lever of her electric wheelchair.

“Let’s be good to each other” “Let’s be good to each other”…

Repeating his words in a small voice, she saw off the parade until the very end passed by.

At the “anti-discrimination” crossing, many different people meet, and syncronise their thoughts…

The “counter actors” against hate speech, the “parade” that was born out of it.

The encircling net cast against the discriminators by “those who do not permit it” is surely being closed.

Nishioka Kensuke

Born in Osaka in 1967. Entered the Kobe Newspaper Company, reported on stories such as the Great Hanshin Earthquake and the Kobe child murders. Later, he became and editor at the magazine “Uwasa no shinso”, a reporter for “Shukan Bunshu”, and “Shukan Gendai”, and is now a freelance journalist. He received the Kodansha Prize for Non-Fiction in 2008, for “Mangrove: What Really Happened When JR East Was Hijacked By Terrorists”.

Comments from Twitter:

本城賢正:

It’s a lie to say that “Osaka won’t permit any form of discrimination!”, it’s really only him and those who think like him who won’t discriminate. So this whole thing is futile.

ぼすけん:

Good job!

渡部真:

This is the kind of thing I’d expect from Nishioka.

[email protected]:

Great article.

石川 公彌子:

A good article where the author’s viewpoint is clearly written without being too forceful RT @biriksk

K*Shige:

The fact that this kind of wonderful movement was barely seen in the news is really sad…★

zkhi :

Rather than “OSAKA AGAINST RACISM”, to write in Japanese that “Osaka doesn’t permit any form of discrimination!” can be understood quickly and clearly by anyone, and has mass appeal (ie, it doesn’t discriminate).

[email protected]GAY 相方募集中!

The beginning of a hot summer. We’re all going to live together. We’re going to live supporting each other. Social exclusion → to social inclusion → to no forms of discrimination.

中国・韓国に媚び媚びのNHKはイラナイ:

Yeah, and meanwhile, in Korea, there are outbreaks of Japanese hunting.

kkttky:

Saying “No” to all forms of discrimination! Those people who insist that we should get rid of “hate speech” “netouyo” “racists” are the people who label others and discriminate. It’s like they’re stupid. But the thing is, it’s going to be dangerous if minorities start supporting them.

chappie:

I’m posting this link because if we don’t keep getting the message of the movement through to the people who didn’t participate, then an anti demonstration movement will be born.

龍翔(りゅうと):

Yeah but they’re saying “Kill the racists”. When are they going to realise that this is a double standard?

伊達邦彦:

Tears were falling at that part about the disabled participants calling out the slogan. It’s pointless if Japan isn’t a country where everyone can live comfortably.

gatemouth café:

An amazing article!

taka:

At any rate, the only people saying this are zainichi Koreans and disabled groups, who can only shout. When they were writing RACISM, that’s discrimination against the elderly who might be uncomfortably with English. w If you’re against discrimination, then how about oppositing “Ladies Day” [a day when women can go to the cinema for 1000 yen] first of all?

日本に革命する力を:

Say NO to all Koreans! @rinda0818

Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • Butsu

    This is fabricated news. All these people were hired by the author of this article.

    • Reila90

      Is that sarcasm?

      • Butsu

        Hah, no.

        • Reila90

          uh ok. downvoted!

          • Butsu

            How nice of you to edit your post @Reila90 when I replied it said “Are you serious?” and now I wake up and it says “Is that sarcasm?”. Splendid, just splendid.

    • Poe’s Law in effect.

      Congrats.

  • Sillian

    Yeah, and meanwhile, in Korea, there are outbreaks of Japanese hunting.

    Lol…that comes from boldly fabricated news from Zakzak. /smh
    http://www.zakzak.co.jp/society/foreign/news/20130717/frn1307170728000-n1.htm

    • chucky3176

      Which is a subsidary of the Senkai News, a major newspaper in Japan – spreading false lies to spread hate.

