Aso retracts Nazi remarks amid criticism

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  • 21

    sillygirl

    I guess he foot in mouth tastes familiar. How can these so called leaders live with themselves?

  • 6

    bannedacctsam

    Oh brother!

  • 47

    80393

    im taking bets; are they gonna use "regrettable" or "unfortunate" for this one?

  • 7

    caribjustice

    Good grief with this guy. Its like he's deliberately giving fodder to China and Korea. What gives?

  • -3

    A Realist

    The headline and what he said are actually two different things. What he said was that when Japan proposed changing its constitution to allow it to defend itself from aggression just as every other country in the world is allowed to defend itself from foreign aggression, the media and China and Korea immediately pounced on it and accused Japan of being a warmonger. Aso said that Japan should have quietly changed its constitution like the Germany did and all the frothing-at-the-mouth Japan haters would not even noticed. It was really unfortunate that he used the word "Nazi" because all the propagandists and anti-Japanese immediately grab that and compare Japan to Nazi Germany.

  • 17

    Crazedinjapan

    "You are judged by the friends you keep" you know this guy Aso was voted in by the people of Japan ....he makes it really easy for other countries to doubt Japan's sincerity in its apologies or desire to become militarized for the sole purpose of self defense.

  • 9

    Penfold

    sounds about right for a narrow minded dim-wit

  • 22

    Yubaru

    Hey, I have had numerous postings deleted here because I have made the comments that a dictatorship like Hitler is in the offing with Hashimoto playing the role of Hitler.

    I guess I was off, it's Abe that's going to be Hitler, and Aso.....take your pick.

  • -10

    CrazyJoe

    “The German Weimar constitution changed, without being noticed, to the Nazi German constitution. Why don’t we learn from their tactics?” What Aso is trying to say is that when there was so much franticness among the Germans at the time toward Nazism, that was not the right time to revise the constitution but should be discussed when there is tranquility among the populace.

  • 1

    rowiko68

    OMG!!!!!!!

  • 10

    JeffLee

    Many Japanese conservatives, secretly and not-so-secretly, do admire Hitler and the Nazis, if truth be told.

  • 4

    bass4funk

    Seriously, why am I NOT surprised by this guys comments? Actually, probably should have seen it coming from him.

  • 6

    RealityTV

    "Aso says Japan could learn from Nazis on constitutional reforms"

    what he did not learn from Harry S Truman?

  • 12

    Michael Craig

    The man should resign!!

  • 4

    Asianhometown

    It's unfortunate but the world now knows the true colors of Abe and his government. Hope the world will wake up and pay attention. The next conflict will not occur in the Middle East or Europe but Asia. With Japan rearming and China building up their arms, it's a formula for disaster. This situation is exactly what history has shown prior to WWII. nazi came to power, changed the constitution, built up the military and attacked its neighbors. Hope Japan doesn't follow the same path

  • 4

    some14some

    @Asianhometown: It appears that Abe admn will not allow Obama to retire quietly with that Nobel Peace Prize.

  • 7

    Tamarama

    Even if he thought this in a private moment, to actually SAY it in an official capacity is extraordinarily dumb.

    Incomprehensibly dumb.

  • -3

    JoeBigs

    Mr Aso, the Japanese constitution shall be changed to a more modern better one.

    First to be struck, Article 9.

  • 6

    BertieWooster

    You can imagine the heated confrontation in Abe's office.

    "Look" I told you not to talk about that in public!"

    "But you . . . "

    "I know what I said, but I didn't say you can broadcast it! America has Snowden and Manning and we have idiots like you who can't keep their trap shut!"

  • 5

    ohayo206

    Think for a moment about what he said. Now how is this guy a politician? Does he not know this could be interpreted: Yup, those Nazi's sure had some great ideas. He could have remarked using any other historical analogy or example, but why facist Nazism of all things??

  • -15

    Schopenhauer

    Aso only referred to skills of Nazi. There are taboos in the political world they should never refer to. They are Nazi and the war responsibility of the emperor. Even Korea and China which constantly attack Japan on historical issues have never referred to the war responsibility of the emperor. I like Aso he is an honest man.

  • 7

    zenkan

    Ah, I was about to say the same thing - anyone referencing Nazi policy etc. should be viewed with great suspicion. I do agree that by doing so, Aso has shown true colours. Every cloud...

  • 7

    80393

    lets not forget how the nazis changed the constitution: articles 114 (habeas corpus), 115 (inviolability of residence), 117 (correspondence privacy), 118 (freedom of expression /censorship), 123 (assembly), 124 (associations), and 153 (expropriation).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimar_constitution#Hitler.27s_subversion_of_the_Weimar_Constitution

    even if aso is talking about the manner in which the constitution was changed and not the articles themselves, he should think about the big picture before extolling the methods of the nazis.

  • 9

    sfjp330

    Aso also paid alot of worship visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, which hosts shrines of japanese war criminals from WWII, and has openly made excuses for Japan's actions during WWII. this guy is pretty much a strong right wing Japanese nationalist and we all know how that goes when Japan becomes nationalistic.

  • 21

    Guillaume Varès

    It's not the first name this guy refers to the Nazi regime. A few years ago, he paraphrased Hitler when he said during a public speech: "Japan is one nation, one race, one culture". It's easy to dismiss Aso as a moron (which he probably his, based on his record). But this guy is clearly dangerous. It's not a secret, he and some of his friends want to get away with the postwar democratic regime and replace it with a strong State with "Japanese characteristics".

  • -12

    Shankun

    The great medias... What did he say before and after that 'quote'? Because if he had said 'We shouldn't follow this way it would completely change the context unfortunately for the poeple commenting his words. But we won't get a report on that, won't we? Reading news in Japanese he said that there should be a conducted calm dispute between pros and cons of the change...

  • 4

    Aristoman

    At least we know which way he wants Japan to go. Now, Japanese people wake up and throw some protests or ignore as usual.

  • -3

    torosushi

    every country act for their own interests, this is survival in the global economy.

    to be able to command and have the respect of followers, being charismatic and convincing others to follow through your ideology, (be in good or bad) is a skill.....not many people possess,

    should have just use a more positive name as history defined..

  • 3

    toshiko

    Is this one of his famous goofy talks or his ignorance of time? He might not know Nazi era was many generations ago. BTW. I am glad that Monitor deleted that repetitious death threat comments. He might come here with different Facebook siginings, though, I got tired of skipping them when I wanted to read everybody;s comments.

    Abe has to be careful. Even Aso can't read simple kanjis, he want to become Prime Minister again.

  • 13

    NZ2011

    These guys are unbelievable, is this really the best Japan has to offer?

    Even mentioning the Nazis seems nothing more than moronic, even putting the atrocities to one side for a minute (not that they should be forgotten) the whole Nazi thing didn't work out so well for Germany or Japan specifically or the world in general last time around did it......

    I really don't know if these guys have ever thought outside of their own bank accounts and equally close minded circle of friends.

    The only place where Japan should take guidance from Germany is that Germany, as far as the government and most sane citizens are unwavering in their total unquestionable rejection of that part of German history and dangerous dogma, accepting the responsibility and moving forward significantly better with it neighbours.

