Hashimoto Zaitokukai Meeting Ends In Insults, Netizens React

Hashimoto Toru and Sakurai Makoto

Late last month, Japanese netizens took great pleasure when a planned “exchange of ideas” between Osaka mayor Hashimoto Toru and Zaitokukai President Sakurai Makoto was cut very short after the meeting rapidly devolved into an exchange of childish insults.

Zaitokukai, an anti-Korean hate group, is no stranger to media attention, and their leader Sakurai is also known for stirring up scandal. This meeting between Sakurai and Hashimoto was particularly tense because Osaka’s Ikuno Ward is home to one of the largest communities of Zainichi Koreans, and a frequent target of Zaitokukai protests.

Although Hashimoto seemed to be trying to express to Sakurai that Zaitokukai activity in Osaka would no longer be tolerated, netizens have speculated that no one really came out on top in this exchange due to the childish tactics used by both parties.

From Ameba News:

Hashimoto Toru and Zaitokukai President Meet to Exchange Opinions, Immediately Cut Short Due to Verbal Abuse

On October 20, an “exchange of ideas” was held at the Osaka city hall between Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Toru and Sakurai Makoto, president of Citizens against the Special Privileges of the Zainichi (also known as Zaitokukai), with Sakurai giving an interview to the press before the meeting started at 4 p.m. He voiced his objection to NHK cutting important portions of their footage.

Hashimoto arrived a few minutes late to the meeting. In the live coverage of the event, his late arrival was jokingly referred to as the “Miyamoto Musashi strategy” or the “Ganryu-jima tactic.”

From the moment Hashimoto arrived, both parties began to behave belligerently. When Sakurai used the term anta [a familiar form of the word “you”], Hashimoto said, “You shouldn’t use anta with me.” Sakurai then responded, “Well, how about omae [an impolite or derogatory form of the word “you”] then?” which heated things up immediately.

Hashimoto urged an end to hate speech on the part of Zaitokukai, saying, “I’m telling you to stop using that sort of speech in Osaka.” When Sakurai grabbed at Hashimoto, saying things like “shut up, you” and “who the hell are you,” Security Police and other officials forcibly intervened.

Hashimoto said “I’m saying I won’t make allowances for someone like you,” and “Stop making those sorts of speeches in Osaka,” and insisted that “If you say these things to Zainichi who don’t have voting rights, they can’t do anything about it. You should say it to someone with power.”

Hashimoto stated that Zaitokukai is discriminating based on their perception of “nationality,” and commented that if they want to change the system, they should express their opinions to Diet members and file complaints against specific individuals. In response, Sakurai raised the point that Japanese people are also the target of hate speech, and gave South Korean President Park Geun-hye as the name of an individual who should be prosecuted.

Next, Hashimoto said “we don’t need the activity of someone like you in Osaka anyway. I’m saying you should turn to political advocacy and other conventional activities.” When he told Sakurai to “go home,” Sakurai refuted “No, you go home!” Hashimoto then replied, “In Osaka, we have the right to control public facilities, so go home,” to which Sakurai said “Go back to Tobita Shinchi (where Hashimoto once worked as a legal advisor)!”

In the end, the “exchange of ideas,” which was scheduled to last 30 minutes, ended after about 8 minutes.

Comments from Ameba News:

オペラ座のエリックさん:

I already knew about the stupidity of Zaitokukai. This isn’t worth talking about.

刃牙さん:

It seems it was Hashimoto who was ended in this “debate” (if you can call it that). It felt like he thought he couldn’t beat Sakurai in an honest debate, so he avoided the point in question → provoked his opponent (Sakurai) → labelled him as a racist → forced the debate to come to an end. Hashimoto’s behavior wasn’t that of a mayor. It wasn’t much different from stuff like “the threats of Zainichi yakuza and hoodlums.” Hashimoto is certainly an ally to the Zainichi, isn’t he? I am now confident that Hashimoto is an enemy of the Japanese people.

どとれさん:

These two aren’t that different from each other, are they? The important thing is whether they’re doing what’s good for the Japanese people.