      Here’s the rough summary of the ridiculous article. It says Korean economy has collapsed due to Japanese tourists staying
      away from Korea, with homeless Koreans on streets filling to the brim,
      with violent crime exploding all over the country. It says that Korea is
      on the brink of total collapse. Korean males are roaming the streets
      hunting down Japanese on streets, with dangerous weapons and beating up
      any Japanese they find, and there is blood on the streets. They call it the “3,4, Japanese hunters’ – three to four Korean guys going around the streets and hunting down Japanese people. It says
      Koreans are stopping to find Japanese and asking them the question about
      Takeshima and Comfort Women and if there’s wrong answer, they try to lynch the
      Japanese. It says the Japanese are exiting out of Korea in mass because
      they are afraid of their lives. This false rumors spread by the Japanese media seems to be spreading throughout Japan currently in mass. It’s ironic because historically, this type of “Japanese Hunting” were done to Koreans during the 1923 Tokyo Kanto Earthquake, and also during the 1950’s and 1960’s Japan when ethnic Koreans were often hunted down by Japanese and beaten/killed. And of course, even today, groups of Japanese hate marchers shout and march that they want to bring back those good old days.

  • Huh, i expected some 2ch responses but i’m glad that there’s some good responses here instead.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    “Yeah, and meanwhile, in Korea, there are outbreaks of Japanese hunting.”

    The ‘he started it’ counter point. A favored tactic of elementary school students.

    • Sillian

      To the netizen’s frustration, the *counter point* isn’t even true.

      • chris mantra

        And you’ll never find anyone in Japan going against the grain and tell the truth, that the false lying media story is not even true. Japanese are like herd of sheep.

        • Sillian

          That’s a false accusation. So what would you say about those counter protesters in the article?

          • chucky3176

            Simple. Probably half of them are Zainichi Koreans mixed in with other half who are Japanese who feel the hate marches against Koreans give Japan a bad reputation to outsiders, especially during the Olympic bid for Tokyo. In other words, they don’t give a shit about racism, they just don’t like Japan looking bad in front of the world.

            Read the prominent Japanese right winger leader, Kunio Suzuki, who opposes the hate marches because it’s making Japan look bad in front of the world (not because he opposes racism but because he’s worried about Japan’s reputation).

            http://mainichi.jp/english/english/perspectives/news/20130624p2a00m0na003000c.html

            Just remember, racial discrimination doesn’t exist in Japan. That is what most Japanese believe. You may think I’m talking out of my ass, but just read article after article on the subject of restricting hate speech in Japan.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-snow/japans-hate-speech_b_3572707.html

            http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2013/0712/Rising-hate-speech-in-Japan-has-even-some-on-far-right-saying-enough

            The racial attacks are mainly against Koreans, which is ironic because of what the Chinese did to the Japanese in China, yet it’s the Koreans in Japan who get attacked by Japanese. When you read these, you’ll notice one thing off the top. The Japanese involved in speaking out against the hate marches always talk about Japan’s reputation in front of the world, and it’s always the major reason why they say they need to restrict hate speech. Typically, they say something like this:

            “I don’t like Koreans, but those anti Korean protesters are ruining Japan’s reputation in the world, they should stop acting like Koreans”.

            They don’t give a fuck about racism, it’s all about keeping a front for Japan Inc – their current promotion by their government backed highly financed program called, “Cool Japan”. “Cool Japan” is a Japanese government promotion to spread the Japanese cultural wave thru the world, like Jpop, anime, Japanese food, Japanese movies, etc.

          • Sillian

            There are all sorts of people and I’m sure some of them deserve good credit without any doubt. I know you’ve been dealing with the netouyo for a while but you are too fixated on negative things…. Humans live in Japan. They do good and bad things like everyone else. The moment you paint them as all bad….how are you different from netouyo?