    Im not suggesting that every speech or meeting with anyone needs to be an apology, but we currently have people in power who want to downplay that part of history and even suggest that Japan needs to be more like it was.

    People aren't responsible for their grandparents or even parents mistakes and crimes but it worth while to remind people once and while that you have no intention of making the same mistakes and that society, the majority at least reject those methods of expansion.

    This doesn't mean I completely disagree with some changes to Japan's constitution, Japan is genuinely facing increasingly aggressive territorial claims from some powerful and well armed neighbours, but to return to the point, referencing Germany during the war and suggesting that Japan should do anything like them is nothing but flame fanning and serious foot in mouth behaviour.

  • 0

    Shankun

    Here's the full passage for those who know Japanese: http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0801/TKY201307310772.html

  • 1

    sfjp330

    NZ2011 Aug. 01, 2013 - 08:21AM JST The only place where Japan should take guidance from Germany is that Germany, as far as the government and most sane citizens are unwavering in their total unquestionable rejection of that part of German history and dangerous dogma, accepting the responsibility and moving forward significantly better with it neighbours.

    Accepting the responsiblity and moving forward? Then there certainly is an argument to be made for a Jewish safe haven following the horrors of the Holocaust after WWII. But why was the responsiblity placed exclusively on the Palestinians, and only on their land, to the exclusion of the very Europeans responsible for the persecution in the first place? Or other European countries’ abominably restrictive immigration policies barring the entry of fleeing Jewish refugees into their own countries?

  • 2

    Czeslaw_SJS

    ................. wow. just wow.

  • 7

    Meguroman

    Well, Japan did ally with the Nazis, did they not? No politician should EVER suggest emulating the Nazis. It will never be perceived in the intended manner. Perception IS reality in politics.

  • -9

    Shankun

    And from the full passage it seems like... he talked about Yasukuni shrine visits, not constitutional reform! He said that it shouldn't be made so much big topic in Japanese media as it's obvious that Chinese and Korean will pick that up and make noise about that (that's true). But he feels obliged to thank those who sacrificed their lives for independent Japan at the same time.

  • 4

    sf2k

    Characterization of personality via blood type was also a Nazi proclivity as noted here before. Know of any country that does that in this day and age? To its credit, Japan abandoned this type of thinking after the wars only to have it revived in the last few decades because no one wanted to question history. So it's not so hard to see in such an environment the undercurrents that keep Aso and his ilk in office. I hope Japan can wake up again and toss them all out, like they did before, but they keep re-electing them in. At what point do we see change or do we see what we see?

  • 4

    kwatt

    It is very shameful that Aso is a deputy prime minister for Japan. He doesn't understand that his remarks always tend to cause political real problems very much. He should be some kind of comedian instead of politician. Hope this man disappears as soon as possible from the congress.

  • 2

    NZ2011

    Sfjp330,

    Sorry perhaps you misinterpreted what I meant or I wasn't clear enough.

    I wasn't talking about the immediate actions or even reparations for any harm caused, I meant that no rational German citizen or politician would want or reminisce for those times in-fact most often the opposite, where as in Japan we have people suggesting revisions on apologies and other completely meaningless rhetoric which is often harmful for regional relations

  • 5

    Joshua Degreiff

    ohh man ....... Geeezzz every time a government from Japan talk and get worse the things everytime why they don't shut up their mouths they don't have nothing to do more ??? I don't get about Japanese people I know they can't express their feeling appropriate way but this is to much.....I don't they supposed to like think before to talk. Seriously is like they don't know with their words can offend people around them I mean is common sense. God forgive them because they don''t know what they are doing.

  • 5

    sfjp330

    Most Japanese have never asked themselves what they did in WWII and the invasion of China was evil. Maybe Japanese culture and society does not really understand what evil is. This attitude will only cause conflict in the region.The Japanese simply refuse to accept their history and deny that Japan was the aggressor in WWII. Odd, isn't it, how Japan has become such an educated, sophisticated power without any emphasis or demand on diversity in schools or the work place. Japan as a country have embraced this asinine concept of "hate speech," we can no longer have meaningful conversations about the real problems in their country. It is quite doubtful the Japanese have any interest in exploring that concept there.

  • 4

    sf2k

    The only laws Japan should emulate are from today's Germany and their laws regarding the unlawful denial of the Holocaust. Similarly if Japan had a similar law regarding their aggressive actions during WWII it would serve the cause of stability and peace.

    Stopping those, foreign or domestic, from having a voice in ruining the chance of everyone moving ahead would be an important step forward by getting rid of the black vans and other activities that only serve a reminder of unfinished business. Aso is a symptom of a larger problem that can no longer be ignored. Ironically yes following German law would help Japan, but modern Germany. The Germany that has moved away from its past versus Japan that is trapped by it.

  • -4

    sengoku38

    In response, the Jewish rights group said: “The only lessons on governance that the world should draw from the Nazi Third Reich is how those in positions of power should not behave”.

    Militarily, I think we can all agree on that. However, the national socialists made significant progress on creating jobs and restarting the economy. I don't think it is reasonable to say we shouldn't study what they did and learn from it just because later on they did some bad things.

  • 4

    OrangeXenon54

    I can't believe these people are allowed to remain in government. If anyone in North America, Europe, or Australia said something like this, the populous and media would be asking for their head on a stick.

    I, too, am becoming convinced more and more that if Japan gets a military, they're going to start making land grabs. With this kind of government with this kind of logic, not too long till an all out war in Asia breaks out.

  • 0

    Citizen2012

    he want to become Prime Minister again.

    Why do we have to hear this ? We should have 0 tolerance, seriously the only answer from the gvt is to resign him, btw he does not plan to be PM again, obviously he wants to become first chancellor of Japan.

  • 1

    kwatt

    The Prime Minister Abe should dismiss this moron Aso from the Cabinet members. This man is a bad politician and a troublemaker making more worse influence all over. But Abe would not dismiss him as their fathers were in good relation.

  • 2

    marcelito

    Once again this just proves that the "gaijin media" don`t understand Japanese way of thinking and culture....Poor Aso kun.....I guess Japan must indeed be "unique" as they always claim and us gaijin just don,t get it and are always "misunderstanding ". It is most regrettable indeed ...aaahh...

  • 2

    Wakarimasen

    If his job description is "annoy the neighbours" he really is doing a great job right now.

  • -5

    tyvtgo1US

    Do it and do it quickly Japan! That would be the best contribution to Asia today along with the addition to the US pivot to Asia. There needs to be a combined joint alliance to balance and counter the aggressive undertakings of China against everyone in Asia. Instead of a threat from China, all needs to turn around and let China again feel the threat. China has become the most belligerent country in modern times.

  • 1

    Manu Datta

    gaffe or Freudian slip?

  • 1

    nedinjapan

    Then I suggest Machiavellianism be added to the subjects taught to Japanese politicians so they can learn what they need to learn from Nazis in academic style.

  • 3

    TokyoTanuki

    I cant wait for this generation of silver spoon-fed moronic dinosaur politicians to die out in Japan. Career politicians and political families are a curse on democracy.

