‘Shut It, Old Hag’ Politician Under Fire For Online Comments

Hirai Takuya, LDP politician, comes under fire for Nico Nico Douga comments

The Japanese video sharing site Nico Nico Douga is often cited as a “Japanese version of YouTube”, but there is one key difference: Nico Nico Douga allows viewers to post their comments to the video itself, so that if you were to post a comment during a live internet broadcast, for example, it would immediately appear across the screen, along with your user ID.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) politician and head of the party’s Internet Media Divison, Hirai Takuya recently fell foul of this special feature of the video sharing site, when he posted derogatory remarks about the leaders of other political parties during a leadership debate that was broadcast live online.

While Hirai insists that his remarks were nothing more than the usual parliamentary jeers that are common during Diet sessions, netizens strongly disagree with his behaviour, and this short article from the Tokyo Shimbun quickly became one of the most controversial articles of the weekend.

From Tokyo Shimbun:

Director of LDP Internet Media Division Hirai Takuya Posts Comments Online During Party Leaders’ Debate; Says “Shut It, Old Hag” When Social Democratic Party Leader Fukushima Mizuho Speaks

On June 28, Representative Hirai Takuya, Director of the LDP’s Internet Media Division, posted derogatory remarks online about the other party leaders during a live internet broadcast of the party leaders’ debate.

The live internet broadcast was held on the video site “Nico Nico Douga”, and has a feature where messages posted by smartphone or by computer instantaneously move across the screen as the video is playing. This also has an effect on the tone of the video.

Hirai, who was listening to the debates at the broadcast hub, used his smartphone to post comments like “Shut it, old hag!” when the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Fukushima Mizuho, was making her opening remarks in the debate, and “Hashimoto’s bolted, eh?”, when it was announced that the co-leader of the Japan Restoration Party, Hashimoto Toru, would not attend the debate. On the other hand, when LDP Party leader Prime Minister Abe Shinzo was making his remarks, Hirai sent positive messages like “Abe-pyon, do your best!”.

When interviewed by the Tokyo Shimbun, Hirai stated, “Well, I’m very sorry, but they were just parliamentary jeers. They weren’t supposed to have appeared on the screen”.

Comments from Twitter:

Team☆俊輔☆:

What is this moral degeneration!!
When I think that this person is one of the Diet members responsible for Japanese education…it’s the worst of all!!

除菌マン:

This is hilarious wwwww

Ryu太郎:

And this guy is the head of the LDP’s Internet Media Division. Guess he’s symbolic of the party’s tastes. You can bet that had it been anonymous, he’d have been throwing out all kinds of comments to other LDP politicians, even to Abe “Shut it, fugly”, “Shut it, hag”.

ゆいまある*2013秋毛皮反対デモ香川:

Mr. Hirai, this is rude to all women. As a citizen of Kagawa Prefecture, it’s pathetic. RT @thoton

key:

“Just parliamentary jeers” — riiiight, so if he had really been sitting in the Diet while they were have speaking, he would have actually shouted out “Shut it, old hag”.

amore-felicei:

What he posted were the facts, so I think he needs to apologise!

DDK:

This is a problem because a member of the Diet did it. Kind of get what he meant though…

Chizuko Kubo(脱原発):

Lame.

Atsushi Okawa:

If you read it along with the retweets, it’s even funnier.

[email protected]:

So angry. To think that a person like this gets to decide the laws that affect people’s lives. Unforgivable.

えい:

I think that any voter with a sense of common decency would be really sad to see a member of parliament make remarks like these.

West Tribe:

“Well, I’m very sorry, but they were just parliamentary jeers.” Which is to say that parliamentary jeers are of this base level.

miwa:

Can’t believe he’s a politician. This is a problem.

apa:

Seems like he never thought it’d get found out that he’d written those comments, but it’s such a low thing to do. The fact that he is the internet media division chief means that the LDP probably won’t last long.

チックとコリア(脱原発に一票):

Oh so he’s the LDP internet media chief — yeah, just what I’d expect. The LDP hasn’t changed through the decades. Third generation hereditary politicians.

つぐのすけ:

So the true identity of the netouyo was actually an LDP politician? Makes you wonder. RT @207shin: Same level as the Reconstruction Agency (grrr)

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  • master chief

    these are the people that are leading the country? whats next. use your shoe to smack people in the face? very sad day indeed

  • I find it interesting that JC took comments from Twitter instead of 2chan and Yahoo Japan.

    I bet 2ch’s reaction to this would be “Yeah shut that bitch down!” or something, just like /r/theredpill

  • lonetrey / Dan

    “Shut it, Old hag”… I can think of way worse. I mean, there wasn’t even a curse word.

    I get the feeling that people think politicians everywhere else are to be judged differently than the way we Americans judge our politicians… feels like this “Old hag” thing wouldn’t even have made a ripple in the US news media.

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      Different cultures.

      The equivalent in America would have been him saying “Shut you nigga ass up bitch and get back in the kitchen!”

      • lonetrey / Dan

        Its meaning (“shut it old hag”) is that serious in Japan? o_O

        • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

          Well from what I’m told, the Japanese language can sound offensive without using cuss words. Combined with a rigid society, where everything must be taken with a level of etiquette, a politician saying ‘shut it old hag’ is quite offensive indeed.

        • Jacob Shelton

          Japanese simply lacks a good equivalent to English cursing. Kinda like German’s modal particles Japanese expresses mood through subtle interactions between word choice, register (whether talkin fancyschmancy or humble or so on), certain dialect things too. All in all, nothing really translates about the Japanese way of being rude to English. Not nearly that bad, but worse than the translation. It’s more like he said “shaddap ya old bitch” but really between bitch and hag, and said kinda like a grandpa complaining about the news on tv. Serious, but not quite resign in shame serious.

  • The Enlightened One

    LoL… World leaders… just stupid puppets that companies stuff with money to do as they are told… once in a while they have to pretend to be smart or civilized to fool the public.

    He just got caught being himself.

    • bluesummers

      Good comment.
      I don’t know why everyone’s so shocked. Behind the scenes they’re probably calling the opposition leader dickheads or fags or something.

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