          • Lill

            He’s not like the netouyu. He doesn’t threaten the lives of the Japanese, he just bluntly points out the contradictions in Japanese nationalist and Japan-obsessed Wapanese thinking. Ex.: when the Japanese extremists protests, this is an “extremely small minority group” protesting in their minds. When a SK citizen does something bad or distasteful, “it’s a reflection of the ENTIRE COUNTRY,” in their minds. However, I do agree that he’s obsessed with the worthless Japanese trolls. The main disagreement I have with Chucky is the fact that I think these netuoyu/Zaik. extremist groups clearly must have some degree of mental illness (I read that one Z. leader said that there were two waves/causes of anti-Korean sentiment in Japan – first because of an “unfair result” in the Italy-SK match in the 2002 World Cup and 2nd because of some vague comments made by Yuna Kim in 2009 in which she never even mentioned any specific country. Does this make any sense whatsoever??? I simply cannot wrap my head around this, it’s actually comical. Does a mentally sane person hold grudges because of some stupid football match from 11 years ago that didn’t even involve your country?) I think if one doesn’t like the Japanese netuoyu/right wingers, I think it’s best to ignore them and stop feeding the Japanese trolls. By responding to them and involving yourself in a nonstop verbal battle with Japanese trolls, one gives them credibility when they have none, and gives them even more motivation to spew their hatred. Their country is irrelevant when compared with China or the US, why give them that power? Let them stew and explode from their hatred.

          • chris

            Ex.: when the Japanese extremists protests, this is an “extremely small minority group” protesting in their minds. When a SK citizen does something bad or distasteful, “it’s a reflection of the ENTIRE COUNTRY,” in their minds.

            um, sorry to break your bubble but isnt that what most of the anti-Japanese commenters here are doing?? like Chucky???

          • Sillian

            You don’t need to explain to me what the netouyo are up to. I know them very well. The problem is that he generalizes Japanese people too broadly when his argument should be directed towards the netouyo and the likes. I’ve said this before but he doesn’t seem to care.

    • symon

      Yet an amazing fact: Something always originates from a source.

  • linette lee

    Kudos to these citizens.

  • death_by_ivory

    Sounds good.Waving flags is one thing,action talks more.

  • Justice
  • Gaga

    bunch of korean commentators spreading hate here against the well intentions of concerned Japanese citizens. i’m sorry that you’re disappointed that not all Japanese are little waenom bastards you guys paint them out to be.

    • Goo Goo

      Bunch?

    • Lill

      “Concerned” Japanese citizens? On yes, dear, they’re EXTREMELY concerned about the image of their country, that’s VERY true. Especially since the vote for the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics is only 1.5 months away. You must extremely naive if you actually believe that just because one “protests” against racism, that there isn’t an underlying, hidden motive(s) for these counter-protests. Abe and right wingers have expressed distaste for the Zaik. protests because it harms the image of their country. This is a nation of sheep, the same people who keep endorsing the right wing nationalist Abe and who kept voting Ishihara into office. It reminds me of the extremely naive foreigners who say “Japanese is the least nationalistic country I have ever seen.” Remember, most people are not stupid enough to threaten mass murder and “re-dos of the Rape of Nanking.” That doesn’t mean they aren’t nationalistic behind the cloak of anonymity on the internet. The underlying current within this country is one of a clear endorsement of the views of right wingers.

      • dumb

        you make many assertions about the Japanese and yet have provided very little proof to back up your allegations. well done.

        • Lill

          You have provided little assertions for your allegations about me as well. Well done.

          • lol

            maybe you should learn to read. where was his allegations against you?

        • Rem

          Proof: September 7th – IOC vote for the 2020 Summer Olympics. One candidate city is Tokyo in the Precious Nippon. Proof: Abe, a right wing nationalist, is resoundingly voted into office and his party maintains its power in recent elections. Proves that this country embraces his nationalist policies. Instead of making vague comments, do some research.

          • [email protected]

            LOL i like how your logic works. Abe is a right wing nationalist. Abe gets voted into office. Japanese voters vote him into office “resoundingly”, never mind the fact that LESS than half of the electorate turned out to vote, never mind the fact that Abe won a simple majority and not a overwhelming majority of the vote, and you label the WHOLE NATION of Japan a racist, right wing fascist state. Your logical thinking is so farcical i don’t even know where to start.