  • 3

    xbauer2002

    The fact that I am no spring chicken myself is the only reason I do not recommend that Mr. Aso, born in 1940, follow his own advice. His party, however, might consider compelling him to undergo certain medical examinations concerning aging and mental acuity.

  • 6

    Jimizo

    Things must be quiet on planet Aso. This is what happens when we see a political career based on cash and connections and rather than abilities. Stunningly stupid and incompetent.

  • 3

    tmarie

    I'd love to say I am shocked and surprised but nothing these days about politics and politicians and how stupid they are here shocks or surprises me anymore.

  • 4

    iWorld

    Based on many things Taro Aso have said, like this, about elderly people and about sex slaves and things he had done, like visiting Yasukuni Shrine , you would think Japanese would voted him out long ago as he would in any functional democracy with free presses.

    But No, this is Japan.

  • 10

    smithinjapan

    Absolutely unbelievable. Only in Japan can this guy continue in power positions after making more mistakes than humanly possible.

    "“The German Weimar constitution changed, without being noticed, to the Nazi German constitution. Why don’t we learn from their tactics?”

    'Without being noticed', eh, Aso? So not only can you not follow the war criminals (like your granddad) that you recommend, you can't do it in a way that goes unnoticed?

  • 6

    NZ2011

    Tokyo Tanuku This something I have held as the hope of a reprieve from some of the said " dinosaurs" unfortunately it seems with equally frightening individuals like Hashimoto in government sadly I'm not sure we will see much positive forward thinking anytime soon.

    If only young Japanese people were politically aware and active.

  • 4

    MumbaiRocks!

    This is a new low, even for a Japanese politician. One cannot help but align with China and Korea in fearing what is to come from Japan.

  • 5

    TheDevilsAssistant

    Aso would look great with a small, square mustache and shiny black boots. What a moron.

  • -2

    Dennis Bauer

    Another smart comment from Aso

  • 3

    tideofiron

    I think this is indicative of what's been happening in Japan in the last ten years or so. Everyone has basically given up on paving a new future for Japan because the institutions in Japan are so hopelessly bankrupt both economically and creatively. Somewhere along the line, people decided instead that it would be best to just live in the past - or an imagined image of the past. Unfortunately, history in Japan has never really been taught honestly so the images don't match with the reality. Look at the latest Hayao Miyazaki movie, where the 1920s and 30s Showa era is represented as a beautiful and peaceful time in Japan with no problems and compare it with the horror of living under state repression and the kempeitei. Ask a Japanese about any of this stuff and they will stare at you blankly and refuse to accept it. It's only the facts they agree with that matter to them.

  • 6

    Steven C. Schulz

    Strictly speaking, the German "Weimar" constitution was not amended by the Nazis. They cleverly utilized it until they had centralized all the power necessary to ignore it. As Hitler said, "I will bury democracy with its own tools."

    So Aso is factually incorrect on top of utterly offensive.

  • -10

    tyvtgo1US

    It is amazing people description of Japan by some, dinasours as leaders etc. etc. etc.. But do these people just block out who has lead China lol, who is leading China.... Where and how these leaders have come from and their continual suppression of rights denied to their people and to build on this, the mind set of those posting with no ability of reason to understand their own supresson by their leaders. Lmao. Shows some very very narrow thinking,and I wonder why that is?????

  • 3

    Pukey2

    tyvtgo1US:

    The topic here is Aso and his admiration of certain aspects of Nazism. Why are you talking about China? Oh, that's right, looking for someone to blame. The fact is, nobody forces this old idiot to open his mouth and put his foot inside it.

    Next time some Japanese politician makes another gaffe, I'll remember to blame Mr Wang. If that doesn't work, I'll blame Mr Kim.

  • 6

    StormR

    Its amazing that people with very little intelligence can even get into politics let alone get this far, but as we all know its about familly ties and the money you have , certainly it's not about common sense, brains, intelligence or smarts.

  • 4

    marcelito

    Well dear , tyvtgo1US The difference is China doesnt exactly have a democratic political system so people dont have much of a choice when "choosing" their leaders. The point is that in supposedly democratic Japan the same blue blood twits keep on getting elected by the people time after time. Not much to "Lmao" about I think..

  • 1

    danalawton1@yahoo.com

    To the people that have a word for everything..... the horse has been repeatedly beaten.... it might require a few more.... but beware the backlash if one too many is swung.... history... history.

  • 9

    Disillusioned

    So, we have Aso, Ishihara, Hashimoto and Abe all making stupid comments which reflect very poorly on Japan and show very little understanding of history or political correctness yet, these are the mullets that the Japanese people voted to run the country? These old fools are gonna ruin Japan, not run it! Otsukare Japan!

  • 8

    StradV

    Please retire from public life. How many times does Japan have to go into damage control when Mr Asou makes unfortunate comments such as this?

  • -14

    nigelboy

    A typical knee-jerk reaction to anything pertaining to Nazi's. But then again, this sells.

    And of course, people soon forget that the amendment stills calls for majority vote by the voting public by national referundum. Aso is simply stating that there needs to be some civility among the public when discussing such issues but it's difficult nowadays when in some contested issues, the minorites tend to make the most noise publicly while the media covers them as if it were the majority. (the use of NPP's, the amendment to right of collective self defense which is a norm in any country as given by the U.N. charter)

  • 2

    gaijinfo

    What's everybody worried about? These fools couldn't change their constitution if their lives depended on it. They've accepted a U.S. written constitution for 60 years, what makes anybody think they're going to change now?

    All J-politicians know how to do is spout hot air and make themselves look like idiots.

  • 5

    Serrano

    "gaffe-prone"

    That's putting it mildly.

  • 6

    toshiko

    Aso hates Hashimoto type family tree. He made headline insulting /burakumin politician he would not appoint., Well, he is arrogant. Once he wanted Emperor to go to Yasukuni Jinja. . Emperor declined. He failed.

  • 4

    warewarenihonjin

    This is so amazing. I am so sad for my Japan that such stupid old fool can speak such a thing. And so sad that Japanese people choose in election to give more power to these men - already failures, but try again?

    So ashame. Please seppuku, for the shame to your country, Mr Stupid.

  • 4

    NZ2011

    tyvtgo1US

    Two things and I mean this absolutely genuinely and not as any kind of insult but to maybe help you see a different pint of view.

    Firstly the attitude you have here I feel is one of the most significant problems that face Japan and the Japanese, this issue faces some other countries too of course, to really move this country forward.

    You can be proud of your country, patriotic and love it very much, but that doesn't mean you should except anything but the absolute best from the elected leaders and for the country. No country, administration, set of rules or even person is perfect, and one might argue that its impossible, so we should be open to criticise the thing which are not good openly and publicly so that we might at least move closer to some ideal.

    I am proud of my country, though I will be the first to admit it has good and bad like everywhere and where there is demonstrated ignorance, inequality or injustice it should be addressed.

    Secondly this has nothing to do with China so I don't understand the comparison. China has economic issues, political issues, pollution issues, human right issues and so on and so on, but that has nothing to do with Japanese politicians who don't seem to be able to open their mouths without saying something outrageous.

    There are a few options as to this particular issue, either these guys really believe the things they say or they are mentally unstable, which is a pretty poor indictment on the Japanese political system, in that either "the people" agree with what these guys say or have no power or choice to elect better representatives.

