Abe depicted as Charlie Chaplin character in protest over state secret bill

TOKYO —

If you happened to have been around the west exit of Shinjuku Station last week, you might have seen this poster hanging around. In it we can clearly see a photo of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe done up to look like Charlie Chaplin in the film “The Great Dictator.” Around him are the words “Take back Japan” and “Prewar.”

The main body of the poster reads:

National information is unilaterally concealed.
What is kept secret is secret.
Why it’s kept secret is also secret.
It can also remain a secret and be thrown away.
The information will be public 60 years later (after the people involved die).
The people holding the secret themselves, their family and people close to them are all being watched.
Those pursuing the secret will be tossed into prison.
Whistle-blowers are sent to 10 years in prison.
That is the “State Secret Bill.”

Following it is an image of what appears to be Abe standing in a tank arms akimbo with a speech bubble that reads “To a ‘glorious country!’”

The bill which the poster alludes to was put forth recently as part of a long-running effort by the Japanese government to establish some form of confidentiality protection legislation. Various attempts have been made in the past to grant the government more powers in keeping information secret, but each time have failed for violating “the people’s right to know” which is guaranteed in the constitution under “freedom of expression.”

Nevertheless, certain lawmakers have been looking for ways to boost national security and prevent incidents such as a spy in the Self-Defense Force in 1985 or the leaking of a video in 2010 which showed a collision between a Japanese Coast Guard ship and a Chinese fishing boat in the area of the Senkaku Islands. Japan’s poor record of withholding information has led former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone to once remark, “Japan is spy heaven.”

In this latest attempt at legislation, the Abe government is emphasizing that a certain degree of confidentiality is needed for security. However, beyond domestic issues the Ministry of Defense added that Japan’s “information gathering security measures are not solid” and that this is causing other nations such as the United States to refrain from sharing information with Japan for fear of it being easily leaked.

The state secret bill is currently in discussion and the people of Japan appear divided over the issue with some calling for improved security during increasingly provocative actions around East Asia. Others such as the maker of the poster above see the bill itself as an act of provocation and a way for PM Abe to more easily push through his own hawk agenda.

One thing is for certain, however. The toothbrush moustache isn’t any closer to making a comeback.

Sources: Twitter, MSN Sankei News

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  • 11

    Disillusioned

    I dunno about Charlie Chaplin, but he bears a stark resemblance to a certain German ruler of the past. "Tzig hile!"

  • 7

    papigiulio

    the leaking of a video in 2010 which showed a collision between a Japanese Coast Guard ship and a Chinese fishing boat in the area of the Senkaku Islands.

    But wasnt that a good thing it was released? It showed that the blame was not on Japan.

    This whole law creeps me out, more power to the people up there and more power to keep the bad things they do (scandals, fraud, anything important concerning national health in regards to Fukushima, etc) a secret.

  • 1

    Sofa_king

    They're already doing such a great job of keeping important things out of the news though..

  • 4

    Stephen Knight

    What is kept secret is secret. Why it’s kept secret is also secret. It can also remain a secret and be thrown away.

    This is perhaps one of the greatest problems with this bill. The value of preserving government records lies not only in documenting history, but in having a record of who did, said, ordered what. Without that record, there is no accountability.

    Under the similar 2001 revision to the Defense Secrets law, records are classified as secret for a specific period of time, after which the period is either extended--if the matter remains sensitive--or the records are supposed to be released and, theoretically, available for public access. In the ten years or so since that revision went into effect, only ONE out of approximately 50,000 such records was preserved past its specified period of confidentiality. The rest were destroyed.

  • -5

    letsberealistic

    Is Charlie Chaplin suddenly a symbol of fascism?! How on earth did this reporter think that Chaplin was the reference! ? Bizarre.

  • 4

    Wakarimasen

    surely he is being made up to look like 'Abelf Hitler"????/

  • 7

    zichi

    Charlie Chaplin was a communist, and spied on by the FBI and MI5. Or at least he was very left wing but certainly never a fascist.

  • 9

    Kent Mcgraw

    That is not Charlie Chaplin, that is a picture of Hitler and that is what they meant. Charlie Chaplin was a comedian. I don't think they were trying to make him look like a comedian and Charlie Chaplin was playing Hitler in that movie.

  • 4

    karjai

    abe is the worst ever japan PM.

  • 1

    spudman

    Is there a link where we can download a copy?

  • 1

    Jimizo

    @karjai 'Abe is the worst ever Japan PM' That's a pretty competitive field. Who was that fly-by-night clown after Koizumi? Oh, yes, Abe.

  • 8

    ThonTaddeo

    Is Charlie Chaplin suddenly a symbol of fascism?! How on earth did this reporter think that Chaplin was the reference! ? Bizarre.

    As other posters have said, Chaplin played a Hitler parody in "The Great Dictator". Whoever made this poster was probably hesitant to go all the way and actually put Abe's head on Uncle Adolf's body, for fear of the repercussions.