  • y.m.

    “Say no to racism” No one cares what their race is, its all about nationality. Its about whether you’re a Japanese citizen or a foreigner. Those zainichi people can live happily if they become naturalized Japanese or if they simply go back to their home country.

    • m.y.

      Nonsense. One of the biggest beefs that Japanese have towards Koreans is that the Zainichi Koreans are pretending to be Japanese when they’re not, trying to fool the Japanese by taking Japanese names, saying falsely that they’re Japanese when they’re not, and so on and so forth.

      • Logan

        Are you an idiot? You do realize that the Japanese government required anyone who became a citizen to take a Japanese name until fairly recently? I think for a long time, Zainichi couldn’t even become citizens but still had to be take Japanese names.

  • anon

    That was a good article. Being against discrimination is always a good thing. Also, its funny how the related posts right below it are all anti-this articles.

  • Stalin

    I m against racism. Of course, kill a few more koreans wont hurt. South koreas i mean, north is friendly

    • MeCampbell30

      I give you a B for effort.

  • bluesummers

    You will never have a qt3.14 Zainichi girlfriend who’s confused about her own identity telling Japanese people to stop being racist through the guise of naturalized Japanese people.

    ….damnit T_T

  • someguy

    Ah yes, Osaka. Good to know there are some people there who oppose racism. Too bad the recent election results showed Osaka still supporting the far right wing party JRP. I guess these protestors are in the very small minority.

  • dk2020

    What about hapa Korean Japanese? I’m sure there’s quite a few ..

  • ugo

    Sorry, I don’t buy it. Leftism and extreme egalitarianism is far more harmful to a nation than racism.

    How would Koreans feel if there was 1 million permanent ethnic Japanese in their country? It’s easy to claim the moral high ground when they don’t have to deal with it.

    The real problem here isn’t so much inter-Asian strife, it’s the infection of leftist thinking from the West. I guarantee you Koreans and Chinese will feel just as defensive if put in the same position where we feel our countries are being threatened by the presence of too many outsiders. Speaking as a Chinese nationalist, I fully support other nationalists in all three east Asian countries when it comes to resisting multiculturalism.

    • Thor

      You, sir, are an idiot. There’s nothing on Earth you can actually build upon racism unless basing an entire society over crime, mass murder and eventually self destruction, i.e. what Hitler and Tojo did when they were at the controls. Humans are basically the same everywhere. If I hit any with a knife, he or she will bleed, wherever he or she comes from. So multiculturalism is the only possible direction fot mankind, whether you like it or not, It began centuries ago and with aircrafts and so on, it will keep on going whatever happens. Bring on some new genes !

    • ugo, as a “Chinese nationalist”, are you a citizen of China? Or Taiwan?

      Please do share your residence/citizenship. I’m sure I needn’t inform you that you sound like a native Anglophone and therefore sound suspiciously like an American/Canadian/Australian/etc. of Chinese descent––perhaps Singaporean or Malaysian at best.

    • chucky3176

      Japan has less than 570,000 ethnic Koreans who were born in Japan. Most of them were brought over to Japan during WWII, and not under the guise of multiculturalism in 21st century. The Chinese immigrants on the other hand, as newcomers, have rapidly grown over the last few years, and are now represent as the largest number of foreign nationals living in Japan, at 675,000, yet still growing rapidly as Japan looks to Chinese immigrants to fill the cheap labor jobs.

      http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/14/the-new-japanese-worker-is-chinese/?_r=0

    • Zappa Frank

      how should feel westerners countries were chinese are by far more than one milion? As nationalist why don’t you start taking them back?

  • com-chan

    Can’t we all embrace the fact that Japan is trying to do something positive? I think sites like these (JapanCrush, KoreaBang, ChinaSmack) all need to have more positive articles about the current Asian relationship. Frankly, I am disgusted by all the hatred we (the readers here) are spreading or perpetuating. Even on this article where it shows that there are a lot of Japanese people who would love to have a good relationship with Korea, our comments here only points to the Extremist-Right commentators! Is that really going to help the Tri-Asian relationship? Or are we persisting the problem even further?