  • -5

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    No one should complain about china military expansion now, their doing it to avoid what happened in Nanking.

  • 9

    Saxon Salute

    nigelboy, I don't think anyone is forgetting that a referendum is required, and most think that the Japanese will probably not vote to change the constitution. That's not what this story is about, even if you want to spin it that way. People are bemoaning the fact that an idiot failed leader like Mr. Aso, who once managed to be the least popular PM in post-war history despite his family money from using slaves in mines, is currently the deputy PM of the world's 3rd largest economy. This is despite him not having yet recovered from his condition of being a complete arse.

  • 3

    ares7

    Oh yes...proof nobility does not always bare the smartest fruit from the tree.

  • 2

    Jeffrey Rolek

    Here's what I've learned about the policies of the Nazis.

    The election of Adolf Hitler, The destruction of the presidency, The creation of the Nuremberg Laws, And the beginning process of the "Final Solution".

    The German people of today are now calling the Nazi policies as "The great democratic failure".

  • 1

    GW

    Ah once again another in a LONG LINE of embarrassing moments to be living in Japan!

    Shame on you aso! Your an embarrassment to the entire human race, please take abe, hashimoto & ishihara & take a walk & never return!

    Folks, its time to dust off & re-look at those exit strategies, Japan continues its nose dive at an alarming rate!

  • -1

    NZ2011

    TigerInThe_Hermitage

    That is just hyperbole.. Despite the fact there are some clearly irrational closed minded people in power in Japan, the general modern Japanese public in no way inclined in anyway to go to war or invade anyone.

    A Chinese military buildup is an issue, and surely a calculated one, leaving other countries in the region with little choice but to respond. Japan may well have to change its constitution but with threats from North Korea, and a significantly more territorially aggressive China I can't say I wouldn't be considering the same if I was in power too, I would just try to do it without saying provocative outdated things every second statement.

  • 4

    darknuts

    A change to the constitution should never be "quiet!" Just more proof that the basic principles of Democracy are lost on this guy...

  • 4

    CraigHicks

    @Aso's words:

    "It is thought that Hitler somehow used military power to grab political power. That is completely wrong. Because Hitler was chosen by election. The German people chose Hitler. Please do not be mistaken about this"

    Please be aware of Aso's factual error's:

    Hitler had already "persuaded" the president to declare an emergency, which enabled Hitler as Chancellor to lock arrest and lock up unfriendly opposition, attack oppostion meetings, and ban newspapers before the March 5, 1933 elections [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanfederalelection,March1933].

    Still the Nazis only won 44% percent of the vote. So they bullied the Catholic Center leader Krass into supporting Hitler's "Enabling Act" which would allow Hitler to make law bypassing the Reichstag. During the vote, legislators were surrounded by, and threatened by, Nazi troops; over one hundred legislators were refused admission. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EnablingActof_1933]

    Aso told a very ugly lie.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    Japan CAN defend itself quite freely under article 9 of the constitution. What they can't do is take 'first strike' aggressive action against another country, which is how it should be. I don't trust these imperialistic fogies. If the constitution is changed they will start lobbing shells at any foreign vessel or plane the comes within Cooee of the land of the falling yen. Statements that come from these old fools are not gaffs! They are how these old twits think!

  • 5

    CH3CHO

    What Aso actually talked is reported here. http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0801/TKY201307310772.html

    My translation

    I hear a lot of stories now about the 2/3, but in Germany Hitler managed to come forward through democracy by gaining majority in a lawful congress. He is thought to get power though military power. That was not true at all. He was elected. The nationals of Germany chose Hitler. Do not misunderstand this.

    Furthermore, Hitler managed to came forward even under Weimar constitution, which was the most advanced constitution in Europe at the time. As always, even if the constitution is good, this kind of thing can happen. We have to keep this very very well in our mind. We have been saying that we should properly change the constitution. Then, how it will be operated will be determined by the deeds of voting congresspersons, their beliefs, or their creed in the end.

  • 2

    Yukio Ikeda

    Shame of Japan....

  • 2

    nandakandamanda

    You could only give an example like that if you have had the input. Now we know what books he has on his reading shelf.

    We on JT see one very rich, crusty old gentleman politician spouting off from over-confidence. This is obviously one of this man's pet themes when he is out drinking.

    Unfortunately some Koreans and Chinese fear he may be the mouthpiece of the masses, ie Aso is just the tip of the iceberg.

    The poor old truth will as usual be somewhere in between, but Aso has now handed out free ammunition to those who fear the worst, just like that idiot who briefly waved the Kyokujitsu rayed sun flag in Seoul at the soccer match.

    Sometimes all it takes is one troll, one spark, to stir up trouble.

  • 4

    Michael Craig

    As far I'm concerned, the Japan Self Defense Forces is a true modern Japanese military!

  • -1

    dcog9065

    Haha, out of all the comparisons one could make to highlight his point, he chose the Nazis' transformation of Germany from democracy to autocracy. That's quite hilarious actually.

    His jibe about South Korea and China coming late to the part doesn't really help things either.

  • -5

    spudman

    in Japan, the general modern Japanese public in no way inclined in anyway to go to war or invade anyone.

    as they were in the 1930s. Japanese public has never not followed it's populist leaders. It's not Japanese to go against the human wave.

  • -40

    Bluescript

    I agree that constitutional changes should be discussed with the country's people.

    I believe many here are having a fit not because he wants to change the constitution quietly, but because he referred to the Nazis.

    The other point I was trying to make is that until China and Korea (or any other country) change their constitution to include an "Article 9", they should shut up.

    Japan CAN defend itself quite freely under article 9 of the constitution. What they can't do is take 'first strike' aggressive action against another country, which is how it should be.

    How about: which is how it should be for all countries.

  • -10

    chucky3176

    I see the usual Japan apologists are out in force, defending his remarks and trying to excuse them somehow. People here have always bashed on Koreans every time there's conflict with Korea and Japan's fascist leanings. But the world will soon see from japan, what we Koreans have known all along. Japan was an ally of Nazi Germany, and Japan never renounced fascism after they were defeated by America. The democratic system was forced upon them by Americans, Japanese never fought for it. The zebra can never change their strip, and soon enough, Japan will turn to fascism. A lot of people here will say that's impossible, but think about this. What will happen in Japan when there's a major crisis like Fukushima getting worse suddenly? What about a big gigantic earthquake that wrecks major cities? How about a war with China? That's when the zebra strikes by seizing power, using national emergency as a convenient excuse.

  • -1

    SunnysideUp

    lol, just another demented boy...

  • 0

    Triumvere

    Dense.

    Remarkably so.

  • 2

    davestrousers

    Given the lack of outrage towards this guy and the general lack of concern about proposed changes changes to the constitution that include stripping away human rights, I can only assume, sadly, that the general consensus is hell yeah! give us hell, Aso!.

  • -5

    chucky3176

    Japanese people are apathetic to politics, they're also unhappy with Japan's economy, and they support their right wing government. All it will take is one national crisis to win them over to fascism. Fascism that maybe not as bad as Nazi Germany, but fascism as in restricted rights, cutting down of democratic rights, restrictions on media, more detentions, political detentions, total revamp of their constitution, and rising nationalism that may lead to political and military skirmishes with their neighbors.

