Tag Archives: zaitokukai

Shukan Bunshun to release audio of Yamatani interview

Weekly Magazine Shukan Bunshun first reported Eriko Yamatani’s ties to members of the Zaitokukai last month. When a reporter with the magazine questioned Yamatani about her ties to the Zaitokukai, Yamatani responded, “What is Zaitokukai? How do you write the characters for it?” When shown a group picture she took with former members of Zaitokukai, which included Shigeo Masuki, who claims that he has known Yamatani for more then a decade, Yamatani stated that she did not know the people in the picture.

The Zaitokukai has close ties with Nihon Seinensha, a right-wing group that is closely connected to the Sumiyoshi-kai.  According to police sources, leaders of the Zaitokukai have in the past openly associated with members of Japan’s major crime families and continue to do so. Moreover, some of the former Zaitokukai members pictured with Yamatani, including Masuki, have a crime record. This is problematic, because Yamatani is the minister in charge of the police force in Japan.

At a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on September 25th, Yamatani stated, “In regard to my exchange with the weekly magazines, that is not true,” a lie that Shukan Bunshun intends to reveal in tomorrow’s issue, which the Japan Subculture Research Center has obtained an exclusive copy of before it hits stands tomorrow morning.

Bunshun, which decided to question Yamatani again about why she said that the weekly magazine’s report was false at FCCJ, reported that Yamatani said that the part of the report that was false is Masuki’s claim that they have known each other for over 20 years.

That argument, Bunshun points out, falls short because at the FCCJ, Yamatani had also stated (and Jake Adelstein and I have attended the press conference and can confirm that she said this), “I did not say that I did not know (Zaitokukai).”

Bunshun challenges Yamatani to show proof that this statement is true. They have proof of their own: the audio recording of their interview with her when they first questioned her about her knowledge of Zaitokukai. Bunshun will upload this to their website at 5 A.M. Japan time and have a Japanese proverb to pass on to her:

“Yamatani, he who lies will steal. (山谷国家公安委員長、嘘つきは泥棒の始まりですよ。)”


Japan’s Female Police Commissioner worked with racist & sexist newspaper?

NOTE: This article has been corrected after a reader pointed out that the Eriko Yamatani corner was written by a Zaitokukai  former executive and associate Shigeo Masuki and not Ms. Yamatani herself.

Recently appointed head of Japan’s Public Safety Commission, Eriko Yamatani 山谷えり子, who oversees all of Japan’s police forces, may be inappropriate to deal with Japan’s domestic violence issues—among other things. She has been in the news recently for her alleged ties to the Zaitokukai, a hate speech group that the UN, the United States, and even Japan’s National Police Agency have condemned. Prime Minister Abe has had his photo taken with one of the members as well, but that’s probably just a coincidence. Ahem.

Today at JSRC, we came across this newsletter, run by a member of the Zaitokukai (that Ms. Yamatani can’t remember meeting), to which she seems to have contributed materials. *


Eriko Yamatani, the head of Japan's Public Safety Commission, posing with a member of the hate group, Zaitokukai. She contributed an essay to his newsletter in which she derides Japan's democratic constitutions and suggests women should not be allowed to divorce.
Eriko Yamatani, the head of Japan’s Public Safety Commission, posing with a member of the hate group, Zaitokukai. She contributed an essay to his newsletter in which her associate derides Japan’s democratic constitutions and suggests women should not be allowed to divorce.

In a section of the newsletter, called, Yamatani Eriko’s Report From The Diet, Her right wing supporter explains in witty prose that women in Japan should have their right to divorce taken away from them as part of promoting gender equality. And of course, let’s do something about those tax dollars stolen by capricious single mothers. It’s as if to say, “once you’re married, a woman should have no rights.”

Not only is this newsletter one more link to Yamatani and the racist she says that she doesn’t know, it makes us think she isn’t a person who will really want to ensure the police crack down on domestic violence or stalkers—if she really agrees with this guy. Who she doesn’t remember.

You can download the full PDF of the newsletter here, which also has a nice picture of her with the Zaitokukai right wing racist she claims not to know.

*We were unable to get a comment from Ms. Yamatani on the contents of this essay at present.

High court upholds hate speech ruling

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Osaka High Court upheld a previous lower court ruling banning the use of hate speech by an anti-Korean group which had been holding rallies in front of a Korean school in Kyoto.

The court ordered ultra right-wing group Zaitokukai (在特会), whose name translates to Citizens against the Special Privileges of the Zainichi, to pay ¥12.26 million in damages to the school and banned the group from holding hate-speech rallies around the school. 

Presiding judge, Hiroshi Mori said that Zaitokukai’s activities “fall under discrimination, and is unworthy of protection under the law.”

According to the courts, between 2009 and 2010 eight Zaitokukai members had used a loudspeaker in front of the Korean school, yelled out abuse such as “Koreans should be disposed of in health centers!” and accused the students of being the children of North Korean spies. The lower court ruled last October that the group’s actions fell under discrimination–the first racial discrimination ruling against the group.

The group appealed the ruling, arguing that their rallies fell under free speech and that the amount of compensation they were required to pay to the school was too high.

Last year the group gained attention in the media for holding anti-Korean protests in the middle of Shin-Okubo, a district in Tokyo near a Korean neighbourhood known for a large concentration of Korean restaurants and shops. Members of the group were seen chanting slogans and holding up signs that were considered discriminatory.

According to the Zaitokukai’s website, the group boasts around 14, 500 members and oppose the permanent residency status given to ethnic Koreans in Japan, many of whom descended from labourers who were forcibly brought to the country during World War II.