    • I don’t think blame should be cast on jcrush/kbang/csmack. These sites claim that their standard practice is to feature whatever stories and comments are most popular, so provided this is what they’re doing, I wouldn’t want them to subjectively pursue an agenda of opting for more “positive” stories. It’s not their fault if nationalism happens to have a disproportionately large presence in these countries’ online communities.

      • com-chan

        But the problem is, nationalism and discrimination is bleeding into this community as well; giving us a distorted sense of what the Asian-Relation is really like. And popular stories are too subjective, if you get your news source for Fox news as opposed to MSNBC you’ll have a different set of popular stories. And I think moderate filtering should be considered for jcrush + others. 4chan faced this problem too back in the day, which is freedom of expression will become cancerous if it is not controlled. And I don’t think it’s worth it to have a community full of bigotry and stereotypes just to report what’s popular with the vocal minority.

        • Well, that’s why it’s important for these sister sites to draw material from a variety of different sources, but nonetheless I really don’t want what I see to be filtered at all. I don’t particularly care what the Japanese and Koreans think about each other, but as an American of Chinese ancestry, I *do* want to see what Japanese and Korean netizens really think of Americans and Chinese, and what Chinese netizens really think of Americans. If they are virulently anti-Chinese/American/etc., so be it––I want to know that. These three sites aren’t particularly famous, so I don’t think it’s really that big of a deal if hostilities spill onto them as well. If anything, it adds another layer of witnessing what netizens––albeit of a different demographic––think of each other.

          Of course, an intelligent person will know not to extrapolate the sentiments on these websites onto their respective countries’ entire populations, but these sister sites can’t be held responsible if for those who are too intellectually immature to make that distinction.

          • besudesu

            Matt, can you just write all my replies?

        • besudesu

          Our policy is not to filter the news. We do gather articles from a variety of sources, and as it happens this past week or so, a lot of the popular articles have been political. We have no control over that. There is absolutely no emphasis on cherry picking articles or comments that rile people up; that is not the purpose of this site.

          • com-chan

            Oh thanks for the reply, it’s nice to hear directly for the moderators of this site. I love this site and what you are doing, albeit there is a growing negativity in the community but I know you guys are not involved in incubating it and I don’t want to make our debate seem like I’m putting the blame on you or Japancrush.

            So is there a sort algorithm for finding articles? You say you don’t “cherrypick” but what kind of methods do you use to pick which article gets translated and which doesn’t? Do you just find the Top rate article on an aggregation site? I noticed that you don’t usually have much articles from Niche-audience sites. Like sites that are solely catered to a kind of audience such as Otaku or fashion/style enthusiast. I think it’ll be enjoyable to be able to read so of those articles once-in-a-while to get a deeper understand of the Japanese Lifestyle from a Micro scale rather than a Macro one.

          • besudesu

            I’m glad you enjoy the site. We definitely don’t intend to incubate any kind of hatred towards Japan — if anything I always hope that the site will show just how diverse Japan, and the opinions within it, really are. We’re not trying to represent Japan as a whole though. And as long as I’m here, that will never be the aim.

            As for finding articles, there are some site that aggregate the amount of sns attention that articles are getting, there are blogs that show the number of comments, and if you spend hours each day just looking at various blogs and aggregation sites, it soon becomes fairly clear which articles are attracting online attention. But it’s not a science; and we’re limited sometimes by the fact that we focus on giving the netizen response. And Japan differs slightly from Korea in that sense, since you can have a lot of articles that are being read a lot, but that just don’t get commented on — either because there’s nothing to say about them (ie the Tigers won a baseball match; lots of hits but not particularly interesting) or because the website will not allow comments for that particular article. The approach is far less uniform, which is why we see netizen niches develop in different 2ch blogs and on Yahoo! Japan, for example. Some days are slow days, when there are no standouts; other days there will be an article that goes viral and will appear everywhere.