  • 0

    Dennis Bauer

    Hey what happened to my asterisks? and it was sarcasm by the way

  • 3

    falseflagsteve

    The things he say highlight what his real feelings are. It seems that he thinks that the Nazi's were ok, otherwise he would not mention them. He is known as a very right wing politician who appears to be of the mindset that Imperial Japan was also not too bad and their military ventures were forced upon them. I doubt anyone would mention Nazi's or any similar group in the manner without having some admiration for them. What he is also saying is. dictatorship is fine, and checks and balances against the mistakes of the past are mere annoyances. He is part of the elite of Japan and like the elite worldwide they show utter contempt for the well being of the average person.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    tyvtogo: " But do these people just block out who has lead China lol, who is leading China..."

    Last I checked this was about Aso and saying how Japan should emulate the Nazis, but I'm not surprised to see a knee-jerk attempt at deflection by posters who can't deal with blatant facts. Speaking of which...

    nigelboy: "A typical knee-jerk reaction to anything pertaining to Nazi's. But then again, this sells"

    The reactions are based on what Aso said, not simply that he mentioned the Nazis. The guy LITERALLY said Japan should adopt Nazi politics so that they can amend the constitution without it 'being noticed.

  • 7

    budgie

    Doesn't surprise me. The LDP never got over its nationalist streak. To people like Aso (whose family profited from WWII slave labor) the Nazis are still seen as good allies.

  • 8

    Jimizo

    This is the kind of lazy, half-baked idiotic comment that is typical of those who have a sense of being born to rule. Some hoped that the LDP defeat would see the party shaken out of its complacency and arrogance. This comment is a depressing reminder of what is wrong with this party.

  • -5

    Onsen

    People should really read the primary sources to these kinds of matters. Reacting to how the media portrays its own view of such comments? One should really make up their own minds after understanding the original comments. Why react to biased or colored views of the media?

    Shouldn't one react to the original comments and not to the media's summary or interpretation?

    This is the text of what he originally stated. http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0801/TKY201307310772.html

    This is his follow up to explain his comments. http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0801/TKY201308010051.html

  • 7

    marcelito

    If this comment was uttered by a deputy PM a year or two ago when DPJ was in power, the howls of outrage and demands for unconditional resignation from the LDP would have been deafening... In most modern, democratic countries if a deputy PM made such a remark , he would be toast within days amid a widespread public disgust. Won`t hold my breath here...

    @ Ernest - it is not just Japanese people that are peace loving -most "average " people in any country just wish to go about their daily lives without getting dragged into an armed conflict. The trouble always starts with nationalistic minded twits in positions of power.

  • 4

    CUBANO

    I think there is a saying that those who do not read history are bounded to repeat it. This fool is a prime example of not reading and learning from Japanese history. He is probably one of those who would spouse tactics such as the Project 731 mess during Japanese occupation of China, and the attack at Pearl Harbor. I say, the Japanese people who somehow voted for this fool to not vote for him again.

  • 2

    justbcuzisay

    80393 - looks like the winner is....

    It is regrettable that my remarks over the Nazi administration led to a misunderstanding, which was not my intention,Taro Aso, who is also finance minister, said as he read a statement to reporters.

    hope you caught the update :)

  • 7

    nsv

    During seventies of last century in Japan I did meet many Japanese talking of Hitler as their role model to my astonishment. I'm sure their mind set stay in same state till today. CONCLUSION : Japan needs to be careful of Hitler wave.and need to take measures to educate young minds to avoid world war.

  • 3

    chucky3176

    TokyoTanuki, even after this type of comment, and may other examples like this from other Japanese politicians, their power is tight and popular with the votes. In a true democracy they would have been swept out of power or disgraced and resigned. But they only thrive more because in truth, Japan is an oligarchy not a democracy.

    That's enough for me to know everything about Japan.

  • -41

    Bluescript

    Thanks acetaldehyde for the translation. I suspected/expected the article's characterization of Aso's comments to be off, but never realized it was that much.

    Seems some people do not want us to look at certain aspects of that time.

    I very much agree with Onsen's comment.

  • 2

    Wakarimasen

    Nice retraction. Surprised he didn't make some comment about the trains running on time.

  • 4

    mrkobayashi

    Thank you for the link, Onsen. The things he said are VERY different from the impression I received when I read the article.

  • 0

    kidojapan

    Aso do not know what he is talking about, his team should make research first before making such comments. Only the Neo Nazi in Germany (extreme leftist or rightist) agrees on what H----r did.

  • -3

    calr751

    “I want to make it clear that the Abe cabinet will never view the Nazi government positively,”

    what about those war criminals enshrined at yasukuni shrine?

  • 4

    mrkobayashi

    Meant to add, he used the example as more of a warning than anything, but CH3CHO mentioned that in a previous post. By the way, I'm impressed with your translation skills.

  • 5

    lucabrasi

    “I want to make it clear that the Abe cabinet will never view the Nazi government positively,”

    If you've actually got to come out and say that, something's wrong....

  • 4

    Magnet

    How these people manage to get elected to rule this country continues to amaze and baffle me.

  • 0

    warewarenihonjin

    Misunderstanding? No, Mr Aso, we all understand exactly. Now please resign - again. You fail too many times.

  • -2

    CH3CHO

    Mr Aso, we all understand exactly.

    What Aso actually talked is reported here. http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0801/TKY201307310772.html

    My translation

    I hear a lot of stories now about the 2/3, but in Germany Hitler managed to come forward through democracy by gaining majority in a lawful congress. He is thought to get power though military power. That was not true at all. He was elected. The nationals of Germany chose Hitler. Do not misunderstand this.

    Furthermore, Hitler managed to come forward even under Weimar constitution, which was the most advanced constitution in Europe at the time. As always, even if the constitution is good, this kind of thing can happen. We have to keep this very very well in our mind. We have been saying that we should properly change the constitution. Then, how it will be operated will be determined by the deeds of voting congresspersons, their beliefs, or their creed in the end.

  • 7

    gogogo

    Any other country he would be looking for a new job, not here

  • 1

    Jerome_from_Utah

    Fair enough: In Japan, you have Aso while we in the States have Joe Biden. Want to trade?

    Dictators have ways to take over. The Bolsheviks posted a sign on the meeting hall stating that the Congress was postponed until a later date. Then, they took down the sign, unlocked the door and voted themselves into power.

    In Germany's case, Hindenburg had just died, the government was in a shambles, and the Nazis were just about to go over their peak. All this was changed by the Enabling Act that was the last act of the Wiemar Government. Believe it or not, the Reich-stag actually voted themselves out of a job! Then, the nightmare started.

  • 3

    CraigHicks

    Japan today has replaced the article contents with news of the apology.

    I appreciate Aso's quick response, but he didn't correct his historical facts: The Nazis DID use force (arresting opponents, attacking opponents meetings, banning newspapers, placing biased monitors at polling booths, etc.) to affect the outcome of the important election of March 5, 1933. And one month later they surrounded the legislature with soldiers and banned a hundred legislators from voting on the Enabling Act of 1933, which basically made Hitler a supreme dictator.