  • 0

    Mark_McCracken

    Disillusioned, Kent, Wakarimasen and letsberealistic,

    This is indeed a Charlie Chaplin character. Please Google "The Great Dictator."

  • 3

    Open Minded

    Amazing how little the above posters know about this CC's movie.

    A 2 minutes research with Google or Wiki before posting insanities would have been beneficial.

    BTW, for the little story and as already mentioned, CC was blacklisted - not to say persecuted - under McCarthy (famous paranoid US president) in the 50's and went into exile in Switzerland.

  • 2

    slumdog

    CC was blacklisted - not to say persecuted - under McCarthy (famous paranoid US president) in the 50's and went into exile in Switzerland.

    McCarthy wasn't a president, he was a senator.

  • -1

    J.basher

    CC, The great Dictator, he is fun to watch and relax.

    .youtube.com/watch?v=QcvjoWOwnn4&feature=player_detailpage

  • -1

    toshiko

    Anyone knows mustache of Chaplin? Hitler? Bottom of picture states Senzen-no: Does it mean before war or before japan was defeated used in Senzen Sengo? I enlarged picture and read their comment in Japanese.

  • 0

    Gate Satoru

    What is he trying to keep a secret? Pushing that bill so hard really makes me wonder. Just so you know, I can't trust a government that keep secrets from people.

    One more thing, Thailand got a huge protesting problem because of one controversial bill. I really hope the same thing won't be happening because Abe is now walking on the same conflicting road.

  • 2

    Open Minded

    Slumdog: you are 100% right and I should have Googled it before writing insanities too! Apologizes.

  • 1

    Selchuk Driss

    Charlie Chaplin was once almost killed in Japan by right-wing nuts because they thought he was American.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    Is Charlie Chaplin suddenly a symbol of fascism?! How on earth did this reporter think that Chaplin was the reference! ? Bizarre.

    You be the judge. Here's a colorized still from Chaplain's "The Great Dictator":

    http://toptenstore.blogspot.com/2013/01/10-people-who-stuck-it-to-hitler.html

    Chaplain is the reference, and Chaplain was referencing Hitler.

  • 0

    gelendestrasse

    "Tzig hile!"

    That's Sieg Heil! actually...and Hitler did sport the same mustache, hat and shirt. I think the writer was trying to be polite. Chaplain, on the other hand, nailed it. Too bad the rest of the world didn't see it coming.

  • 1

    tokyodoumo

    Poster-Child for belligerent Nationalism, destroying ties with neighbors and now stringent socio-political controls.

  • 0

    toshiko

    If this himitsu hogo ho is enacted, any one in government who handle any secrecy, will have their families, their acquaintances are always investigated and surveyed. This means PM, all ministers, many levels of bureaucrats, Their grandchildren, too. Let wait how hush this law will be. Shouldn't have exceptions just because they are big shots. Bureaucrats must be panicked, especially people who love their families..

  • 1

    ka_chan

    The picture is a reference to one of the characters, Adenoid Hynkel was a parody of Hitler, the other main character was the Jewish Barber. The symbol of the regime is the "double cross". Chaplin in the film mocks the Nazi's as "machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts". The film was controversial at time of it's release in 1940 since the US was neutral on the "European War" that began in 1939 and remained so until the Japan's attack in 1941. During the May 15 Incident in 1932, the Prime Minister Inukai was assassinated by a group of Navel Officers. Chaplin was visiting Japan at the time and was targeted but he and Inukai's son was at a Sumo tournament which saved their lives. The idea was that killing Chaplin would start a war with the US. The light sentence the 11 assassins got lead to the Feb. 26th Incident and Japanese Militarism.

  • 1

    MarkG

    Charlie Chaplin was no Nazi. The movie "The Great Dictator" Was brilliant! A must watch! Certainly an anti Nazi film with Chaplin humor throughout.

    Depicting Abe as this character with the likely Nazi reference is uncalled for. A Hitler type dictator will never rise to such power anytime in the near future! Hopefully never again!

  • 0

    toshiko

    Actors/actresses will play a role but he/she is not thesame as the role. For instance, some actoresses playedy witches in TV series, but they are not witches. Series Bewitched and I dream of Jeannie. Chaplin was an excellent actor whom many people enjoyed. This poster is depicting Abe with Bring back Japan just like before War Loss. (Senzen-no Nippon-ni-modose slogan. Ave was not even born before 1945 and he never had military serving during WW I I. Their motif is good but this poster pic is not working well. Sounds like poster makers wants move back to secret secret time before 1945

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    No kidding. If this bill is passed tonight, I tell you this will be an end of democracy for Japan forever.

    As you know, before election, Abe clearly stated he wanted bring Japan back to what it used to be. This is not an accident. It was planned well in advance. .

    Within a year, I speculate that the article 9th will be significantly modified or removed from the Constitution, and a mandatory military draft will be back. The war train is heading to a wreck. I am too old to stop this reckless train, and Japan may repeat the same mistakes again. Oh God, please help them.

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