            As for specialist sites, I think that these show a very interesting side of Japan, and I’ll certainly take on board your recommendation that we include some more of that. The only problem being, of course, is that if these are not attracting a lot of online attention, then we can (and I probably will be, as usual) accused of filtering the news…..(>_<)

          • com-chan

            I don’t particular care if you filter what comes through your site as long as you don’t have any agenda. I think you’ll have to have some kind of moderate filtering in the near future when this site gets big and make it to news outlets such as CNN, HNK, or Daily Yomiuri. Especially Japanese attention, where they could see our comments and take a wrong view on how we view the Japanese Society.

            My views are mostly influenced by Youtube commentators, such as Hikosaemon and GimmieABreakMan. Which means I have more of a pro-Japanese view. To give you a perspective, I believe Takeshima is Japan’s island based on past evidence and China’s previous acknowledgement before oil was found on it.

            I also grew up in China, where from small I was taught to hate the Japanese. I never could understand the hate that other older Chinese Citizens have against the Japanese. For me, the war was long over and the new generation shouldn’t have to bear the burden of their fathers. I believe revenge is not the answer to China’s problem and I hope not to see bloodshed again from these two countries.

            I know you guys are trying to make this site fair, honest, and unbiased. However, you have to see that discrimination/stereotyping exist here in the community, right? Is being unbiased really solve the problem? I feel like those problem are not addressed properly. It’s like saying, “Well we are fair and honest so there is nothing we can do about it.”

            I want to be able to show my Japanese friends, “hey here is a cool English site that talks about Japan!” And not have to worry about if they are offended or not on how Gaijins are stereotyping Japan in the comments below.

            Maybe that beyond JapanCrush’s capabilities, and I understand it is hard to fix. Most news sites simply don’t allow comments for the same reason. Through my comments, I simply wish for JapanCrush to know that this problem exist and there is a needy to address it properly.

            If you make it this far, then thanks for reading. 😛

            Btw, I hate debates because they never led to anywhere nor anyone will be willing to comprise. It ends up being a series of finger-pointing and misunderstandings. I hope my message is clear; it takes me forever to write these long comments since I try to not agitate the situation anymore than it is.

          • besudesu

            I take your point about moderation of comments, however it is generally our policy to allow people to speak their minds provided that they are not violating our moderation policy, which you can find on our FAQ page.
            As for showing Japanese friends articles from the site, you know, if we believe in anything here it’s transparency. Some of the Japanese comments aren’t particularly nice, and neither are the comments posted here in English. What this shows us is that actually, we’re not that different after all. There is no need to apologise for any of it unless you genuinely believe that the commenters here represent all of the English-speaking world and that the comments in the articles we translate represent all of the Japanese-speaking world. But in actual fact neither of those beliefs could be said to be empirically true.
            You as an individual have a pro-Japanese view, others have anti-Japanese views or pro-Korea, pro-China views. japanCRUSH has no view on this; we are only concerned with making trending articles in Japan available in English along with the comments they received. The aim is that our readers can see the pages as a Japanese reader would — just in a language they can understand, and begin to engage with them. It’s as simple as that.

          • com-chan

            Alright, I’ll take your point. My opinion still differ but this is your site so you make the decision. Thanks for having this conversation with me, maybe in the future you might share my view as well. But until then, I respect your opinion and I’ll continue reading this site. ^_^

          • besudesu

            Good to hear! Let’s see how the site develops. Don’t be frightened to share opinions along the way (^ – ^)

          • foew

            not true. Chinasmack moderates comments and prevents non-registered users from posting anonymous trollish comments. I don’t see why JapanCrush does not implement the same moderation standards here as well.

          • besudesu

            Our moderation policies are exactly the same. The site does get moderated; the standards are the same. chinaSMACK is a far larger site, and has dedicated moderators. We don’t have that luxury at the moment.

  • Hairee Pothead

    They say they are Anti-Racist. What they really are is Anti-White.

    Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White.

Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»