  • 3

    Disillusioned

    So, now he has retracted the statement? So what? The fact he said it in the first place just proves he is an ill-mannered insensitive twit that should not be deputy prime minister.

  • 2

    Cricky

    As usual a J politician ignoring facts and making a new cleaner story. Who would have thought. Like a school book it bears no relation to fact. That is sad.

  • 1

    ReformedBasher

    My guess is he did nazi the backlash coming.

  • 1

    Revealmap

    What a shame that this political party uses in its name, the word "liberal".

    Liberalism has nothing to do with Japanese Liberal Democratic Party. LDP should change its name, it is an obvious deception.

  • -6

    FizzBit

    This is funny. Seems to be a lot of over reacting here. Others have clearly pointed out what was said by Aso, but the attacks still continue. Seems to me this happened a few days ago on here"hey! They raised a Japanese flag, let's raise our banner!" Mention the word "nazi" and critical thinking goes out the window, just like with the banner issue

  • 0

    hoserfella

    For better or for worse, the whole incident is barely registering with international media. Japan, outside of it's exports. simply does not matter on the world stage.

  • 5

    Cricky

    Actually the BBC are covering this story, and not just this latest vomit but also previous vomits fron this Nasty little man.

  • 3

    kibousha

    It's amazing how many times these people can lick their own spit without feeling disgusted of it

  • 0

    hoserfella

    Mention the word "nazi" and critical thinking goes out the window

    FizzBit - I'm curious as to what positives should come to mind. Care to elaborate?

  • 3

    Sentiments

    It is quite common that these kind of mishaps occur in newly formed governments. But Aso is supposed to be an experienced politician, how come hes still in the game? Abe must be a very patient man.

  • 4

    Simon Foston

    However, the national socialists made significant progress on creating jobs and restarting the economy. I don't think it is reasonable to say we shouldn't study what they did and learn from it just because later on they did some bad things.

    Only some?

  • 3

    hoserfella

    the national socialists made significant progress on creating jobs and restarting the economy. I don't think it is reasonable to say we shouldn't study what they did and learn from it just because later on they did some bad things.

    Sengoku38 - indeed, starting a world war was great for the German economy for about 5 years. And man, that sure did create a lot of jobs, too!

    Yeah they did some "bad things" too like that whole holocaust hullabaloo, but lets ignore that because the trains ran on time!

  • 3

    zurcronium

    Was a complete idiot as PM and now again as assistant to the other former idiot PM Abe. Two peas in a pod. To think and hope that these losers will do anything other than screw up is a pure fantasy. They are failure incarnate. They put the fail in failure. Aso should be in clown school. Abe, who created the phony kidnapping issue to win the PM job the first go round, could not handle being a clown as it would be too stressful.

    Japan unfortunately is getting what it deserves. Ozawa is saying, no doubt, I told you so.

  • 2

    Aizo Yurei

    stopped reading at "it's regrettable."

  • 0

    Nippon_Banzai

    Here is one good example of "Lost in Translation" quite hilarious when politician tries to be knowledgeable on something he has no idea what is all about.

  • 0

    miyaguchatabi

    It really should say that Aso was "MISinterpreted as praising the Nazi regime." I read the original comments in Japanese, and he he praised none of the evils of the Nazis. Nor has any other Japanese politician. The problem is that the overseas media is waiting to pounce on the slightest faulty translation so they can point and say, see, Japan is so crazy! The English media report isn't even close to being an accurate representation of what he said.

  • 8

    hoserfella

    CH3CHO - the English translation is accurate. Aso himself has admitted as much.

    I also find it ironic that many Japanese of Aso's generation have a soft spot for a regime which no doubt saw Asians as "sub-human"

  • 6

    Jimizo

    @CH3CHO Thanks for the excellent translation. I don't think Aso is a Nazi apologist or sympathizer. The point remains it's just common sense that a politician, particularly from a country which was allied to the Nazis, should not make any comment referencing ( in any sense ) one of the most notorious, murderous regimes in human history with regards to modern Japan. It was breathtakingly stupid, leaving himself wide open to suspicion and anyone with any iota of common sense wouldn't have done it.

  • 4

    Sentiments

    miaguchatabi - I see your point and I think you are right. My point however was about what a politician can do and should not do. Given the the current situation with a media mediated conflict on borders and long past crimes- I would think an experienced politician would know what areas to stay out of, no matter what the intent. Any kind of reference to ww2 Germany and Hitler in this situation will most likely be used against him and thus he cant get his intended message through. This is definitely part of the job description for politicians. Now why doesnt Aso know this? Simply keep your feet where they should be and half of the job is done.

  • -6

    FizzBit

    @hoserfella-I never mentioned "positives".

    FizzBit - I'm curious as to what positives should come to mind. Care to elaborate?

    Sure Napoleon, be glad to.

    Why would Aso even bring up "NAZI" germany? Let's go deeper. Germany, after WW1 was in a very similar place that Japan is in today. #1. Like Weimar Germany, Japan today is bound by it's constitution to never build a "large modern" military for aggressive purposes. #2. Like Weimar Germany, Japan has many political parties which makes it difficult to get new policies agreed upon and passed. #3. Like Weimar Germany, Japans economy has gone no where. Hitler practiced the same deficit spending, which is one of Abe's 3 arrows.

    Aso was strictly speaking about how Japan could change its constitution. As CH3CHO kindly translated:

    Furthermore, Hitler managed to come forward even under Weimar constitution, which was the most advanced constitution in Europe at the time. As always, even if the constitution is good, this kind of thing can happen. We have to keep this very very well in our mind. We have been saying that we should properly change the constitution. Then, how it will be operated will be determined by the deeds of voting congresspersons, their beliefs, or their creed in the end.

    So, I think reason #1 is why Aso decided to use Weimar/Nazi Germany as an example as one way for Japan to change its constitution. Was it a good choice? Probably not. Does the comparison work? Yes. Do I agree with what he is proposing? No friggin way.

    When one word, out of context or in a headline, causes a lot of people to react without thinking or checking the facts, I find THAT more disgusting than Aso talking about Nazis.

  • 2

    avigator

    Hello... In what planet does Mr. Aso live?

  • 6

    smithinjapan

    Hahaha... I see Aso's comments about how Japan should literally be like the Nazis has been 'misinterpreted'. Funnier still is that it's been 'misinterpreted' in Japanese, by the Japanese media, and not just 'misinterpreted' by the international media, especially that of the Jews, who are rightly upset by Aso's desire. So now we have a minister who cannot even stand by his own words, and who thinks that, because everyone misinterpreted what he said (be it in Japanese itself or its various translations), saying "I retract it" means it was never said in the first place. Classic.

  • 5

    Jimizo

    @Onsen The moment Aso referenced Nazi Germany he put his empty head above the trench. People have been flogging this dead horse of 'misinterpreted' and it's not convincing anyone. Most posts I've read here do not see Aso as a Nazi sympathizer ( and I've got no interest in those who hint at it ) and any attempts to excuse this idiocy as the foreign media pouncing on Aso are pretty lame. This man is unfit for office and through his stupidity has dragged Japan's name through the mud. I'm sorry, these comments attempting to shift the blame away from him are getting tiresome.

