This Aged Right-Wing Japanese Composer Is Betting On The Internet Generation

With tensions rising between Japan and China over ownership of a group of islands (called "Senkaku" in Japan and "Diaoyu" in China), and between Japan and Korea over ownership of a different group of islands (called "Takeshima" in Japan and "Dokdo" in Korea), 81-year-old video game composer, Kouichi Sugiyama (of Dragon Quest fame) recently voiced his opinion on the issue, focusing his argument, not against China or Korea, but against the Japanese media.

In a recent editorial, Sugiyama stated that he believes Japan is currently "in a state of civil war between Japanese and anti-Japanese" fuelled by the media's own efforts to quell patriotism among Japanese citizens. Sugiyama argues that such things like the media's negative portrayal of things like singing the national anthem or raising the Japanese flag as "right-wing" or the anti-nuclear movement's demand to immediately dismantle all nuclear energy facilities without offering any alternative solutions damage the country's ability to defend and stand up for itself when necessary.

While Sugiyama, himself a right-wing supporter and denier of Japan's war crimes in World War II, may hold views that are a little extreme, he does raise valid points in his argument. He points out that even the Republic of Palau, with a population of only 20,000 and no army of its own, will fire upon Chinese fishing vessels that enter its waters. Yet in Japan, the law prevents its forces from firing upon invading ships unless fired upon first, a stance that has allowed foreign ships to intrude and provoke with impunity. Sugiyama stresses that Japan's leaders must focus on protecting the country above all else.

While Sugiyama focuses on the internal anti-Japanese rhetoric cultivated by the mass media, he does note that on the internet, where the media's influence is much less than on TV and in printed news, people are allowed to voice patriotic opinions and have a stronger hold. Sugiyama says he believes that the internet generation will move Japan's politics and change the country for the better.

He may be a right-wing war crime denier, and I may disagree with him on WWII, but I agree with him on this.

すぎやまこういち 今の日本は「日本軍vs反日軍の内戦状態」 [NEWSポストセブン]

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    Toshi, we don't need extremists like Sugiyama . He doesn't see the internet as a place for free speech, he sees it as a bastion not yet tainted by views he disagrees with. Bet you my Japanese pension that he doesn't understand how itworks our what can be done via it, eg wikileaks, arab spring, accessing banned information. He just wants a platform for his nut job views

    Hmm.. I cant ignore what they teach kids about the war. 2 of my family were tortured for months at the hands of 'honourable' Japanese soldiers. However, todays Japanese shouldnt be held to account for the crimes of their grandfathers. Wed all be in deep shit if we had to pay for our ancestors mistakes.

    Tell you what, you get the Japanese government to open fire on ships intruding and provoking into its territorial waters with impunity and I'll get the Australian government to fire on Japanese ships intruding and provoking into our territorial waters with impunity.


    What I find so amusing about this is that Sugiyama is obviously a facist nutjob. Despite the fact that he expouses simultaneously racist, xenophobic and down right untruthful views, you STILL feel compelled to suck up his nationalist garbage. Really, what does it say about us as a species that despite a mountain of evidence telling you that you should disregard every view this man has, some people are still more than willing to buy into his crap. If anyone has ever wondered how an idiot like Hitler could get an entire nation to commit genocide, look no further than the gullibility of this author.

    How about instead of Japan striving to be like a little backwards nation of 20,000 people, the rest of the world strove to be like Japan and have principles and ethics regarding the applications of force and dangerous technologies? Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone was like that?

    Isn't there something proud about having principles and integrity? Sugiyama's view is nothing more than wanting to take Japan back in time to where it was nothing more than yet another backwards imperial nation - it offers nothing of value and comprimises not only the integrity of the nation, but erases from the memory (probably his REAL GOAL) the sacrifice and loss of hundreds and thousands of Japanese before the alter of this nationalistic madness.

    Frankly, you should be ashamed of yourself for even writing this garbage.

      Person holds belief X. This is clearly wrong to your mind. Person also holds belief Y. Therefore, Y must also be wrong. Except, no. That's not how things work. The two beliefs must be examined on their own worth - just because an idea comes from a bad source does not make it a bad idea. You mentioned Hitler. I'm sure anyone who's been on the Internet for more than two arguments can call to mind a few things Hitler did, or beliefs he held that were "good". They don't outweigh the bad he did, of course, but taken on their own merits... well, a good idea is a good idea, whether it's had by the nicest guy on the planet or a raving Klansman who beats his dog.

      You say "Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone was like that?". Yes. Yes, it probably would. However, they *aren't*. Even if they were, part of having principles and ethics regarding weaponry is the commitment to use it at some point. Exhaust all other options first, by all means, but if those work... well, if you'll never, ever use it, why do you have these things? Are they decorative?

      Of course, I don't know enough about the issue to comment directly. I think it's clear that this Sugiyama is not a bundle of love and kisses, and anything he says should be treated warily. That said, it mustn't be discounted offhand because of its source.

      As with so many things, both extremes have dangers.

        Well said.

    Never forget unit 731 historical revisionists would gladly erase these events because they are unpalatable. Let him speak but never forget what he stands for.

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