テラのんさん:

Hashimoto doesn’t answer Sakurai’s questions properly. He just made these accusatory arguments the whole time, using emotional language that didn’t fit the goal of an exchange of ideas between public figures, saying things like “Don’t you make the mistake of thinking you can go back out into society,” and “You’re a racist!” By all means, please carry out an exchange of ideas about the next topic of welfare, too.

刃牙さん:

From Hashimoto’s perspective, wouldn’t you think he would want to really delve into Zainichi livelihood protection and even the Shitback Crew? It’s because he’s in with Maruhan. The “Osaka city plan” is also to turn over the casino rights to Maruhan, and Hashimoto just wants to take the lion’s share of the profits from those rights. Besides, it seems like when he was a lawyer for Tobita Shinchi he was acting as a lawyer for the Zainichi too. All of this explains Hashimoto’s position. Hashimoto is an enemy of the Japanese people.

のっぽさん:

I was interested in this, but this exchange of ideas was even more lacking in content than I expected… All I can say is that Sakurai is as arrogant and disrespectful as always. With Sakurai, I think if he tried to seriously argue he would inevitably lose, so he makes sure it turns into a fight. Hashimoto is pathetic too for falling for it.

うにくらげさん :

For an exchange of ideas, this is exactly what I expected. But, I think we should appreciate Hashimoto’s stance of going in straight for the kill in the confrontation, which is sort of a change from the usual liberals.

たけおさん:

Well, we don’t really need Zainichi Koreans who boast of a crime rate over three times that of Japanese people, but… (・∀・) People from other countries are the same as Japanese people or worse. When it comes to a real debate, he wouldn’t necessarily win over the mayor. But it’s obvious that the goal was just to get attention from the mass media anyways. It’s pathetic, but I think this one was a win for Zaitokukai.

Q太郎さん:

The crime rate of Japanese people living in Korea is eight times that of Korean people. There were discriminatory comments criticizing the “Zainichi Korean crime rate,” so I had to mention this. To begin with, there aren’t any statistics about crime rates that include only Zainichi Koreans (“oldcomers” who have been in Japan since the war). So the conversation itself of “Zainichi Koreans’ high crime rates” is meaningless.

はせっちさん [in response to above]:

Don’t we have crime statistics based on nationality, though? The crime rate of Japanese people living in Korea is eight times higher? What’s the basis for that?

Comments from 2ch.net:

キャプチュード(大阪府)@\(^o^)/:

Here it comes ━━━━━━━━(゚∀゚)━━━━━━━━ !! w

垂直落下式DDT(東京都)@\(^o^)/:

They’re really fighting www

ラダームーンサルト(やわらか銀行)@\(^o^)/:

LOL’d at the sudden belligerence wwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

アイアンクロー(愛媛県)@\(^o^)/:

Fucking hilarious wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

スターダストプレス(大阪府)@\(^o^)/:

So sudden, what the hell w

ダイビングヘッドバット(岩手県)@\(^o^)/:

Lost it at him being like “hey, hey” w

垂直落下式DDT(東京都)@\(^o^)/:

What the hell is this (´・ω・`)

アイアンフィンガーフロムヘル(埼玉県)@\(^o^)/:

What the hell is this? w Are they grade schoolers? wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

デンジャラスバックドロップ(大阪府)@\(^o^)/:

They were even stupider than I expected wwwwww

河津掛け(埼玉県)@\(^o^)/:

What is this, a fight between grade schoolers?

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  • Dragonballs

    This was just a publicity stunt by the two. Hashimoto and Sakurai have the same racist goals but only disagree on the methods. What Hashimoto did was a publicity stunt, to make himself look like the “softer side” of Japan’s exclusionary nationalism and racism, just for the international organizations that maybe criticizing Japan’s rising nationalism and racism. Hashimoto himself buys into Zaitokukai’s assertions that Koreans in Japan are a problem race to be reckoned with, and buys into the core Zaitokukuai’s goal that Koreans in Japan should not have supposed “special privileges”. Hashimoto is by no means a human rights knight in shining armor. Hashimoto was in this ‘debate’ because the Zaitokukai’s actions made “Japan look bad”, not because they were bad. Hashimoto is sort of like the mob boss who chastises one of his loud underlings who goes overboard. But they both have the ultimate same goals. He wants foreign capital and knows he’ll have a harder time getting it with bad publicity. I wish someone would sit down with the entire Japanese population and explain what the “special privileges” for the Zainichi Koreans actually mean. (There are internet rumors of them receiving discounts from Softbank, for example). But haters don’t need a reason.