  • -2

    cramp

    japanese were made honorary nazis by hitler for a reason

  • 0

    hoserfella

    like smithinjapan says, the "misinterpretation" is the oldest trick in the book for Japanese politicians who still cannot fathom that whitey has learned Japanese.

  • 1

    lincolnlklim

    All the fuss about Hitler and Nazi is missing the point Aso is trying to raise. Aso don't give a damn about hitler nor nazi. He is trying to say that the government should just go ahead and amend anything it wants quietly without giving a shit about the people. After all the Japanese people has been taking shit from the government for so long and still give a strong mandate to LDP in every election except once. So I totally agree the Japanese deserve what they get, unfortunately foreigners in Japan had to suffer these fools because of Japanese apathy

  • 1

    GW

    Sorry aso you CAN NOT retract your stupid idiotic thoughts, its out there, no taking anything back !

  • 1

    hkitagawa

    I think better to keep the constitution as it is now and only focus on defence. If somebody attacks the country the world will probably help but if it become a superpower no one will care.

  • -5

    karjai

    stupid.

  • 4

    bigfujiyama

    I am the last one to defend the LDP, but this has been case of awful, biased reporting.

    If you take his nazi comments in the context of the rest of the speech, he is saying that the constitution should not be changed covertly. The statement on its own can be read either way. Journalists need to get their facts straight.

    He also says that politicians should not make song and dance about visiting Yasukuni.

    I don't like the right leanings of the LDP, but I don't think they should be vilified for things they didn't really say.

  • 4

    stuarto

    He was saying tht Japan SHOULDN'T revise the constitution without public debate. In that context he was a billion percent right in wanting to learn from the Weimer Republic. Please, let's read the comments, look at the context, think and THEN argue our point...........

  • -2

    TakahiroDomingo

    obviously, this freak loves hitler. because if you have the least bit of humanity in your soul, the only feelings that can come to your mind when thinking about hitler are ultimate disgust.

  • 0

    GalapagosnoGairaishu

    Here is an old saying we should probably take to heart: "Never mistake for malice what is probably only stupidity."

  • -4

    karjai

    is he the prime minister of japan?

  • 0

    OssanAmerica

    This man is a complete idiot.

  • 3

    TumbleDry

    But the clown keeps his position so the circus can continue the show.

  • 3

    toshiko

    He will not quit politics. He already had private business. His Grandfather was Shigeru Yoshida and Zenko Suzuko. Unlike people who went to -gimu-kyoiku schools, he went to Gakushuin . His sister married to one of Prince. He probably did not learn what is Nazi. He authored few books/ Probably he had excellent editors/ Abe has to be careful, And Abe people will take care of Aso to whom Aso hated because they are not aristocrat. Pretty soon he will tell that Abe is not Aristocrat but Heimin to govern Japan.

  • 1

    Disillusioned

    Ha ha! Classic flashback to Hashimoto and his retraction of his comfort women statement. The more he says the worse he makes it. Just give up and quit while you are ahead fool!

  • 2

    kuuku

    japanese are very hard-working people, but with these kind of politicians in place, if they don't take into consideration the hard works of citizens each and every day, but just want to use the power they have to play around with neighbouring countries, etc, i don’t think it would be good for the economy and the hard work of the voters they represent, perhaps they have to stdy international relations first, lol

  • 2

    kaimycahl

    Aso knew exactly what he wanted to say! Retracting his statement doesn't CHANGE ANYTHING but tell the world what his true feeling and thoughts were. Here is a spoon fed guy who thinks he is above the law money and power. He never makes sense! So tell me now whats the count now how many other statements has he retracted in the past, this won't be his last!

  • -2

    maglev101

    Yeah they did some "bad things" too like that whole holocaust hullabaloo, but lets ignore that because the trains ran on time!

    Well, maybe he thought 6+ million Holocaust deaths is not that big of a deal compared to the tens of millions of civilian deaths inflicted on China (and rest of Asia) by Japanese invading forces.

  • 0

    gelendestrasse

    Aso isn't the first who has gotten into trouble trying to find some good in the Nazis and he won't be the last. For example, the Nazis did a damn good job of creating jobs by putting Germany on a military buildup toward war. This led to 20 million Russians dead, 6 million Jews dead, and more. Is that a good way to end unemployment? I didn't think so.

  • -1

    wontond

    Aso seems very knowledgeable in pre-war Nazi German history. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

  • -2

    Seiharinokaze

    Aso suggested that the constitution has to be revised in a cool-headed environment instead of a hectic clamorous atmosphere such as when the Weimar Constitution was revised under Nazis without anyone being aware of it. It's in this context that Aso made his comment. Why don't we learn the technique of Nazis? is his black humor to make it sound ironic and amusing rather than anything to justify Nazis' way of revising the constitution. It was quite clear to the audience who were there listening to his speech. But it was picked up ad hoc and spread and as usual lost on the high-minded mass media and neighboring countries.

  • 0

    ChibaChick

    What scares me about all this is not so much the reference to the Nazis, but more that he advocates changing the constitution secretly without anyone knowing!

    It's in this context that Aso made his comment. Why don't we learn the technique of Nazis? is his black humor to make it sound ironic and amusing rather than anything to justify Nazis' way of revising the constitution.

    He is a political leader and a public figure. IF he was joking, he should know better than to joke about something so controversial and sensitive in a public arena where his comments are of course going to be picked up on.

  • -1

    dracpoo2

    I have often said that sometimes it seems that Japan is still locked away from the rest of the world.....despite its borders being open. I am happy this mistake won't be repeated.

  • 3

    interuni321

    Thanks to Aso, the Japanese people can see the true intentions he and his colleagues have regarding constitutional change. The aim is to remove the modern democracy that has served Japan so well for 60 years and return it to fascism where a small elite control the destiny of the population who work themselves to death for their masters. In Japan, much truth is said in gaff. These remarks are unretractable as they clearly explain the true motivations behind constitutional change.

  • 1

    Hanako Yamada

    Did you read Aso's original all statement ? He just gave the nazis as bad example of domocracy. So many Japanese who aren't controled with Asahi Newspaper get angry.

  • 3

    globalwatcher

    This guy is a liability to Japan.

  • -1

    kurisupisu

    A private education,a manga loving lifestyle and too much fine dining=despotic thoughts?

    Anyone?

  • 0

    Citizen2012

    Aso retracts Nazi remarks amid criticism

    Aso did not retracts Nazi remarks because he thought he made a mistake referring Nazis but apparently because there were criticism...it is very dangerous for the democracy to have somebody like him at the position he had.

  • 1

    Peter Nozawa Thurwachter

    I'm assuming no one's reading this thread anymore thanks the this rage post. But here's my comment.

    Everyone who is appalled by what they think Aso said should try to find his ENTIRE quote translated. The media seems to always want to splice together what he said and imply the OPPOSITE and then highlight the word NAZI to generate more buzz.

    You owe it to yourself to do this and realize he is actually calling for something that probably most people reading this thread want.

  • 1

    Citizen2012

    what he said and imply the OPPOSITE

    So why retract then ?

