By far the biggest article on the Japanese internet today was a video of the Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo, losing his temper during a budget committee meeting when questioned by the opposing Democratic Party of Japan about the Japanese constitution. The video was reposted on the 2ch.net blog Itai News, and spread like wildfire around the internet.
Abe, whose pre-election manifesto relied heavily on revision of the Japanese constitution, in particular article nine, was not amused by the DPJ attempts to embarrass him during the televised session. This is also not the first time the DPJ has used a quiz to highlight gaps in the knowledge of LDP members; they also created a media sensation when they gave then Prime Minister Taro Aso a kanji test in 2009.
But netizens have come to the Abe’s defence this time, criticising the DPJ’s tactics as a waste of taxpayers’ money, and stating that the questions are irrelevant to Abe’s political prowess.
The video of the tense questioning of the Prime Minister is included below, along with a translated transcript. Do you think the Prime Minister’s anger was justified? Or was he just trying to divert attention from his ignorance of the Japanese constitution?
From TV Asahi News:
Prime Minister Abe ‘Irritated’ by ‘Constitution Quiz’ During Budget Committee Meeting
During a meeting of the Lower House Budget Committee, Prime Minister Abe inadvertently displayed his anger when questioned about the Japanese constitution.
Democratic Party Representative Konishi Hiroyuki: “So are we to understand, then, that the Prime Minister does not know which article of the Japanese consitution is the article in which comprehensive protection of human rights is established?”
Prime Minister Abe: “Excuse me, but this is hardly a university lecture.”
Democratic Party Representative Konishi Hiroyuki: “So which article is the article of the constitution in which [protection of human rights is] established comprehensive and all-encompassing? Which article of the Japanese constitution is that?
Prime Minister Abe: “First of all, I think it’s better if you stop pointing at people so much.”
And further arrows of criticism flew toward Prime Minister Abe, who clearly showed his irritation at questions that were akin to a quiz on the constitution.
People’s Life Party Representative Mori Yuko: “I would like to advise that the Prime Minister should answer these questions with consideration. If there is some problem, then….”
Prime Minister Abe: “There is no problem.”
People’s Life Party Representative Mori Yuko: “I’m saying that this kind of attitude is haughty.”
Comments from 2ch.net:
So the DPJ are trying their luck with this kind of trick again…
They juat want to go back to taking cheap shots at each other.
I guess they’ve failed this time. Just quit doing it!
Well, the DPJ have a lot of free time these days, so this kind of thing is to be expected.
This is different from the kanji test. It’s because they’re ‘reforming’ the ‘constitution’.
Is it really that important that he memorizes which article of the constitution is which?
They haven’t made any progress since the time when they were giving out kanji quizzes.
Fine if they were asking how he was going to change the content of the article of the constitution, but it’s a meaningless question to ask which article of the constitution is which.
So is the DPJ incapable of asking anything other than questions like this in an important committee meeting like a budget committee meeting?
But isn’t it better if he could just answer questions like this for the time being? Because the DPJ are just trying to trip Abe up and bring the LDP down.
But even if he’d answered “It’s article 13″, the next question would be ‘And what does that article say?”
He should just have taken his smart phone out in front of them and checked the answer.
Comments from Twitter:
I think that the members of the Diet should really consider the reason what they’re sitting there to discuss.
まんさく＠ 蒲公英 :
Are they idiots, having a quiz in the middle of a parliament session?
There’s no need to meet the low standards of these bastards.
Even if they can do the quiz, we can see that they are incapable and can’t do politics, so this is only going to invite opposition, I suppose…I mean, what are they doing, asking questions like this at such a busy time?
When they gave Aso Taro the Kanji test, and the media caught on to it in a big way, I thought ‘Poor Aso, getting grief for stuff that is totally unrelated to politics’, but I wonder how they will deal with things this time…
The DJP really doesn’t do ‘politics’.
What are they doing, these guys…When I think that they are using tax money when they are giving quizzes like this, and trying to trip up the LDP, then I really want to slap them.
Arrest supporters of the DPJ — doesn’t matter if it’s an unrelated matter or a false charge.
What the hell is this…
The DPJ just won’t think of Japan.
I 100% understand that Abe was irritated by this, but answer properly, you’re the one saying let’s revise the constitution.
Rather than saying he was enraged, I think it’s better to say Abe was fed up. The DPJ is full of idiots. We already knew that, though.