    • Guest1

      and 9/11 was an inside job.

      • Dragonballs

        Proven by Hashimoto that he himself subscribes to the silly ideal that there’s some special privilege for Zainichi Koreans. He made a speech that “Koreans should not get this special privilege” – vindicating Sakurai. So instead of discrediting Sakurai, he’s actually advocating and spreading Sakurai’s racist ideals and policies. I see no difference other then the methods. Sakurai is too blunt and in your face for men like Hashimoto who advocate a more subtle and silent type approach for discrimination which is the tradition in Japan. Hashimoto’s main beef with Sakurai is not racism, it’s that Sakurai is making Japan look bad in front of the world. So who’s more dangerous? Men like Sakurai who we know where he stands, or men like Hashimoto who are pretending and hiding behind a mask? I say no difference, both racist nationalists of the same cloths. Remember, Hashimoto is the same Japanese politician one who made those horrible Korean comfort women comments that got printed by world-wide medias.

        • Jurippe

          What you said was essentially the first thing that popped into my head when I first read about this a few weeks ago. But now I’m pretty sure Hashimoto will just say whatever he can to get a few more votes. Probably less racist scumbag and more politiking scumbag.

  • Shikishima
    • :s

    • IlluminatiAsia

      2/10. 2 points for effort.

    • Guest

      This thing Japanese and Koreans have for each other is laughable. I guess the same personality type exists in every country and they’ve always got to blame some group for the faults in the society. From what I’ve read about Africa, it’s the same crap there. In the heartland African countries with mostly just native Africans, the very slightly different-looking Africans are the ones to blame.

      • Small twon

        Said guy who doesn’t have a ball (yes a ball) to show his own ID on the internet.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    For those that missed it, here is the abridged series
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF44JBEC7Ps

  • Balkan

    “…gave South Korean President Park Geun-hye as the name of an individual who should be prosecuted.” Seriously? Japanese courts should prosecute a foreign president? On what grounds? Is she advocating killing and prosecution of Japanese in Korea? Does he seriously expect a Japanese city mayor to arrest the Korean president? Which planet does this person (Sakurai) live on? Hashimoto is more polite, but I’m not so sure that his way of thinking is that much different from Sakuari’s.

  • B

    Who gives a crap about these two brainless monkeys anyway? Jeez.

  • Sillian

    I wonder where some Japanese netizens keep getting the idea that Korean crime rates in Japan are higher than Japanese nationals’ crime rates in Japan. I’ve never seen any stats indicating that. It’s rather the opposite from what I’ve seen.

    http://www.wa-pedia.com/gaijin/foreign_crime_in_japan.shtml

    The Koreans have the lowest crime and offence rate (0.086%) of any non-Western country, which is worth mentioning as they are the single largest group of foreigners in Japan, accounting for 1/3 of all foreign residents.

    That’s from 2003 but I doubt things have changed drastically.

    Also, one netizen in the article said, “The crime rate of Japanese people living in Korea is eight times that of Korean people.” That doesn’t make sense, either.

  • Yo, uninformed Japanese here. Can someone give me some “good” evidence that proves Korean or Zainichi crime rate is lower than Japanese crime rate in japan and by how much? I want to use it to attack racists who say Koreans are the bastards of Japan.

    Also, how about foreigners as a whole? Some racists I’ve encounter claim that most of the crime seen in Japan are committed by foreigners. I remember reading a source that claims it’s the opposite, but I can’t find it anymore. Any help?

  • KoreanPeninsulaDisqus

    Fat guy looks like Dumpling or Chinese dish washer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • relmneiko

    Even if the crime rate of Zainichi were higher, does that even matter? I mean you have to control for things like poverty. Like blacks have a higher incarceration rate in the States but it’s pretty fucking obvious that has a lot to do with racism and poverty. The same goes for Japan. The point is that they’re an oppressed minority.

    I did read somewhere that a large percentage of Yakuza are Zainichi. I’d assume that’s the logical result of feeling like an outsider your whole life. You look for a place to belong… like a gang.

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