  • -42

    Bluescript

    what he said and imply the OPPOSITE

    So why retract then ?

    Because too many people are having a fit (I believe an irrational one).

  • 2

    BurakuminDes

    Scary to think that this old extremist is just a few stomach cramps away from being PM again...

  • -1

    timtak

    “The only lessons on governance that the world should draw from the Nazi Third Reich is how those in positions of power should not behave,”

    In the earlier part of what he says, he is using the Nazis as an example of a catastrophe that can befall a nation even in when it has a good constitution.

    However, towards the end, he does seem to use the Nazi's political methods as an example of good governance, but, really he is just asking a rhetorical question.

    "In the past (changing the constitution) was carried out quiet. Prime ministers did so. When did the furore start? It is the result of the media. At what point in history did changing the constitution become such a fuss? With all the fuss, the Chinese have to make a fuss too. The Koreans will too. So, (I am saying) it should be done quietly. One day, the Weimar Constitution had changed into the Nazi constitution, before anyone realized. It changed before anyone realized at all. Should we use that method, eh?"

    (I think that this is a sort of black humor, rhetorical question. He is not saying that he wants to change the constitution secretly but just, without making a fuss. He continues....[and he is speaking with many abbreviations so I may not be getting this entirely]...)

    "Lets not make a fuss. Really, everyone says its is a good constitution, everyone should be persuaded, because it is a pretty strange constitution (too). Please, I have no intention whatsoever of berating democracy but, I as I have said over and over again, I don't want this to be decided in the middle of a furor. "

    I think I can see what Aso means. Almost every country in the world has a constitution which allows that country to have an army. Japan does not. When Japan tries to change its constitution to be like that of almost every other nation in the world there is general media hysteria, as if Japan is about to attempt to conquer Asia again, which is simply not the case.

    But bearing in mind this misconception of Japan as a potential imperialists, he is ill advised use the Nazi's as any sort of example, even rhetorically. And he admits this in his retraction.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    TumbleDryAug. 01, 2013 - 11:33PM JST

    But the clown keeps his position so the circus can continue the show.

    The public should be able to issue a "recall" petition to remove this idiot from political position. Hope everyone get on board to do it.

  • 0

    mrmalice

    so much reaction here omg. As a politician that's a surefire suicidal statement since all oponents will use any kind of semantics to bring you down. Am i defending nazi's, no ... absolutely not the abominations that grew from their rise to power are inexcusable yet most of the theories they upheld were sign of the times, someone should write an accurate history book about it. It still remains inexcusable but so is history tainted by morals. You will never learn unless you get the all of it. First of all, the figure of hitler is highly overrated, he was a messenger-corporal in world war one, not some kind of godlike leader. He was backed by a few VERY sharp people bent on power, the summit of the nazis was not just one person. Hitler was just a charismatic speaker who gained power by being glorified in fact. i know nazi's dont like to hear that but that's how it was. NAZI comes from national socialism, it means socialism with only your own geopolitical people in fact. The national socialist party got into power IN FACT BECAUSE after world war one the rest of europe kept germany so poor it was a perfect breeding ground for this kind of , euh , stuff . I still dont understand how it was possible for them to build up such a large army and effectively attack to the point where they almost won but i'll take that as negligence of vigilance. BUT in fact the abomination of nazism started out of patriotic ideals, people who wanted their country back on track. Its a thin line and i agree these are dangerous times. I feel somehow like the man made a grave mistake by referring to the nazis whereas if he just pointed at one of the measures they took in their time of crisis (before the actual expansionist war) his political career would not have been endangered. I dont take sides, ever. I just feel like morals get in the way of facts sometimes, i dont mind if they prevent misery, i mind if they get in the way of facts, and i understand politics is all about picking the right word as well. even if none of my business, i feel like i had to say this. I grew up in a pretty much rightwing place, i got out of that, i dont like the extremist left either by now just like i dont like the extremist right. i just keep blabbing dont i, i wonder if this message will be returned to me in the mail or not i have known this site to be somewhat .. sensitive ... at times yet its a great pointer at main culture and life towards japan so far.

  • -1

    mrmalice

    what to think of that huh ... well if you think its already a win heh heh

  • 0

    Guru29

    The Japanese simply refuse to accept their history and deny that Japan was the aggressor in WWII

    Yes, Japan was able to do that because the fascist WWII criminals managed to regain control of Japan only shortly after the war ended through the LDP, a political party founded by the fascists, top WWII criminals and Yakuza godfathers with the money that they looted in Manchukuo i.e. Manchuria.

    And these fascists gained the trust of the Americans by promising to help them to fight with the communists and suppress the leftists i.e the socialists in Japan. One of such criminals happened to be the grandfather of Shinzo Abe, Kishi Nobusuke who is even known to be funded by the CIA.

    So if you were such a war criminal, would you admit your crimes after you retook the office just to be jailed once again? Unlikely right?

    And that is exactly the reason why Japanese politicians who wished to apologize had to wait for 5 decades i.e. after the whole generation of Japanese WWII criminals had passed away or lost their influence before they were allowed by the LDP government to do so. And even then, their apologies will continue to be challenged by the 2nd, 3rd or 4th generations of these war criminals.

  • 0

    Citizen2012

    Because too many people are having a fit (I believe an irrational one).

    I'll vote more for he got busted by people having clues on the topics and global common sense so he did retract.

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Sorry, but I'm going to give Aso a pass on this. I believe he actually meant what he was trying to say, namely that if the Japanese public isn't careful, their constitution can be changed with same sort of rapid, behind-the-scenes suddenness that the Weimar Constitution suffered at the hands of Nazi nationalists before World War II. And he would be correct. Any changes to the constitution, including changes to Article 9, should involve thoughful public debate.

    Aso's biggest problem is that he's a piss-poor communicator 9 times out of 10 and doesn't stop to think before he opens his mouth.

  • -1

    slumdog

    LFRAgain,

    One would possibly think that is what Aso meant, especially if one were to read the Japanese version, except for the fact that it is his PM and his party that is putting forth the idea of constitutional change regarding Article 9. In that case, it is quite hard to figure out just what Aso wanted to say in this case.

  • 1

    hkitagawa

    he will now be able to change constitution in this way.

  • -1

    Thomas Anderson

    He said Japan has contributed to global peace and human rights for many years and would continue to do so.

    I'm not really sure why many Japanese tend to have this view... as I'm sure Japan has actually contributed very little to "global peace and human rights". Since when did Japan ever cared about human rights?

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    Slumdog,

    Oh, I agree. It seems like political suicide to, for all intents and purposes, equate with Nazis the very furor over constitutional reform that his own party is fomenting. But then again, No oe has ever accused Aso of being particularly brilliant.

  • -2

    melonbarmonster

    Is it really ANY surprise that a Japanese politician makes a comment that sympathizes with Nazi's rise to power? No. That same fascist, racist underbelly is squashed and dead in Germany but it's alive and well in Japan. It's a societal cancer in Japanese society the same way that Deep South racism is alive and well in the US.

  • -1

    tmarie

    Other parties are demanding Aso step down due to the embarrassment he's brought Japan. Why is this not mentioned on JT?

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