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.
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:
I already knew about the stupidity of Zaitokukai. This isn’t worth talking about.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Here it comes ━━━━━━━━(ﾟ∀ﾟ)━━━━━━━━ !! w
They’re really fighting www
LOL’d at the sudden belligerence wwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
Fucking hilarious wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
So sudden, what the hell w
Lost it at him being like “hey, hey” w
What the hell is this (´･ω･`)
They were even stupider than I expected wwwwww
What is this, a fight between grade schoolers?